In the headline: Betis gave a football lesson to the champions.

HISTORY / 24 seconds on the pitch and goal in the injury time

In 1985, Real Betis beat Barcelona 1-2 at Camp Nou with a beautiful goal from winger Ito, who had come on for Rincón in the 90th minute

By Manolo Rodríguez


Season 1985-86. Real Betis plays at Camp Nou and one minute before the end, the score was 1-1. A good result, say the radio stations that broadcast the match. But Barcelona have Betis under siege. They are attacking with everything, with ten players on their rivals' side of the pitch. It's a powerful Barça, the league champion, and nobody would say the match was going to end with a draw.

On their side, Betis resist and, sometimes, launch counterattacks that create discomfort among Barcelona fans. Suárez misses the chance to leave Rincón alone in front of Urruti and Gabi Calderón slips when he is about to enter the box in good position.

This is how things are when the 90th minute arrives. Quico tackles Julio Alberto in the midfield and gets booked. Schuster crosses the ball to the heart of the box, where goalkeeper Cervantes jumps higher than the rest and punches the ball away.

Barcelona's right back Manolo tries to rush for the throw in but referee Ramos Marcos makes him stop because Betis are going to make a substitution. Rincón walks off the pitch slowly and Ito comes on.

Ito runs quickly towards his own area and sees how the throw in is fought in the air by Alexanco and Hadzibegic. The ball comes his way and, without thinking twice, he kicks it hard to the other half of the pitch. However, the ball comes back to Betis box, where six Barcelona players are waiting to finish the play. This time is Quico who shows up and kicks the ball the furthest he can.

The ball goes high and when it comes back down in the midfield, Suárez and Víctor try to head it. None of them does and the ball is loose. Gabino, at first touch, sends it to the left wing before Migueli tackles him down hard. Calderón receives the ball off mark and runs forward on the wing while Ito runs along in the middle. Before reaching the box, Calderón produces a magnificent cross that goes over Julio Alberto and leaves Ito alone in front of Urruti. The Green and White player controls the ball perfectly and produces a great second touch to put the ball in by the post. 

Absolute scenes. Betis have won at Camp Nou in the injury time and Ito is the hero, as he has made the winning goal? 24 seconds after coming on in the match!

The victory resounds widely. It's the first defeat for Barça at home since the manager is Terry Venables, who made them to the league champions the year before. 25 matches in a row to be more precise.

The Catalan press praise Betis and acknowledge that they have deservedly beaten the champions. So thinks the Green and White manager, Luis Carriega, who states: "We have been much better."

That well-remembered match was played on the 8th of December of 1985, and it didn't start in the best way. The Green and White expedition had to travel on Saturday really early in the morning due to an air controllers strike and with Antolín Ortega injured, the man who could hold Schuster.


Camp Nou was completely full and these were the line-ups:

FC Barcelona: Urruti, Manolo, Migueli, Alexanco, Julio Alberto, Víctor, Schuster, Calderé (Esteban 70'), Carrasco (Clos 70'), Pichi Alonso, Archibald.

Real Betis: Cervantes, Calleja, Alex, Hadzibegic, Diego, Parra, Romo (Suárez 82'), Quico, Rincón (Ito 90'), Gabino, Calderón.

The visitors took the lead in the 36th minute when Rincón smashed in a cross from Calderón but Pichi Alonso tied the score up just two minutes later with a good header.

In the second half, Barcelona pushed and Betis held on and counterattacked until what happened in the 24 seconds Ito spent on the pitch.

The following days, Andrés Alonso 'Ito' was the most wanted man by the media. Even Jorge Valdano explained the beautiful play that gave Betis the win, and stated: "That goal is the son of the control rather than the finish."

However, Ito did not have a successful spell at Betis. He barely played 36 matches in three years, although he left some good details, like his memorable performance in the Sevilla 1-2 Real Betis in the season 1986/1987.

Things went that way perhaps because everything seemed awkward since his arrival to the Club. It happened in the Summer of 1985 when Real Madrid signed Rafael Gordillo. It wasn't exactly a transfer, because Gordillo had finished his contract. The only thing necessary was for Real Madrid to close the deal the two clubs had agreed on, as the retention right that existed before had been abolished and just education compensation had to be paid.

Both clubs negotiated and Madrid agreed to pay 131 million pesetas (100 of them were used to pay a loan Betis had received) and to play a friendly match that same Summer in Seville, with the tickets money to be entirely for Betis.

But Betis were not lucky, as usual. Because the day the league calendar was sorted, the first match of the season was going to be Real Betis-Real Madrid. Some witnesses say that Betis president Gerardo Martínez Retamero threw his folder to the floor and cried: "How unlucky, my God!" The reason was that that friendly match scheduled for the 21st of August had to be canceled and Betis had to say goodbye to that extra money that was so needed.

The board tried to convince Real Madrid to pay a compensation for the cancelation of the match, but at Bernabéu they said no. The only thing that Betis got out from the whites was to get with no cost winger Ito, a promising youngster.

At Madrid, Ito played quite a lot in the first two seasons but his performances decreased in quality after. In 1984, he was loaned out to Valladolid and signed for Betis the following year. At Heliópolis, Ito scored four goals in three years and left the impression of being a better person than footballer.

And, above everything else, he left behind that goal at Camp Nou in 1985. Just 24 seconds after coming on.