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19.05.2009 11:10

Mixed fortunes in Pre-Final games

Edgar Fornós

Historically, Barca have enjoyed mixed fortunes in games placed immediately before a European Cup Final, winning two and losing three of their matches.

Before the trip to Rome next week, Barca face Osasuna at the Nou Camp and as on a couple of other occasions they’ve played before a Champions League final, Guardiola’s team know that the La Liga title is already theirs, giving the boss the chance to rest some of his stars ahead of the United game.

Double guard of honour in Seville

BARSA2.jpgBefore the final in Paris in which Barca beat Arsenal to collect their last Champions League trophy, they lost 3-2 to Seville. The Andalucian team had just come back from beating Middlesborough in Eindhoven to take the UEFA Cup and Barca naturally gave them a guard of honour as they came out onto the pitch, but only after the home team had made a similar gesture for Rijkaard’s players who had already been proclaimed League Champions the week before in Vigo.

Title in the bag before Athens

Before the 1994 final in Athens, Cruyff’s team played Seville again, this time winning 5-2 in the final league game of the season. Meanwhile, in La Coruña, Deportivo were unable to score against Valencia, with Djukic famously fluffing a last minute penalty that could have given them the title and Barca were crowned La Liga Champions just four days before their final against Milan.

…. and after Wembley

WEMBLEY-EUFxRIA.jpgBarca took their first Champions League title at Wembley in 1982 and the weekend before they beat Mallorca 3-0 at the Nou Camp to go second in La Liga. The victory over Sampdoria spurred the team on in the domestic league and a dramatic final day saw them take the title, beating Bilbao 2-0 whilst Madrid went down to defeat in Tenerife.

Cup Final disappointment

On 26 April 1986 Barça lost 1-0 to Zaragoza in the Spanish Cup Final at Vicente Calderón. More disappointment followed just 11 days later when Terry Venables took his team to the European Cup Final in Seville against Steaua de Bucarest.

Derby defeat in ‘61

In 1961 the league competition ended at the end of April and Barca were not due toplay their European Cup Final for another month. Unfortunately they went down 2-1 at Sarria to Espanyol in the last 16 of the Spanish Cup in what proved to be their last match before the game in Bern.
Mixed fortunes in Pre-Final games
Saturday again
As with the games before the Berne, Wembley, Athens and Paris, Barca will play on the Saturday before the Champions League Final. In 1961, the defeat against Espanyol occurred midweek.

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