- Copy link
La Liga is back after the Christmas break, and FC Barcelona are off to the islands to play RCD Mallorca on January 2 at 9.00pm CET. Time to take a closer look at the club, the players and their form.
WHERE ARE THEY FROM?
The Mediterranean island of Mallorca, visited by some 28 million mainly sun-seeking tourists every year, needs little introduction. The football club are based in the capital, Palma de Mallorca, with its wonderful cathedral and old town.
The 23,000 capacity Estadi de Son Moix, which replaced the former Estadi Lluís Sitjar in 1999, was given a new name in 2020, the Visit Mallorca Estadi, part of an active campaign to promote tourism on the island, and particularly at a time when the industry has been so severely hit by the Covid-19 crisis.
Founded in 1916, the first of many first division appearances for RCD Mallorca came in 1960, but they would not be a regular feature until they spent 16 seasons among the elite from 1997 to 2013, including their proudest hour of all, winning the Copa del Rey in 2003, with two goals in the final against Huelva scored by a man who would later be a legend at Barça, Samuel Eto’o.
In 2017, they dropped down to the third tier Division 2B, but the recovery has been spectacular. Two years later and they were back with the big boys, and although they were immediately relegated they bounced straight back up last season.
HEAD TO HEAD
Back in the 1999-2000 season, Mallorca beat Barça both home and away, but in 27 league meetings since then, Barça have only lost to the islanders three times (and twice at home), although all of those were late season encounters without too much left to play for.
Barça’s last four games against Mallorca have all seen them win by scoring four or more goals.
The most famous meeting between the teams was the 1998 Copa del Rey Final, which Barça won on penalties, the fatal Mallorca kick being missed by a former Barça player, Xabier Eskurza.
13/06/20 Mallorca 0-4 Barça
07/12/19 Barça 5-2 Mallorca
06/04/13 Barça 5-0 Mallorca
11/11/12 Mallorca 2-4 Barça
24/03/12 Mallorca 0-2 Barça
After a promising start, Mallorca then hit on a rough patch and in general they’ve had a weirdly erratic campaign, capable of winning 2-1 at Atlético Madrid on December 4, for instance, and then getting trounced 4-1 at Granada in the last game before Christmas.
They have only won one of their last ten games, but six of those have been draws, which have been enough to keep them mid-table. Their home form has been especially positive, with Osasuna being the only team to take three points at the Visit Mallorca stadium.
Most capped internationals
Takefusa Kubo (Japan, 13), Martin Valjent (Slovakia, 9), Lee Kang-in (S Korea, 6), Matthew Hoppe (USA, 6), Lago Junior (Ivory Coast, 5), Iddrisu Baba (Ghana, 5), Dominik Greif (Slovakia, 4), Amath Ndiaye (Senegal, 4), Rodrigo Battaglia (Argentina, 2), Aleksandar Sedlar (Serbia, 2)
Left back Brian Oliván was raised at FC Barcelona, but never played for the club at senior level. After moving between clubs and even countries he finally made his big break at Cádiz and joined Mallorca in 2020.
Central midfielder Iñigo Ruiz de Galarreta was originally a product of the Athletic academy but played one season, 2017-18, for Barça B.
Winger Jordi Mboula (pictured below) was another La Masia product, but after just three games for Barça B he was traded to Monaco, and joined Mallorca in 2020.
Winger Takefusa Kubo spent four seasons at La Masia, but eventually returned to his home country to play for FC Tokyo. Real Madrid brought him back to Spain in 2019, from whom he is currently on loan to Mallorca.
Top scorers 2021/22
Dani Rodriguez (3), Angel Rodriguez (2), Niño (2)
Luis García never played the game at the highest level, but gradually earned his reputation as a coach at the likes of Levante and Getafe, and also in China and Saudi Arabia, before taking the Mallorca job in 2020 after Vicente Moreno left for Espanyol.
- Copy link