Napoli v Barcelona facts

Napoli and Barcelona have never before met, with the Italian side seeking their first last-16 victory.

New Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso has plenty of experience against Barcelona
New Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso has plenty of experience against Barcelona ©AFP/Getty Images

Two of European football's most famous names meet for the first time as Napoli welcome Barcelona to the Stadio San Paolo.

• The teams may have never previously crossed paths, but both boast plenty of experience against clubs from their opponents' country – including at this stage of the UEFA Champions League.

• While Barça come into this contest as the unbeaten winners of Group F and have won their last 12 round of 16 ties, Napoli, also undefeated in Group E, had to wait until Matchday 6 to book their place in the knockout stages and have lost both previous ties at this stage.

Matchday 6 highlights: Napoli 4-0 Genk
Matchday 6 highlights: Napoli 4-0 Genk

Form guide
Napoli
 
• Napoli finished second in Group E with 12 points, one behind Liverpool. They picked up seven points in Naples, kicking off with a 2-0 defeat of holders Liverpool and qualifying with a 4-0 win against Genk on Matchday 6 having been held 1-1 by Salzburg. Away from home they drew at Genk (0-0) and Liverpool (1-1) either side of a 3-2 success at Salzburg.

• Serie A runners-up for the second season running in 2018/19, this is Napoli's sixth UEFA Champions League campaign – all in the last nine seasons – and the third to have extended into the knockout rounds. They reached the round of 16 in 2011/12 and 2016/17.

• Both those previous last-16 ties ended in defeat against the eventual winners; Real Madrid beat Napoli 3-1 home and away in 2016/17, five years after Chelsea turned round a 3-1 first-leg defeat in Naples with a 4-1 extra-time success in the return.

Watch Napoli defeat holders Liverpool
Watch Napoli defeat holders Liverpool

• Napoli have won only seven of their last 20 matches in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final (D6 L7) – all those victories bar this season's Matchday 3 success at Salzburg coming at the Stadio San Paolo.

• Having finished third behind Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool in last season's group stage, Napoli beat Zürich (5-1 aggregate) and Salzburg (4-3) in the UEFA Europa League before losing 2-0 away to Arsenal and 1-0 at home in the quarter-finals.

• Despite this season's victories against Liverpool and Genk, Napoli have won only six of their last 12 home games in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final; they have lost three.

• That 2017 defeat by Real Madrid in Naples was Napoli's first home reverse against Spanish visitors (W2 D4).

• Napoli have lost their last four two-legged ties against Spanish opposition: their overall record is W1 L5, the sole victory against Valencia in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup first round (5-1 a, 1-0 h).

Matchday 6 highlights: Inter 1-2 Barcelona
Matchday 6 highlights: Inter 1-2 Barcelona

Barcelona
• Barcelona finished with 14 points in Group F, four ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund. Half of those came away from home, the Catalan club drawing 0-0 at Dortmund on Matchday 1 before 2-1 wins at Slavia Praha and Internazionale. At home they beat Inter (2-1) and Dortmund (3-1) and were held 0-0 by Slavia.

• Ansu Fati's winner at Inter on Matchday 6 made him the youngest goalscorer in UEFA Champions League history, aged 17 years 40 days. He eclipsed the previous record, which had stood since 1 October 1997, set by Olympiacos's Peter Ofori-Quaye (17 years 195 days).

• Barça have won only six of their last 16 away matches in European competition (D6 L4).

• The Blaugrana's record away to Serie A clubs is W7 D11 L7. They were without a win in eight trips to Italy (D5 L3), since a 3-2 win at San Siro against AC Milan in the 2011/12 group stage, before the Matchday 6 success at Inter.

• Spanish champions for the 26th time in 2018/19, their fourth title in five years, this is Barcelona's 24th UEFA Champions League campaign, a competition record they share with Real Madrid. They have now reached the round of 16 or better for the last 16 seasons, winning their group every year from 2007/08 onwards.They are unbeaten in their last three group stage campaigns, and have come through their section undefeated a record 13 times.

