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19.05.2009 12:49

Familiar feel to Rome for Barca players

Jesús Carrillo

Rome’s Olympic Stadium will have a familiar feel for a number of the Barca squad who fly out to conquer their third Champions League Trophy on Wednesday, not least boss Pep Guardiola who played for Roma in the 2002-03 campaign.

It’s not just the boss who’ll be in familiar surroundings on Wednesday night though: Xavi and Puyol with Barça, Sylvinho and Henry with Arsenal, Piqué with Manchester United, Gudjohnsen with Chelsea and Abidal with Olympique de Lyón have all played at the famous Olympic Stadium.

Second time for Barca

26-02-02_Xavi_01.jpgIt’ll be Barca’s second visit, following their 2001-02 Champions League second group stage. This was the team of Bonano, De Boer, Kluivert, Reiziger and Christanval amongst others and Xavi and Puyol were also involved in the 3-0 defeat Despite losing to Fabio Capello’s team it was Barca and not Roma who eventually went through to the quarter finals.


Guardiola has also played in the European Cup in Rome when he was on Roma’s books for half a season in 2002-03. The game was against Real Madrid in the opening group stage game when he played 44 minutes in a 0-3 defeat.

Henry hat-trick

26-02-02_Batistuta_01.jpgThiery Henry had better luck in his appearance at the Stadium, bagging his first Champions League hat-trick on 27th November 2002 in Arsenal’s 1-3 win in the second group stage.

Gerard Piqué with United

The Catalan centre half also knows what it’s like to score at the Olympic Stadium. He was on the mark for Manchester United in last season’s 1-1 draw against Roma, heading in a corner on 34 minutes.

Abidal, Sylvinho and Gudjohnsen

Although he’s ruled out of the final, Éric Abidal is another Barca squad member who’s played in the Champions League in Rome, featuring in the 2006-07 quarter final between Lyon and Roma. Both Sylvinho and Gudjohnsen have played in Rome, both against Lazio: Sylvinho featured in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw in the 2000 group stage, whilst Gudjohnsen scored in Chelsea’s 0-4 demolition in the 2003-04 group stage.
Familiar feel to Rome for Barca players
Italian protest
In October 1975 Barca were awarded their UEFA Cup game against Lazio 0-3 after the Italian Club responded to outrage in Italy at the Franco regime and refused to play the match. The return leg at the Camp Nou was played however and Barca won 4-0 to progress to the next round.

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