Two of Barça’s four summer signings, Adriano and Afellay, could be making their debuts in the Champions League quarter finals next month. In contrast, Xavi and Puyol have already appeared at this stage six and seven times respectively.
Messi missed out twice
Injuries caused Leo Messi to miss out in 2005/06, against Benfica, and 2007/08 against Schalke 04
and he will make only his third appearance in a Champions League quarter final next month.
FC Barcelona are once again at the quarter final stages of the Champions League and although some
of the team are well familiar with making it this far, for others it could be the first time
they’ve got to the last eight.
Debuts for Adriano and Afellay
Adriano and Afellay have never made it this far in the Champions League before and against
Shaktar they may get their chance. Adriano made the last 16 twice with Seville, but ended up losing
to Fenerbahçe and then CSKA de Moscou. Afellay has also played in the last 16 with PSV, but lost to
Arsenal (06/07) and Lyon (05/06).
Mascherano experience with Liverpool
For another of the summer signings, Javier Mascherano, it’ll be
the fourth time he’s gone into a quarter final, having been there with Liverpool in 2006/07,
2007/08 and 2008/09. The first time saw the Reds reach the final, where they lost 2-1 to Milan,
whilst the following season they were beaten in the semi finals by Chelsea, who took them out the
year after in the quarter finals.
Chance for Villa to better his record
David Villa has been here before, but he’ll be looking for more luck this
time around, having lost 3-2 on aggregate to Chelsea with Valencia in the 2006/7 quarter finals.
The two players who have most experience in the last eight are Carles Puyol and
Xavi Hernández. The Club captain has played in seven quarter finals and only failed to make the
semis on one of those occasions – in the 2002/03 season, when Juventus beat Barça. Xavi has
one less quarter final to his name, after missing out in the 2006 season against Benfica when the
team went on to win the competition in Paris.