Highlights: Slavia Praha 1-2 Barcelona
Highlights: Slavia Praha 1-2 Barcelona

• Matchday 6 was Barcelona's 150th UEFA Champions League win; only Real Madrid have previously reached that landmark.

• In 2018/19, Barcelona eased past Lyon in the last 16 (0-0 a, 5-1 h) and Manchester United in the quarter-finals (1-0 a, 3-0 h) before a 3-0 first-leg victory against Liverpool in the last four, only for the English club to turn the tables in stunning style at Anfield (0-4).

• Barcelona have been in the round of 16 every year from 2004/05 onwards, winning 13 of those 15 ties. The Blaugrana lost two of the first three ties, most recently against Liverpool in 2006/07, but have won their last 12.

• Barcelona's record in two-legged ties against Italian sides is W8 L5. They have lost their last two, both in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, against Juventus in 2016/17 (0-3 a, 0-0 h) and Roma the following season (4-1 h, 0-3 a).

• Barcelona have lost only two of their last 29 UEFA Champions League fixtures (W18 D9).

• Last season's victory at Manchester United is Barcelona's sole success in eight away UEFA Champions League knockout games (D2 L5), since a 2-0 victory at Arsenal in the 2015/16 round of 16. The wins against United and Arsenal are their sole successes in the last ten such contests, with six defeats.

• Barcelona have been European champions on five occasions, most recently in 2015.

Highlights: Napoli 1-1 Salzburg
Highlights: Napoli 1-1 Salzburg

Links and trivia
• Kostas Manolas scored Roma's decisive third goal in that remarkable comeback victory against Barcelona in the 2017/18 quarter-finals.

• Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso faced Barcelona six times in the UEFA Champions League as a player with AC Milan (W2 D2 L2).

• Napoli's January signing Matteo Politano came on a late substitute in both of Internazionale's group games against Barcelona in the autumn.

• Have played in Italy:
Arturo Vidal (Juventus 2011–15)
Neto (Fiorentina 2011–15, Juventus 2015–17)

• Vidal's Serie A record against Napoli with Juventus was W4 D2 L1, with two goals. Vidal also faced Napoli twice in the Italian Super Cup, winning in 2012 and losing two years later, and was in the Juve side beaten by Napoli in the 2011/12 Coppa Italia final.

• Have played in Spain:
José Callejón (Espanyol 2008–11, Real Madrid 2011–13)
Fabián Ruíz (Real Betis 2016–18, Elche 2017 (loan))
Fernando Llorente (Athletic Club 2005–13, Sevilla 2015–16)
Orestis Karnezis (Granada 2013/14 (loan))
Stanislav Lobotka (Celta Vigo 2017–20)

Matchday 1: Dortmund 0-0 Barcelona
Matchday 1: Dortmund 0-0 Barcelona

• Mário Rui was a youth player at Valencia in 2008.

• Have played together:
Fernando Llorente & Arturo Vidal (Juventus 2013–15)

• International team-mates:
Fabián Ruiz & Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto (Spain)
Allan & Arthur (Brazil)
Mário Rui & Nélson Semedo (Portugal)

• Diego Maradona represented both clubs, signing for Barcelona in 1982 and winning the Spanish Super Cup and the Copa del Rey in his first season. In 1984, after 38 goals in 58 games for the Spanish club, he joined Napoli, going on to win the 1989 UEFA Cup, two Serie A titles, the Coppa Italia and the Italian Super Cup with the Partenopei.

Latest news

Napoli
UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Diego Demme (Leipzig), Stanislav Lobotka (Celta Vigo), Matteo Politano (Inter, loan)
Out: Faouzi Ghoulam, Kévin Malcuit, Amin Younes

• Kostas Manolas's next appearance in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, will be his 50th.

• Napoli replaced coach Carlo Ancelotti with Gennaro Gattuso immediately after booking their place in the UEFA Champions League round of 16.

• The Partenopei lost four of their first five Serie A games after Matchday 6 but have won four of the last five, kicking off that run with a 2-1 home defeat of Italian champions and league leaders Juventus on 26 January.

