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Barça return to La Liga action on Sunday at 2.00pm CET, and the opposition are Osasuna. Here's a little background on the team that caused an upset at Camp Nou earlier this year.
Where are they from?
Osasuna are from the city of Pamplona, the largest city and capital of the region of Navarra. Known as Iruñea in the Basque language, the city of 209,000 people is best known internationally for the San Fermín festival in July, which features the famous ‘running of the bulls’.
The club was founded in 1920 out of a merger between two older clubs and its name means something like ‘health’ / ‘strength’ in the Basque language. Other than a brief period in the 1950s, when they finished as high as fifth in La Liga, they had spent most of their years in the lower divisions until returning to the top flight in 1980
Since then they have been a more or less regular fixture in the first division, usually finishing mid-table but occasionally making it into the UEFA Cup/Europe League, their best run coming in 2006/07 when they went all the way to the semi-finals.
And in 2005 they reached their only major final, the Copa del Rey, losing in extra time to Real Betis.
Head to head
As expected, Barça have usually had the upper hand in this fixture, including some very one-sided scorelines (7-1 in 2017, 7-0 in 2014 and even 8-0 in 2011). But the Navarrans have had their moments, winning 2-1 at Camp Nou last season in a game that put an end to Barça’s dwindling chances of winning the league.
Osasuna also won 1-0 at Camp Nou in 2009, although Barça had already won the title that season and were more concerned about the upcoming Champions League Final - which, of course, they won.
A 2-0 win at Cádiz was the perfect start to Osasuna’s season, but they have only won two out of nine games since, at home to Celta and Athletic Club. Other than a 0-0 draw at Eibar, they have failed to pick up any more points on the road and are currently 14th in the table with the same points as Barça but having played one game less.
Facundo Roncaglia (Argentina, 14); Ante Budimir (Croatia, 4); Darko Brašanac (Serbia, 3); Adrián López (Spain, 2)
Goalkeeper Rubén Martínez rose up the youth ranks at FC Barcelona and was the senior team’s third-choice keeper for a while behind Víctor Valdés and Albert Jorquera. He even got to play when Valdés was sent off against Valencia in 2004 and covered for the suspended keeper in the following game too.
Winger Jony Rodríguez spent two years playing U19 football at La Masia (2008 to 2010), and nationalised Ecuadorian Kike Saverio was at Barça B last year and featured for the first team in the friendly with Cartagena – he’s now in the Osasuna reserves but regularly gets called up by the senior team.
Top scorer 2020/21
Rubén García (2)
Jagoba Arrasate never played football at the highest level, but impressed as a coach at Real Sociedad, eventually taking over the first team in their Champions League season of 2013/14. He took the Osasuna job in 2018, originally just for one year, but after guiding the team back into the first division he has been there ever since.
Did you know?
FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Athletic Club are all famously fan-owned clubs rather than limited companies. But there is one other club in La Liga of similar status: Osasuna.
It was a 7-1 defeat at Camp Nou in 2017 that confirmed Osasuna’s most recent relegation to the second division.
Roberto Torres has scored in each of his last three games against Barça. In fact, if he scores on Sunday (and let’s hope he doesn’t), he’d become the first player to score in four consecutive games against Barça since Rubén Castro did so for Betis in 2012
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