Barcelona profiled: Everything you need to know
Two of the biggest football clubs in the world meet at 21:00 CEST on Friday, as FC Bayern take on FC Barcelona in the quarter-finals at the Champions League finals tournament in Lisbon. We've rounded up everything you need to know about our next opponents, including their season to date, the head-to-head record and their squad.
Bayern lead in head-to-head
There have been 10 competitive matches in total between the two teams, with Bayern winning six, two ending in draws and Barcelona triumphing on two occasions. The Munich men's first encounter with the Spaniards led to them reaching the final of the 1996 UEFA Cup, while the 7-0 aggregate win in the Champions League semi-finals in 2013 stands out in particular. It's five years since their last encounter, when Bayern won 3-2 in the second leg of the semi-finals but still went out having lost 3-0 in the first game. An intriguing fact: whenever Bayern and Barcelona have met in a knockout stage, the winners have always gone on to the lift the trophy.
Not an easy season
Just like Bayern, Barça had a change of coach during the season, with Quique Setién replacing Ernesto Valverde in January. The Catalans' showing in the rest of the campaign has not been entirely satisfactory, though, particularly since the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic. The defending champions dropped nine points after the restart in June and lost out to Real Madrid in the title race. In the Copa del Rey, the Blaugrana were already knocked out by Athletic Bilbao at the quarter-final stage in early February.
However, they made a strong return to Champions League action on Friday, beating Napoli 3-1 following a 1-1 draw in the first leg. "In one game at this level, anything can happen, even if Barca have had problems lately," warned Thomas Müller after the game against Chelsea on Saturday.
Guardiola, Thiago & more – connections aplenty
In summer 2018, Arturo Vidal moved from the German to the Spanish FCB, becoming only the second player after Patrick Andersson in 2001 to move from the Bavarian capital to Barcelona. Bayern, meanwhile, have two players in their current squad in Thiago and on-loan Philippe Coutinho, who signed from Barça. The first direct deal between the two clubs happened in 1987, when Bayern loaned striker Mark Hughes. It took almost 20 years for the next transfer business, when the German record champions acquired midfield enforcer Mark van Bommel.
Another big name that connects the two clubs is Pep Guardiola. The 49-year-old was at Barça as both player and coach before taking charge of Bayern from 2013 to 2016.
There was a scare for Barça against Napoli when Kalidou Koulibaly scythed down Lionel Messi. The Argentinian superstar had to receive treatment for several minutes, but was able to play on. "We need to treat him but I don't think there's a problem," coach Setién was quoted in the Spanish media after the game. However, Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembélé were both absent with knocks in the round of 16 second leg, and it remains to be seen whether they'll be fit for the quarter-final. Vidal and Sergio Busquets are available again after serving suspensions against Napoli, so all players in the squad are eligible to play against Bayern. It's all set, therefore, for a thrilling contest between the two teams. "Bayern are a great side and we'll see a great game," declared Setién.
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