FC Barcelona has won the Liga title the last three times the opening fixture was against Real Sociedad, in 1991/92, 1993/94 and 1997/98
Playing Real Sociedad in the first game seems to be a good omen for Barça. In the last quarter of a century, every time they have played the side from San Sebastian on the opening day, 1991/92, 1993/94 and 1997/98, the club has gone on to win the title.
Talisman in the nineties
The most recent example was in 1997/98 when Louis van Gaal’s side got off to a winning start by beating the Basques 3-0 at the Camp Nou with goals from debutant Rivaldo (2) and Giovanni. They ended the season with 78 points and another trophy for the collection.
Five years earlier, Romario was the protagonist as the 1993/94 season got under way with the Brazilian netting a hat-trick against the same side in another 3-0 win. The Dream Team would go on to win its fourth league in a row with 58 points, all decided on the last day when Djukic missed that famous penalty for Deportivo.
The second of the Dream Team’s league victories also started against Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou (2-0), with the goals coming from Stoichkov and Koeman. 55 points were enough to win it that year.
Other starts against Real
There have been five other cases where FC Barcelona have started the season at home to Real Sociedad, although those campaigns didn’t end with similar success. Therefore, this will the ninth time that Real Sociedad have come to FC Barcelona for the first game.
The best news of all is that Real Sociedad didn’t beat Barça in any of these games, and only managed one draw. In total, Barça have scored 23 goals and conceded just two. So there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic.