Bayern Munich 8

There"s more to lớn Barcelona-Bayern Munich than that 8-2 result; this is a rivalry with a dramatic history

Between May 2013 and early December 2020, seven-and-a-half long years, Barcelona went a record 38 games unbeaten at trang chủ in the Champions League, winning 34, drawing four and scoring 112 times. Indomitable form.

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Between December 2020 and the beginning of Tuesday"s Camp Nou meeting with Bayern Munich, a span of nine months, Barcelona"s home record in the Champions League: played two, lost two, scored once, conceded seven. Unacceptable.

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If you take that horrendous 7-1 aggregate scoreline in defeats khổng lồ Juventus và PSG, and throw in the fact that the last time Catalunya"s FCB met Bavaria"s FCB the Germans won 8-2 -- can you believe that was only a year ago? -- you might begin lớn understand why it"s been hard to lớn convince Barca"s season-ticket holding "socios" lớn attend what some fear might be another embarrassing defeat.

That humiliation against Hansi Flick"s team obviously had seismic repercussions. Coach Quique Setien was sacked, setting off his many-month journey lớn be financially compensated for what remained of his contract. Lionel Messi instantly sent a registered delivery letter claiming that his contract allowed him to leave, for free, và that he"d taken the decision lớn walk away from Barcelona there & then.

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The club, deep in a vicious spiral of debt, missed out on at least €30m of extra revenue by being knocked out of the competition at the quarterfinal stage -- the kind of sum Barcelona have (equally humiliatingly) had to lớn beg back from senior players like Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba và Sergio Busquets. Oh, & Josep Maria Bartomeu, that quixotic figure who may well be regarded as the worst president in Camp Nou history -- but who will always be able khổng lồ point khổng lồ the club having won the Treble under his reign in năm ngoái -- immediately pushed Luis Suarez out the door, a shrewd, well-judged move that resulted in the Uruguayan repaying him with 21 goals and three assists for Atletico Madrid as they they won only their third LaLiga title in 44 years.

Bartomeu himself only lasted two further months as Barcelona president, but please: don"t imagine that the fallout from that cataclysmic result marked the August 2020 match as something special in the history of these two FCB clubs going head-to-head. In fact there has literally been nothing but explosive, historic aftermath when Barca play Bayern.

When they met in the 1996 UEFA Cup semifinal, Barcelona lost 2-1 at Camp Nou (4-3 on aggregate) and Johan Cruyff was sacked as a result. Elimination at Bayern"s hands cost the most important man in this history of the club his job.

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Twin defeats lớn Bayern in that cut-throat Champions League Group D of 1998-99 cost Barcelona the chance lớn make it to the Champions League final, which was held in the Camp Nou khổng lồ celebrate the Catalan club"s centenary. Talk about buổi tiệc ngọt poopers. Manchester United were also in Group D and, with Bayern, made khổng lồ the Camp Nou showpiece that May. We all know what happened next; it was tough for Barcelona"s players, management & fans to lớn watch.


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During Koeman"s press conference on Monday, he admitted: "Revenge? We"re talking about the events of a year ago. There were players who really suffered that night. The memory of what happened is something we"ll keep in mind. Maybe we can change the dynamic.

"We"ve got lớn be strong and try to bởi damage to lớn Bayern. I have a good team... Good players."

But unless you"re a seasoned Koeman-listener, one of his phrases might easily have slipped past you. He said: "Physically, we"re in good shape. The players who were with their international teams have had a chance khổng lồ rest . The others have been training really hard: the team"s ready."

Now, you won"t find many people who don"t think Bayern are favourites lớn win at Camp Nou & elongate the brutal damage recently inflicted by Juventus and PSG. And little wonder: the German champions have very few issues lớn worry about. They"re a better-constructed, more powerful, accustomed-to-winning group, và they aren"t in this competition just khổng lồ spank Barcelona again -- rather, they"re ferociously determined lớn win the whole thing.

Pique & Co. Haven"t had the easiest year since that embarrassment against the Bundesliga giants, và they"ll have khổng lồ try and rally without Messi, so often their nhân vật in European competitions.Michael Regan - UEFA/UEFA via Getty ImagesNot long after these sides last met, I was able khổng lồ interview Koeman, newly appointed as Barca boss, for UEFA"s Champions magazine, và I asked the Dutchman what he"d made (even as a spectator) of the eight goal defeat. Back in September 2020, he told me: "The big lesson for me is that if you don"t play as a team you will not win.

"Of course, you need the best organisation to play against opponents like Bayern, because they"re a really strong team with a lot of individual qualities. But first of all, if you saw the physical state of the Bayern team, it was excellent. And the way they were organised in the team was excellent. big difference compared lớn Barcelona."

Organisational & physical excellence. The keys lớn the game. In which case, Tuesday"s trò chơi could be a case of "abandon hope all ye who enter here" when Barcelona jog up the stairs that lead, past a beautiful, tranquil little chapel, from the dressing rooms lớn the pitch.