This Thursday Barça Regal will take on CSKA Moscow for the top spot of group D in the Euroleague. The match will not only bring together two sides that have yet to lose European play, but gather two of the most respected managers in Europe: Xavi Pascual and Ettore Messina. The two men are gifted managers, absolute maestros of their trade, and master tacticians.
Pascual 11, Messina 3
Few managers can boast a better head-to-head record over Messina, but if someone can it’s Pascual, who was a veritable nightmare for two years when the Italian managed Real Madrid. The two men have faced off on 14 occasions, 11 of which were won by the Blaugrana manager. In fact, with Los Blancos, Messina has only been able to best Pascual in a play-off game in the 2009/10 season, by 63-70. The other two Messina victories over Pascual took place in the Euroleague with the Italian at the helm of CSKA, in the 2007/08 and 2008/09 seasons.
Messina, world traveller. Pascual, always at the Palau
There aren’t a lot of managers that have led as many high quality teams as Messina. The Italian experienced his first success as manager on the Kinder Bologna bench. In Bologna he coached standout players like Antoine Rigodeau, Pedrag Danilovic, Alessandro Abbi and Manu Ginobili, among others. He won the Euroleague title in 1998 and 2001 and in 2006 and 2008 he did it again with a CSKA team that boasted Papaloukas, Siskaukas, Holden, Langdon and co. in its ranks. In addition, the Italian has led teams, Kinder and Benetton Treviso, to various Legas titles. He also managed the Azzurra - Italian national team - from 1993 though 1997. He coached Italy to a silver medal in the European championships in Barcelona in 1997 and gold in the Mediterranean games in 1993.
Xavi Pascual hasn’t moved from the Barça Regal bench since he arrived in 2008. The Catalan has collected a long list titles without changing clubs. In fact, he’s led the team to 13 titles in four seasons, among them, the Euroleague title in Paris in 2010. He was named the best manager of the continent after that season.
This Thursday basketball fans will be treated to a brilliant match between two fantastic teams and two fantastic managers on the biggest stage of European basketball.
The 14 official matches between Ettore Messina and Xavi Pascual
▪ 2007/08 (Top 16 Euroleague): CSKA – AXA FCB (72-55) ▪ 2007/08 (Top 16 Euroleague): AXA FCB – CSKA (64-62) ▪ 2008/09 (Final Four Euroleague): REGAL FCB – CSKA (78-82) ▪ 2009/10 (Final Super Cup ACB): REGAL FCB – REAL MADRID (86-82) ▪ 2009/10 (Liga ACB): REAL MADRID – REGAL FCB (57-79) ▪ 2009/10 (Final Copa del Rey): REGAL FCB – REAL MADRID (80-61) ▪ 2009/10 (Play-off Euroleague 1): REGAL FCB – REAL MADRID (68-61) ▪ 2009/10 (Play-off Euroleague 2): REGAL FCB – REAL MADRID (63-70) ▪ 2009/10 (Play-off Euroleague 3): REAL MADRID – REGAL FCB (73-84) ▪ 2009/10 (Play-off Euroleague 4): REAL MADRID – REGAL FCB (78-84) ▪ 2009/10 (Liga ACB): REGAL FCB – REAL MADRID (78-73) ▪ 2010/11 (Super Cup ACB): REGAL FCB – REAL MADRID (89-55) ▪ 2010/11 (Copa del Rey): REAL MADRID - REGAL FCB (60-68) ▪ 2010/11 (Liga): REGAL FCB – RIAL MADRID (95-75)