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30.04.2008 18:09

A good campaign with a disappointing finale

Jordi Clos

In contrast to the ups and downs of the Spanish league campaign, Barça’s progress in the Champions League has been very consistent. Despite the disappointment of the semi-final exit, the individual and team statistics have been impressive.

Barça’s first – and only – defeat in the Champions league this season at Old Trafford put an end to the Club’s European dreams. Last year, Barça fell at the quarterfinal stage while this year the dream was kept alive until the second leg of the semi-finals. However, Barça have left behind an image of a strong competitor that dominated most of their games, including the final assault on Manchester United. On an individual level, Barça players have also led the way in the player rankings.

8 wins in 12 matches

fcb-schalke04_x14x.jpgBarça chalked up a total of 8 wins, 3 draws and just one defeat in the 2007-08 Champions League, scoring 18 goals and conceding 6. But the most significant statistic of all relates to possession of the ball, where Barça have led the way with an impressive 59%.

Despite the failure to find the net in the semi-final, this domination of possession has not been without fruit. Barça have produced more shots on goal than the other leading clubs (86; 7.17 per match) followed at a distance by Chelsea (70; 6.36 per match). Barça also lead the pack in terms of corners, with 91 awarded in their favour.

Messi on target

celtic-fcb16.jpgLeo Messi has been one of the outstanding goal takers of the competition with 6, the same as Liverpool’s Steven Gerard and just one behind Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo (7). Together with Thierry Henry, Messi has finished among the top 7 players in terms of efforts on goal, with 15 each. Finally, Xavi Hernández has the distinction of being the only member of the Barça squad to figure in every Champions League match this season.
A good campaign with a disappointing finale
Bojan takes centre stage
Young striker Bojan Krkic also deserves a special mention. At the age of just 17 years and 22 days, he became Barça’s youngest ever player in a European match, making his debut on 18th September against Olympique Lyon in the Camp Nou. He also became the second youngest ever goal scorer when he found the net away to Schalke 04.

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