Ferencváros welcome Group G leaders Barcelona to Budapest looking for a famous win that would boost their prospects of claiming third place.
Article top media content
Ferencváros welcome already-qualified Group G leaders Barcelona to Budapest looking for a win that would boost their prospects of claiming third place.
• While Barcelona have won all four of their games, beginning with a 5-1 victory against Ferencváros at the Camp Nou on Matchday 1 in which five different players found the net for the home side, Ferencváros have only one point to their name and can no longer finish in the top two.
• The Hungarian champions are level on points with Dynamo Kyiv, who they face in Ukraine on Matchday 6 when the section's UEFA Europa League place will be decided. Barça, meanwhile, are three points clear of Juventus at the summit and will win their group for a record 14th season in succession if they better the Italian side's Matchday 5 result.
• Ferencváros bounced back from that heavy defeat at Barcelona on Matchday 1, in their first fixture in the UEFA Champions League proper since 1995, by coming from two goals down to draw 2-2 at home to Dynamo thanks to Franck Boli's 90th-minute leveller. They then lost 4-1 at home to Juve and 2-1 away, conceding a 92nd-minute goal in Turin.
• Having claimed their 31st league title – and second in succession – in 2019/20, Ferencváros are making their second appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage, after 1995/96.
• Twenty-five years ago the Hungarian club finished third in a section behind Ajax and Real Madrid, four of their five points coming against Swiss club Grasshoppers – including their sole victory, a 3-0 away win.
• All of Ferencváros's next five UEFA Champions League campaigns foundered in the qualifying phase, including in 2019/20 when they came through two rounds only to suffer a heavy defeat against Dinamo Zagreb in the third qualifying round (1-1 a, 0-4 h) – the second leg equalling their biggest home European loss.
• Ferencváros went on to defeat Sūduva of Lithuania in the UEFA Europa League play-offs (0-0 a, 4-2 h) before picking up seven points in the group stage to finish third in their section behind Espanyol and Ludogorets.
• Serhiy Rebrov's team scored two or more goals in each of their first four UEFA Champions League matches this season, beating Swedish side Djurgården 2-0 at home in the first qualifying round before 2-1 successes at Celtic and at home to Dinamo Zagreb. They drew 3-3 at Molde in the first leg of their play-off tie and went through on away goals after a scoreless home draw in the return.
• The most successful of Fradi's 12 previous European Cup campaigns came in 1965/66, when they got as far as the quarter-finals before losing to Internazionale.
• Ferencváros are the first Hungarian club to feature in the UEFA Champions League group stage since Debrecen in 2009/10 – only the country's second appearance after Ferencváros in 1995.
• Ferencváros were unbeaten in six home European matches before losing to Juventus (W2 D4) but are yet to win at home in the UEFA Champions League group stage (D3 L2).
• Ferencváros are taking on Spanish opposition for the second season running, having drawn both games against Barcelona's city rivals Espanyol in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage (1-1 a, 2-2 h). The Matchday 1 loss at Barcelona therefore ended a run of three successive draws against Liga clubs since a 6-1 loss at Real Madrid on Matchday 3 of the 1995/96 UEFA Champions League. They drew 1-1 in the Budapest return.
• Four of Ferencváros's seven games against Spanish sides have ended in draws; they won only the first, 2-1 at home to Athletic Club in the 1982/83 UEFA Cup first round, before drawing their next two games with Liga visitors in Budapest.
• Ronald Koeman's side have beaten Ferencváros, Juve (2-0) and Dynamo (2-1 h, 4-0 a) in this season's group stage to seal a place in the round of 16.
• Second in the Spanish Liga behind Real Madrid last season, this is Barcelona's 25th UEFA Champions League campaign, a competition record they share with Madrid. They have now reached the round of 16 or better for the last 17 seasons, winning their group every year from 2007/08 onwards and a record 21 times in all. They are unbeaten in their last four group stage campaigns, including this one, and have come through their section undefeated a record 13 times. It is 20 years since Barça last failed to finish in the top two of their UEFA Champions League group.
• Barcelona have not lost in the UEFA Champions League group stage since a 3-1 reverse at Manchester City on Matchday 4 in 2016/17. Their record since is W18 D6.
• In 2019/20, Barcelona picked up 14 points to finish four clear of Borussia Dortmund in their section. They picked up seven points both home and away, beating Internazionale 2-1 twice, winning by the same score at Slavia Praha and also defeating Dortmund 3-1 at the Camp Nou; they were held to goalless draws in Germany and at home by Slavia.
• Having replaced Ernesto Valverde with Quique Setién as coach, the Blaugrana then saw off Napoli in the round of 16 (1-1 a, 3-1 h), only to suffer their heaviest European loss in the quarter-finals in Lisbon as they went down 8-2 to Bayern München.
• That defeat was one of only three in Barcelona's last 36 UEFA Champions League fixtures (W23 D10).
• Barcelona have appeared in 13 successive UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, a competition record. They last failed to reach the last eight in 2006/07.
