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01.10.2008 10:40

Shakhtar v FCB: Did you know...

Jordi Clos

There are plenty of curiosities to be found in relation to Barça’s second Champions League fixture.

- This evening’s game is the third meeting between the sides in the Ukraine. Barça have never managed to win at the Olimpiski, but have always qualified from their group.

- The first time they visited Donetsk was in the 1978/79 Cup Winners Cup, a tournament Barça eventually won in Basle. In the first leg, Barça won 3-0 at the Camp Nou and a 1-1 draw at the old Olimpiski was enough to secure qualification.

- The other meeting was far more recent. Barça found themselves in the same group as Shakhtar in the Champions League of 2004/05. The side then managed by Frank Rijkaard had already qualified when they lost 2-0 to the Ukrainian outfit.

- That was on December 7, 2004, and marked Leo Messi’s debut in European competition.

- If Xavi Hernández plays, it will be his one hundredth appearance for Barça in international competitions.

- Dani Alves has also played at the Olimpiski before. That was in 2007 for Sevilla, in the second leg of the UEFA Cup second round. The Andalusia outfit took the game into extra time with a famous headed goal by goalkeeper Palop in the last minute and eventually won 3-2.

- Shakhtar Donetsk have played in the Champions League four times, but have never made it out of the groups, not even last season when they won their first two games.

- They have put an end to Dynamo Kiev’s domination of the Ukrainian league, having won four of the last seven championships.

- Unlike most foreigners that have passed through Shakhtar, Brazilian Brandao has become a local icon, and is now into his seventh season at the club.

- For the fifth season, the team manager is Mircea Lucescu, who has previously been at such clubs as Inter Milan and Galatasaray.

- Barça manager Pep Guardiola went to the Ukraine as a footballer twice, in 1992 and 1994, and both times Barça beat Dynamo Kiev en route to the Champions League final.
Shakhtar v FCB: Did you know...
The referee
The man in the middle for Shakhtar v Barça is Englishman Howard Webb, who will be assisted from the lines by Philip Sharp and David Richardson.

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