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European champions FC Barcelona will need to hit the ground running after being paired with AC Milan in their opening UEFA Champions League Group H fixture of the new season.
• The sides have met 11 times in UEFA competition, recording four wins each and three draws. Barcelona's record in five home games against Milan reads W2 D2 L1.
• Their most memorable encounter was the 1994 UEFA Champions League final in Athens, which Milan won 4-0; it remains the most emphatic final win of the UEFA Champions League era.
• The clubs also contested the 1989 UEFA Super Cup; Milan prevailed again, winning 1-0 at home following a 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou.
• Milan have not won in their last two visits to the Camp Nou, recording a defeat and a draw since a 2-0 win in Barcelona in the 2000/01 first group stage.
• Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Carles Puyol and Víctor Valdés were on the losing side as Milan claimed a 1-0 group stage victory against Barcelona on 20 October 2004. The Spanish internationals were 2-1 winners when the sides met again a month later at the Camp Nou, Clarence Seedorf and Gennaro Gattuso also appearing in both games.
• The teams last met in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League semi-finals, Ludovic Giuly scoring in Milan to give Frank Rijkaard's side a 1-0 first-leg lead. The return fixture finished goalless, taking Barcelona into the final.
• The lineups for that game on 26 April 2006 were:
Barcelona: Valdés, Belletti, Márquez, Puyol, Van Bronckhorst, Edmílson, Deco, Iniesta, Giuly (Larsson 69), Eto'o (Van Bommel 89), Ronaldinho.
Milan: Dida, Kaladze, Costacurta (Cafu 64), Stam, Serginho, Gattuso (Rui Costa 68), Seedorf, Pirlo, Kaká, Shevchenko, Inzaghi (Gilardino 79).
• Barcelona are unbeaten in ten home games since a 2-1 loss to FC Rubin Kazan in the 2009/10 group stage, although a 1-1 draw against Real Madrid CF in last season's semi-final second leg ended a run of nine straight wins at the Camp Nou.
• Josep Guardiola's side have competed in the initial group stage of UEFA competition on 16 occasions, including the final edition of the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1991/92, and have only once lost their opening game, 3-2 at Newcastle United FC in 1997/98.
• Milan have won the opening fixture in their last ten group stage campaigns but have gone three games without scoring a European goal and won only one of their four away fixtures in last season's UEFA Champions League.
• Gianluca Zambrotta (2006-08), Zlatan Ibrahimović (2009-10) and Mark van Bommel (2005-06) played for Barcelona before joining Milan.
• Christian Abbiati (Club Atlético de Madrid), Clarence Seedorf, Robinho and Antonio Cassano (all Real Madrid CF) have played in Spain.
• Barcelona's Alexis Sánchez scored in Udinese Calcio's 4-4 draw at Milan last season. That was the Chilean's sole goal in seven league and cup matches against Milan during his three years in Udine which brought three wins, two draws and two defeats.
• Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcántara was born in San Pietro Vernotico in the south of Italy. His father, Mazinho, played in Serie A for US Lecce and ACF Fiorentina.
• Barcelona's Javier Mascherano and Milan's Alberto Aquilani played together at Liverpool FC in 2009/10.
• Maxwell played for Milan's city rivals FC Internazionale Milano between 2006 and 2009, recording three wins and a defeat in Serie A matches against Milan.
• Guardiola played in Serie A with Brescia Calcio and AS Roma; he was a team-mate of Daniele Bonera at Brescia in 2001/02.
• Barcelona's Cesc Fàbregas and Milan's Mathieu Flamini played together at Arsenal FC from 2004 to 2008. Fàbregas scored at San Siro in a 2-0 win at Milan in the 2007/08 round of 16 second leg, Arsenal winning by the same aggregate scoreline; Flamini also appeared in both legs.
• Villa and Fàbregas scored from the spot as Spain defeated Italy 4-2 on penalties in Vienna following a goalless draw in the UEFA EURO 2008 quarter-finals. Carles Puyol, Andrés Iniesta and Xavi Hernández were also in Spain's lineup while Massimo Ambrosini, Cassano, Zambrotta and Aquilani appeared for Italy.
• Éric Abidal was sent off when an Italy team including Zambrotta, Gennaro Gattuso and substitutes Aquilani and Cassano overcame France 2-0 in the UEFA EURO 2008 group stage.
• Aquilani scored the winner as Italy overcame Spain 2-1 in a friendly on 10 August 2011 in Bari, a game in which Thiago made his senior debut for Spain.
• Pedro Rodríguez and Gerard Piqué each scored twice against Inter in 2009/10; both struck in Barcelona's 2-0 home group stage victory while Pedro was on target in a 3-1 semi-final reverse at San Siro with Piqué scoring late on in the 1-0 second-leg win.
• Seydou Keita and Daniel Alves were members of the Sevilla FC side that lost the 2007 UEFA Super Cup to Milan in Monaco.
• Mascherano was in the Liverpool team that lost 2-1 to Milan in the 2007 UEFA Champions League final in Athens.
• Milan's Thiago, Pato and Robinho and Barcelona pair Alves and Adriano are all Brazilian internationals.
• Barcelona's Ibrahim Afellay is a Netherlands team-mate of Milan's Van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson.
• Philippe Mexès and Éric Abidal play together for France.
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