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Benfica on daunting mission to Barcelona

Published: Tuesday 27 November 2012, 10.29CET
It is 30 years since SL Benfica beat Spanish opponents but they may have to tear up that statistic at the Camp Nou if they are to hold off Celtic FC in the race for a last-16 place.
Benfica on daunting mission to Barcelona
Carles Puyol challenges Benfica's Nicolás Gaitán during Barcelona's 2-0 victory in Lisbon on matchday two ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 27 November 2012, 10.29CET

Benfica on daunting mission to Barcelona

It is 30 years since SL Benfica beat Spanish opponents but they may have to tear up that statistic at the Camp Nou if they are to hold off Celtic FC in the race for a last-16 place.

SL Benfica visit FC Barcelona looking for a result that will ensure they hold on to second place in Group G ahead of Celtic FC.

• Benfica's home victory against Celtic last time out lifted them above the Scottish champions on head-to-head record but they still have work to do if they are to secure progress to the last 16 for the second season running.

• Jorge Jesus's side must match Celtic's result against FC Spartak Mosvka but now travel to the home of the Group G winners, who beat the Eagles 2-0 in Lisbon.

Past meetings
• Whenever these two clubs have met the winners have gone on to lift the European Cup, starting with Bela Guttmann's Benfica in the 1961 final in Berne. Although Sándor Kocsis (21) put the Blaugrana ahead, Benfica hit back through José Águas (31), an Antoni Ramallets own goal (32) and Mário Coluna (55) proving enough despite Zoltán Czibor's strike (75).

• Barcelona secured their place in the 1992 final with a 2-1 win against Sven-Göran Eriksson's Benfica in the concluding round of matches in the fledgling group stage on 14 April 1992. Hristo Stoichkov (12) and José María Bakero (23) scored for Johan Cruyff's side, with Brito (27) replying. The clubs had drawn 0-0 in Lisbon on 11 December 1991. Benfica finished third in the group while Barcelona went on to win their first European Cup at UC Sampdoria's expense.

• Barcelona's second European Cup triumph followed a quarter-final defeat of a Benfica team coached by Ronald Koeman in 2005/06. Again the sides drew 0-0 in Lisbon, before Ronaldinho (19) and Samuel Eto'o (89) earned Frank Rijkaard's men a semi-final berth.

• The teams for their Camp Nou encounter on 5 April 2006 were:
Barcelona: Valdés, Belletti, Oleguer, Puyol, Van Bronckhorst, Van Bommel (Edmílson 85), Deco, Iniesta, Larsson (Giuly 86), Eto'o, Ronaldinho.
Benfica: Moretto, Ricardo Rocha, Luisão, Anderson, Léo, Beto (Robert 72), Manuel Fernandes (Marcel 82), Petit, Simão, Geovanni (Karagounis 55), Miccoli.

Match background
• Benfica have won none of their last 13 encounters with Spanish clubs, losing the last three both overall and away, and not since the 1982/83 UEFA Cup first round have they beaten opponents from Spain. The club's assistant coach Minervino Pietra was in the side that recorded 2-1 home and away wins against Real Betis Balompié – the only time they have prevailed in Spain, where their record reads W1 D1 L7.

• Furthermore, Barcelona have won their last ten home meetings with Portuguese opponents. The only time they failed to win was on the very first occasion they hosted a rival hailing from across Spain's western borders, losing 1-0 to FC Porto in the 1972/73 UEFA Cup first round.

• Barcelona are unbeaten in 18 European home outings, winning 15, since a 2-1 reverse against FC Rubin Kazan on 20 October 2009.

• Victorious against Barcelona in the 1961 European Cup final, Benfica retained the trophy in 1962 with a 5-3 final triumph over Real Madrid CF.

Team ties
• Nolito made 73 league appearances for Barcelona's B team but only featured twice in the Liga for the senior side.

• Ezequiel Garay had spells with Real Racing Club and Real Madrid, playing in the Merengues' 2011 Copa del Rey final triumph against Barcelona.

• Rodrigo is a product of Madrid's youth academy and made 18 appearances for Real Madrid Castilla.

• Pablo Aimar spent eight seasons in Spain, six with Valencia CF, where he played with David Villa, and two with Real Zaragoza. He scored 32 goals in 215 Liga appearances – two in 11 against Barcelona.

• Eduardo Salvio lost twice against Barcelona with Club Atlético de Madrid last term, including a 5-0 defeat at the Camp Nou.

• Former RC Recreativo de Huelva and Granada CF player Carlos Martins scored in Portugal's 4-0 friendly win against Spain in November 2011.

• Óscar Cardozo missed a penalty when Paraguay lost to Spain in the 2010 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals, succumbing to a late Villa goal.

Last updated: 03/12/12 15.22CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000347/match=2009572/prematch/background/index.html#benfica+daunting+mission+barcelona

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