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12.11.2008 20:05

Catalonia v Colombia, at the Camp Nou

David Puig

On December 28, the Camp Nou will be the venue for the Christmas match between Catalonia and Colombia. This will be fourteenth time the Catalan national side has played at the stadium since 1966.

The Camp Nou will once again stage a Christmas game for the Catalan national squad after the team travelled away last December to face the Basques at San Mamés. Managed by Pere Gratacós, the side will be facing South American nation Colombia on December 28 following an agreement reached on Tuesday between FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta, and the president of the Federació Catalana de Futbol, Ricard Campoy, for the Camp Nou to be used as the venue.

Fourteenth game at the Camp Nou

QM3D2512.jpgThe Catalonia v Colombia game will be the fourteenth the Catalans have played at the Camp Nou. The first pitted them against a Foreigners XI in 1966 (1-1) and the last was on May 24 earlier this year against Argentina. The Latin Americans won 1-0 thanks to an Ezequiel Lavezzi goal. Barça’s Valdés and Messi both appeared in the game, as did Manchester United’s Gerard Piqué, who has since returned to Barcelona.

Colombia, a rising force

Colombia are currently ranked 33rd in the FIFA World Ranking and are seventh in the Conmebol World Cup 2010 qualification table. Managed by Eduardo Lara, their last result was a commendable 0-0 draw with Brazil at the Maracanà on October 15.

qm3d6303.jpgSpeaking to the Federació Catalana de Futbol website, Catalan manager Pere Gratacós said that “Colombia is a strong enough team to play Catalonia. The recent draw with Brazil shows how competitive Eduardo Lara’s team is. They have experienced and quality players, like Yepes, Bedoya and Julio, and some players that are playing in the Spanish league, such as Perea (Atlético Madrid) and Mosquera (Sevilla).
Catalonia v Colombia, at the Camp Nou
Colombia return to Camp Nou
This will not be the first time Colombia have played at the Camp Nou. On June 4, 2006 they played a friendly against Morocco, winning 2-0 thanks to goals from Rodallega and Soto.

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