Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

FIFA: Club World Cup Team Guide – FC Barcelona

Posted in European Football by peterbein on December 11, 2011

FC Barcelona club badgeFC Barcelona will compete in this year’s FIFA Club World Cup following a sensational UEFA Champions League triumph in 2011. The Catalans must first face AFC Asian Champions League winners Al Sadd before they can start dreaming of the possibility of winning the world crown for the second time in three years.

FC Barcelona qualified for this tournament having won their fourth European title in the glorious setting of Wembley Stadium in May this year. On their way to the final Barça topped their group over Danish champions FC København, Russian Premier League side Rubin Kazan and Greek Super League champions Panathinaikos before disposing of Arsenal, Shakhtar Donetsk and arch rivals Real Madrid CF in the knockout stages leading up to a second final in three years against Manchester United. Having seen off United in Rome in 2009, Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola would again get one over his United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson watching the Blaugrana turn on the style. A 3-1 victory saw Pedro, Lionel Messi and David Villa get on the score sheet, Wayne Rooney bagging a consolation for United, and a fourth European triumph saw Eric Abidal lift the famous cup aloft and seal a place in the FIFA Club World Cup.

Since Barcelona’s Champions League triumph the club has maintained its push for honours across the board. The club started off the current campaign the way it ended the last one by winning silverware. A controversial Spanish Super Cup victory over Real Madrid was followed up with a 2-0 win against Iberian neighbours and UEFA Europa League winners FC Porto in the European Super Cup. In Europe Barcelona topped their 2011-12 UEFA Champions League group over Italian giants AC Milan, Czech champions Viktoria Plzen and perennial Belarussian title holders BATE Borisov. Barça are, however, facing a tougher challenge domestically this time from Real Madrid with the Catalans currently on the same number of league points as their rivals from the Spanish capital having played a game more.

Barcelona celebrated a 3-1 win over Real Madrid in last night’s El Clásico meaning that they were able to fly out to Japan straight after the match in order to prepare for world glory in a competition in which they’ve suffered mixed emotions. Barcelona have never beaten Brazilian opposition in either the former Intercontinental Cup (lost to São Paulo in 1992) or the FIFA Club World Cup (lost to Internacional in 2006) whereas the Argentinians of Estudiantes de La Plata were put to the sword in 2009 as the final part of the Catalans’ sextuple triumph. Should they meet Santos FC in this year’s final then history will be against Barcelona but with the current team – Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi et al – rated as the greatest ever then a second world title could be winging its way back to the Camp Nou very soon.


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