Created on 24-04-2015 at 16:00 PM
FC Barcelona are very confident before the match against FC Bayern. “When you consider a draw like this I keep thinking that Barcelona's opponents have had very little luck,” commented coach Luis Enrique. The Bavarians are among the favourites to win the Champions League, but “we want to win at home and away,” the Barça boss declared. The psychological factor will be key – and Enrique's players are “in very good condition” in terms of mental strength. fcbayern.de runs the rule over Bayern's semi-final opponents.
There's no doubt that FC Barcelona are on a roll: Luis Enrique's team haven't lost in 13 fixtures. In La Liga Barça are top of the league, two points ahead of Real Madrid. In the Champions League quarter-finals the Catalans impressively defeated Paris Saint-Germain, having previously beaten Manchester City in the Round of 16 - two big-name scalps. Barcelona's biggest advantage in contrast to FC Bayern is that every player is fit.
Key players and tactics
It's difficult to pick out single players from this formidable ensemble. However, the attacking trio with Lionel Messi (46 goals), Neymar (30) und Luiz Suarez (19) is certainly the gem. But Luis Enrique's team is well equipped in defence too. With just 19 goals conceded in 32 matches the Catalans have the best rearguard in the Spanish league.
Luis Enrique favours a 4-3-3 formation. Between the posts there's rotation: in the league Claudio Bravo is Enrique's first choice, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen features in the Champions League. Pique is the key central defender, Dani Alves and Jordi Alba play on the flanks. In defensive midfield Sergio Busquets and former Schalke player Ivan Rakitic form an effective shield. Andrés Iniesta recently proved to be in peak form, but has suffered injuries again and again this season. Xavi, 35 years old by now, usually doesn't play for 90 minutes – especially in Champions League matches.
History and successes
The most successful year for Barça was 2009 when they won an astounding six titles under Pep Guardiola, a previously unprecedented achievement. In total the Catalans have won the Champions League four times, most recently in 2011, as well as 22 Spanish championships. Last season Barcelona faltered a little and failed to win a title, losing in the quarter finals of Europe's premier competition.
The legendary Camp Nou is known to every football fan. Inaugurated in 1957, this stadium has hosted many, many magical football nights. It is Europe's biggest stadium with a capacity of almost 100,000. Bayern's best result here was a 3-0 victory in the second leg of the 2013 semi-finals, their most bitter defeat was the last-gasp 2-1 reverse in the Champions League final against Manchester United in 1999.
Luis Enrique took the Barça helm last summer. From 2008 to 2011 he was coach of the Catalans' second team before gaining experience as coach of AS Roma (2011-12) and Celta Vigo (2013-14). He's now looking forward to meeting Pep Guardiola, his Barcelona team-mate from 1996 to 2001. “These matches will be special. It's the first time that I'm up against Guardiola,” he said.