• Napoli came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Brescia on Friday evening; they have picked up ten points from losing positions in Serie A away games this season, compared to none at home.

• Gattuso's men also reached the Coppa Italia semi-finals by beating Serie B side Perugia 2-0 on 14 January and Lazio 1-0 in Rome the following week, Lorenzo Insigne scoring all three goals. A Fabián Ruiz strike gave them a 1-0 win at Inter in the first leg of the semi-finals on 12 February; the return is scheduled for 5 March.

• The victory in Milan means that Napoli defeated the top three in Serie A – Juventus, Lazio and Inter – between 21 January and 12 February.

• Dries Mertens got the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win at Cagliari on 16 February. The Belgian forward has now scored 120 goals for Napoli and is only one behind the club's all-time top scorer Marek Hamšík.

• The victory at Cagliari was Napoli's first clean sheet in Serie A with Gattuso in charge and is their only shut-out in 13 league matches, although they are still to concede in the Coppa Italia this season after three matches.

• Eljif Elmas and January signing Diego Demme both scored their first Napoli goals in a 4-2 win at Sampdoria on 3 February.

• Napoli have won five of their last six away games in all competitions but have recorded only four victories in their last 12 home matches (D3 L5). The defeat of Juventus is their only success in eight Serie A matches at the Stadio San Paolo (D2 L5).

• Elseid Hysaj suffered a knee injury in the victory at Cagliari, although he was an unused substitute at Brescia on Friday.

• Kévin Malcuit, who has been removed from Napoli's UEFA Champions League squad, is not expected to play again this season after damaging knee ligaments during a 1-1 draw with SPAL on 27 October.

Barcelona
UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Sergio Akieme, Kike Saverio, Rey Manaj (Albacete)
Out: Carles Aleñá (Real Betis, loan), Carles Pérez (Roma, loan), Abel Ruiz (Braga, loan), Jean-Clair Todibo (Schalke, loan), Moussa Wagué (Nice, loan)

• Barcelona drew three of their first four league games after Matchday 6, winning the other.

• The Blaugrana then lost 3-2 to Atlético Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final on 9 January, a game they had led 2-1 with ten minutes left.

• That prompted the departure of coach Ernesto Valverde, Quique Setién taking over on 13 January.

• The new coach won his first two games but then suffered a 2-0 Liga loss at Valencia on 25 January.

• Barça have won their four league games since, eight different players scoring their 12 goals during that sequence.

• Saturday's 5-0 home win against Eibar took Barcelona to the top of the Liga, two points clear of Real Madrid who lost 1-0 at Levante.

• Lionel Messi scored four times in the defeat of Eibar, ending a run of four league games without a goal. He is the top scorer in this season's competition with 18 goals and has scored three or more goals in three matches.

• Having reached the last six Copa del Rey finals and won four of them, Barcelona were eliminated from this season's competition at the quarter-final stage, going down 1-0 at Athletic Club on 6 February.

• Luis Suárez has not played since the Super Cup defeat to Atlético, undergoing an operation on his knee which is expected to rule him out for four months.

• Ousmane Dembélé has not played since sustaining a thigh injury on Matchday 5; he has undergone surgery and is not expected to play again this season.

• Jordi Alba limped out of the 2-1 home victory against Getafe on 15 February with an adductor problem and missed the win against Eibar.

• On 20 February Barcelona signed Martin Braithwaite from Leganés, the Danish forward agreeing a four-and-a-half year deal at the Camp Nou; he is not eligible for their UEFA Champions League squad.

• Barcelona also completed moves for Francisco Trincão (Braga) and Matheus Fernandes (Palmeiras) in January; both players will join their new club on 1 July.

Official UEFA Champions League Man of the Match award introduced
UEFA will give out an official Man of the Match award after every UEFA Champions League knockout stage game to recognise the top performers in Europe's top club competition. UEFA Technical Observers at each UEFA Champions League game from the round of 16 on will decide who deserves the Man of the Match, with an official award being handed to the successful players after full-time in recognition of their roles in decisive moments, tactical maturity, creativity and inspiration, exceptional skill and fair play.

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