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Barça begin a busy week which ends with the first El Clásico of the season by welcoming Ferencváros to the Camp Nou for the opening group stage game of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League.
The Hungarians come into the match in good form having won four and drawn one of their opening five games in their national league. With a goal difference of +9 having scored 12 and conceded only three, Ferencváros top the table and will be full of confidence going into their first Champions League game in a quarter of a century.
Barça L D W W L
Ferencváros W W W W D
Ferencváros return to the group stage of the Champions League after 25 years. There only previous appearance at this stage was in 1995/96, when they finished third in a group shared with Ajax, Real Madrid and Grasshopper Zurich.
They have qualified this time after getting through four qualifying rounds against Djurgårdens IF of Sweden (2-0), Glasgow Celtic (2-1), Dinamo Zagreb (2-1) and finally Molde FK of Norway on away goals after the two legs ended 3-3 on aggregate.
The best-known face at Ferencváros is their coach. Sergei Rebrov, a former Dynamo Kyiv striker, has managed the Hungarian team for two years and won two league titles in that time. Of the squad, striker Franck Boli stands out. The Ivory Coast player is the team's main striker and scored a total of 10 goals last season.
Barça and Ferencváros have never met in official competition but have played a total of six friendlies, all in Spain and dating back to 1923. Of those, Barça won four and the others ended in a draw, with the most recent coming in 1977.
Did you know?
Barça are undefeated in their last 31 home games in the Champions League group stage (27W 4D), their last defeat being a 1-2 loss to Rubin Kazan in October 2009 when Pep Guardiola was coach.
Ferencváros have not participated in the Champions League since the 1995/96 season, when they were eliminated in the group stage by conceding 19 goals in six games (1W 2L 3D).
Barça haven’t lost the first game of a Champions League season since the 1997/98 campaign, when they were beaten by Newcastle 3-2 at St James Park. They are undefeated in 21 openers since then (16W 5D).
Ferencváros are the only team in this season’s Champions League to qualify for the group stage after beginning their campaign in the first qualifying round. The last team to reach the group stage and face Barça was Dynamo Kyiv in 1997/98. They won both games with the current Ferencváros coach, Sergei Rebrov, scoring in both victories for the Ukrainian team.
Barça's Lionel Messi has scored more goals in the Champions League group stage than any other player (68). In his last 43 games as a starter in the group stage, Messi has participated in at least one goal in 38 of those games, scoring 56 and giving 16 assists.
Ferencváros faced Spanish opposition last season in the Europa League, drawing both games in the group stage against Espanyol. Their last victory against a Spanish opponent came in a UEFA Cup tie in September 1982 against Athletic Club.
Barça v Ferencváros Quiz
Ronald Koeman says
"Every week is important. We want to start on a good footing: winning. We have prepared for a difficult match at home."
"There is always pressure to win games, but we are optimistic about the game against Ferencváros. They are a very physical, strong team and like to play with the ball; therefore, we will put our best players on the pitch."
"As a whole they're a strong team and they have attacking players that can make our lives difficult. We have to be focused to deploy our game."
“We train with a lot of intensity. I see the team cheerful and happy, but obviously we are unhappy with the defeat against Getafe. I'm not disappointed with the team because each player works hard."
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