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15.09.2008 12:35

Good omens

Roger Bogunyà

Barcelona has won more than half of the 23 games it has played against Portuguese teams in Europe. Two of those games were against this Tuesday’s opponents, Sporting Clube.

Barça has also gone head-to-head with Porto, Vitoria Guimaraes, Os Belenenses and Benfica, who were the Catalans’ most recent rivals in the 2005/06 season.

Good record

af6g0531.jpgBarça’s record in those 23 games is pretty good; twelve wins, five draws and six defeats. The most painful defeat was in 1961 against Benfica in the European Cup Final in Berne. The most memorable win was the 2-1 victory over Benfica in the 1992 European Cup semi-final which took Johan Cruyff’s team through to Wembley where they won the final.

Oddly enough, both times Barça has won the European Cup it has seen off Portuguese opponents on the way. The last time was three seasons ago when the Catalans beat Benfica in the quarter finals of the competition.

From knockout to group game

BARxA-SPORTING_LISBOA_x1986x009.jpgHowever, Barça and Sporting Clube have only crossed swords once in Europe. That was in the 1986/87 season in the last 16 of the UEFA Cup. Barça won the first leg at Camp Nou 1-0 with Julio Alberto being the scorer.

The return leg was a heart stopper. The Portuguese were two nil up with just half an hour to go, but a goal by Roberto in the last few minutes of the game was enough to see Barça through. On Tuesday the two sides will be playing in a group match rather than a knockout tie.
Good omens
The 1999 Gamper Trophy featured Sporting Clube
Barça and Sporting Clube disputed the Joan Gamper Trophy in the summer of 1999. On that occasion the Catalans ran out winners by three goals to one.

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