• Barcelona have been European champions on five occasions, most recently in 2015 after beating Juve 4-1 in the final. Koeman, who succeeded Setién as coach in August, scored the winner in their first final victory against Sampdoria in 1992.
• Lionel Messi's goal against Ferencváros on Matchday 1 made him the first player to score in 16 successive UEFA Champions League campaigns.
• Already the youngest player to score in the UEFA Champions League, Ansu Fati was also on target against Ferencváros; Pedri's strike meant for the first time in the competition's history, two players under 18 had found the net in the same match.
• Fati's goal on Matchday 1, aged 17 years 355 days, made him the first player to score more than once in the UEFA Champions League before his 18th birthday.
• Barça have won only eight of their last 19 away matches in European competition (D7 L4), although they are unbeaten in their last six (W4 D2).
• This is Barcelona's fourth game against a Hungarian club. Before Matchday 1 they had not faced one since 1975 and have now won all three encounters, defeating Vasas 3-1 at home and 1-0 away in the 1975/76 UEFA Cup third round.
Links and trivia
• Messi made his international debut in Hungary, coming on as a second-half substitute in Argentina's 2-1 friendly win in Budapest on 17 August 2005. It proved short-lived as within 90 seconds of his introduction he was sent off for violent conduct.
• International team-mates:
Adnan Kovačević, Eldar Ćivić & Miralem Pjanić (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
• Fourteen Ferencváros players made their debuts in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, at Barcelona.
• Only two members of the Ferencváros squad had ever played in the UEFA Champions League before Matchday 1: Róbert Mak (two appearances for Zenit in 2019/20) and Oleksandr Zubkov (one for Shakhtar Donetsk in 2017/18). All three of those appearances had been as a substitute.
• Ferencváros are unbeaten in the league this season (W8 D2), and were 2-0 winners at home to MTK Budapest on Saturday.
• The losses in Barcelona and home and away to Juventus are Ferencváros's only defeats of the season in all competitions; their record otherwise in 2020/21 is W13 D5.
• Serhiy Rebrov's team progressed to the last 16 of the Hungarian Cup with a 5-0 victory at third division Bicskei on 14 November.
• Twenty-year-old Croatian striker Roko Baturina scored a hat-trick at Bicskei, making it five goals in two Hungarian Cup appearances this season. He scored his first league goal for Ferencváros in the weekend win against MTK.
• Endre Botka and substitutes Gergő Lovrencsics and Dávid Sigér helped Hungary to a 2-1 play-off final win against Iceland at the Puskás Aréna on 12 November to earn a place at UEFA EURO 2020.
• Dénes Dibusz helped Hungary win promotion to League A of the UEFA Nations League thanks to a 1-1 draw at home to Serbia on 15 November and a 2-0 defeat of Turkey three days later. Botka and Sigér also featured in both games, the latter opening the scoring against Turkey with his first international goal.
• Mak was in the Slovakia starting XI as they defeated Northern Ireland 2-1 in Belfast on 12 November to qualify for UEFA EURO 2020.
• Myrto Uzuni scored his first international goal for Kosovo in their 2-1 friendly defeat away to Albania on 11 November; his first in the UEFA Champions League gave Fradi the lead at Juventus 13 days later.
• Barça were 4-0 winners at home to Osasuna on Sunday, Martin Braithwaite opening the scoring to make it three goals in two games. Antoine Griezmann was also on target and now has three goals in his last four Liga matches, as many as in his previous 25 games.
• Ronald Koeman's side took 11 points from their first eight Liga games this season. They last had fewer points at the same stage in 1991/92, when it was two points for a win; they went on to take the title that season.
• Sergiño Dest became the first American to play for Barcelona when he made his debut as a substitute in a 1-1 home draw against Sevilla on 4 October.
• Ansu Fati has scored four goals in seven Liga appearances this season. His goal in a 3-1 defeat against Real Madrid on 24 October, aged 17 years 359 days, made him the youngest scorer in the Clásico in the 21st century.
• Gerard Piqué suffered a knee injury in the 1-0 defeat at Atlético de Madrid on 21 November and has not played since.
• Sergi Roberto (thigh) has also been out since that loss at Atlético, when he was replaced in the second half.
• Fati ruptured the internal meniscus in his left knee in a 5-2 win against Betis on 7 November and is expected to be sidelined for four months.
• Sergio Busquets picked up a knee injury in Spain's 1-1 UEFA Nations League draw in Switzerland on 14 November; he returned as a half-time substitute on Sunday.
• Ronald Araújo suffered a hamstring injury at Juventus on Matchday 2 and has not played since.
• Samuel Umtiti has been out since June because of a knee problem.
• Marc-André ter Stegen returned after a knee injury against Dynamo on Matchday 3, his first appearance since the 8-2 UEFA Champions League quarter-final defeat to Bayern on 14 August.
• Roberto was the only Barcelona player to feature in Spain's 6-0 victory over Germany in Seville on 17 November that secured their place at the UEFA Nations League Finals.