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16.09.2008 08:42

FCB v Sporting Clube: Did you know that...

Jordi Clos

This is the third competitive game between Barça and Sporting Clube. In the previous two, the Catalans knocked the Portuguese out of the UEFA Cup.

- It was the second round of the UEFA Cup in the 1986/87 season and Barça went through on the away goals rule. The Catalans won 1-0 at Camp Nou only to go down 2-1 in the second leg. A late goal by Robert Fernández put Barça through.

- Years later Barça and Sporting went head-to-head in the 1999 edition of the Joan Gamper Trophy (3-1). Figo, Dani and Dehu scored for the home team and Ayew for the visitors.

- Whenever FC Barcelona have reached the final of the European Cup they have always played a Portuguese team on the way. In 1961, 1992 and 2006 that team was Benfica and in 1986 and 1994, Porto.

hibernian-fcb1.jpg- Barça coach Pep Guardiola is trying to become the sixth man to win Europe’s top competition as both player and coach. The five who have already done so are Miguel Muñoz, Giovanni Trappattoni, Johan Cruyff, Carlo Ancelotti and Frank Rijkaard.

- Sporting Clube’s manager, Paulo Bento, played for Oviedo from 1996 to 2000. He has been manager since 2005.

- Barça reached the group stage after seeing off Wisla Krakow in the qualifying rounds, while Sporting classified directly after finishing as runners-up in the Portuguese league.

QM3D9761.jpg- Xavi Hernández was the only player to play in all the Champions League games while Leo Messi was second top scorer.

- This is the third time in a row that Sporting Clube have played in the group stages and their fifth in total, but they have yet to make it to the knockout rounds.

- Like Barça, Sporting has lots of sports sections which at one stage came to 22.

- The Portuguese club’s slogan is ‘esforço, dedicaçao, devoçao e gloria’, or effort, dedication, devotion and glory. Its symbol is a lion which appears on its badge.
FCB v Sporting Clube: Did you know that...
The referee
The referee for the Barça v Sporting Clube clash is to be Frenchman Laurent Duhamel. He is 39 years old and has already been in charge of 7 Champions League games.

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