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25 April 2018

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 2003, when Cristiano Ronaldo and Javier Mascherano faced each other for the first time (9/16)

Ahead of the 46th edition of the Toulon Tournament, which will be held from 26th May to 9th June, we’ve delved into the archives to relive some of the most memorable moments in the tournament history. Every Tuesday and Friday, we look back at the most thrilling facts provided by the competition. Today, throwback to when football stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Javier Mascherano faced each other for the first time during the Maurice Revello Tournament 2003.

 Liga, Champions League, Copa del Rey, Supercups, friendlies : Cristiano Ronaldo and Javier Mascherano faced each other in so many occasions. In particular during the intense Clasicos between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. The story between the two players has started at the Maurice Revello Tournament.

Throwback to June 2003. The 31th edition of the Toulon Tournament offered us a strong lineup : Italy, Mexico, England, Colombia, Japan, Turkey, Poland, Burkina Faso, Portugal and Argentina. Two players took part in this edition : Cristiano Ronaldo and Javier Mascherano. At that moment, the two youngsters, respectively aged 18 and 19, are still unknown. The Portuguese forward is playing at Sporting Portugal while the Argentinian defensive midfielder is making his first steps at River Plate.

Portugal and Argentina have been drawn in the group B with England, Japan, Turkey. Alongside future internationals like Raul Meireles, Danny and Hugo Almeida, Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates made a good start as they defeated England (3-0) thanks notably to a goal scored by the Real Madrid star. Then, Portugal have been exempt from the second Matchday.
Meanwhile, Argentina started well the competition : they have beaten Japan (1-0) thanks to a winner netted by Javier Mascherano before earning a spectacular 8-0 win over England !

The Portugal-Argentina game's scoresheet

Then came the Matchday 3 on 15th June 2003 with the clash Portugal-Argentina. Ronaldo and Mascherano are both in the starting line-up. There's more at stake than just a win for both sides : the Albiceleste can secure its qualification for the next round thanks to a third win a row while the Seleçao needs to win to stay close from Argentina. At the Stade Mayol (Toulon), the referee has distributed five yellow cards as well as a red card to Argentina. Reduced to ten men, the South Americans have been outclassed : a goal from Custadio Castro and a brace netted by Luis Lourenço sealed a 3-0 win for Portugal. It was a decisive win as Portugal will finish at the top of the group thanks to their head-to-head-record against…Argentina !

Eventually, Cristiano Ronaldo & co won the Maurice Revello Tournament thanks to a 3-1 win over Italy while Argentina finished third after beating Mexico (1-0) in the third place play-off. It should be noted that Javier Mascherano won the tournament’s best player award while Cristiano Ronaldo has been the youngest finalist of the Toulon Tournament 2003.

The rest is history for the two football stars…

READ ALSO :

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 1975, the Argentina of Daniel Passarella clinched the title (1/16)

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 1982, the emergence of the Koeman brothers (2/16)

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 1983, an epic final between Argentina and Brazil (3/16)

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : when Jean-Pierre Papin left his mark on the Toulon Tournament’s history (4/16)
The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 1987, when Hristo Stoichkov helped Bulgaria to reach the final (5/16)

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 1991, the Alan Shearer's legendary display (6/16)

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 1995-1996, when David Beckham was making his first steps in the tournament (7/16)

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 1997, a French golden generation led by Henry, Trezeguet and Anelka (8/16)

Mathieu Lauricella

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