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27.04.2008 16:34

Nine Barça players will return to Old Trafford

Berta Brau

The Theatre of Dreams will be the stage for the future of Barça at this seasons end. A large number of the Barcelona squad know the ‘Red Devil’s’ territory well.

Old Trafford is, without a doubt, one of the most complicated stadiums in Europe and also the stage on which Barça play their passing to the final of the Champions League. Even given the complexity of this setting, Barça has nine players, who, wearing different shirts in various competitions, know what it’s like to play in the home of the ‘Red Devils’.

At Old Trafford as a Barça player

Xavi Hernàndez is the only player in Barça’s first team who has played at Old Trafford wearing the red and blue shirt. In fact, the mid-fielder from Terrassa made his European debut against Manchester at Old Trafford in the season of 98/99. On that occasion it was a mini league game that ended in a three all draw on the scoreboard. Xavi was a substitute and came on in the second half.

The men with most experience

_39961589_eidur2_get300x300aaa.jpgThierry Henry and Eidur Gudjohnsen are the two Barça players with more experience of and visits to Old Trafford thanks to their years of playing in the Premier League.

The French forward played his first game in the Theatre of Dreams with Monaco in the season of 97/98, in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Even so the majority of his games at Old Trafford were wearing the Arsenal shirt, the Premiership team with whom he played for eight seasons.

Eidur Gudjohnsen, on his part has also visited United’s stadium many times. As the Icelander played eight seasons in the English League: first two seasons with Bolton Wanderers and, later, with Chelsea.

Sylvinho and Deco

Sylvinho follows further behind, with a total of two games played at Old Trafford. These were during the two seasons he played for Arsenal, those of 99/00 and 00/01. The Brazilian winger has never tasted victory in the British teams home ground, as these games ended one in a draw and the other, in defeat.

While playing in Porto’s ranks, Deco played in the fourth round against Manchester United in 2003/2004. The return leg was played in England and ended in a draw which guaranteed the Portuguese side’s passing to the quarter-finals in the top European competition.

At Old Trafford without Manchester

The Theatre of Dreams has also been the setting for different games in which 5 Barça players have participated. Iniesta, Xavi and Puyol played in the friendly between England and Spain in February 2007; the game was played at Old Trafford and ended in a victory for the Spanish team.
Thuram and Zambrotta played in the final of the Champions League with Juventus, a final won by Milan in the penalty shoot out.
Nine Barça players will return to Old Trafford

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