The lowdown on Granada CF

The lowdown on Granada CF

A closer look at FC Barcelona's opponents in Saturday's Liga fixture

On Saturday at 6.30pm CET, FC Barcelona will be looking to continue their strong start to 2022 with a game away to Granada. Time to check in on the Andalusians… 

The city

With a population of around 470,000 people, the beautiful Andalusian city of Granada sits beneath the Sierra Nevada, about an hour by car from the Mediterranean coast, and is a popular destination for students and tourists alike. Its most famous monument is the Alhambra, an Arab citadel and palace.

The club

Granada Club de Fútbol was founded in 1931, and its greatest achievement was reaching the cup final in 1959, which it lost 4-1 to Barça. But towards the end of the century, the club declined, and when Granada finally won promotion back into La Liga in 2011, it was their first appearance in the top flight for 35 years.

The season before last the Nazaríes (the nickname comes from the Moorish dynasty that ruled Granada in the Middle Ages) finished 7th, their best position since 1974, and the prize was qualification for Europe for the first time in club history. The marched all the way to the quarter finals of the Europa League, eventually going out to Manchester United. They managed a top-half finish in the 2020-21 season too, finishing ninth.

The stadium

The 19,336 capacity Nuevo Estadio de Los Cármenes was opened in 1995 and although it is on a different site to the former Los Cármenes, it has retained the name, which refers to the typical villas with gardens.

Head to head

Until 2021, Barça might have suffered the very occasional reverse at Granada’s Los Cármenes ground over the years, but they had a 100 per cent record against them at Camp Nou. The Andalusians had never even managed a draw.

All that changed when despite leading 1-0 through Leo Messi in April of last year, second half goals from Machís and Molina earned Granada a shock 2-1 win in the Barça stadium, a result that practically ended all hope of a blaugrana league title.

And earlier this season they caused an another upset at Camp Nou. Duarte put them into a shock 1-0 lead after just two minutes, and although Araujo equalised in the second half, Barça were unable to find a winner.


The teams also met in a dramatic Copa del Rey quarter final last season. Granada were heading for a 2-0 victory when two extremely late goals from Griezmann and Jordi Alba nicked a draw to send the game into extra time. There were still four more goals to come, as Barça ended up winning an extraordinary game 5-3. 

Form guide

Granada struggled to get going this season, failing to win any of their first seven matches. A 1-0 defeat of Sevilla was the turning point, and since then they have lost just two out of 12 games, and none of their last six, including wins in all three games played at home, against Alavés (2-1), Mallorca (4-1) and Atlético Madrid (2-1).

It’s moved them up to 13th in the table, although they crashed out of the Copa del Rey following a shock defeat at home of Atlético Mancha Real.

The squad

Players with international caps
Santiago Arias (Colombia, 54), Carlos Bacca (Colombia, 52), Darwin Machís (Venezuela, 32), Luis Abram (Peru, 27), Maxime Gonalons (France, 8), Ramon Azeez (Nigeria, 6), Dimitri Foulquier (Guadeloupe, 2), Yan Eteki (Cameroon, 2), Domingos Duarte (Portugal, 3), Luis Suarez (Colombia, 1)

Top goalscorers La Liga 2021/22
Jorge Molina (9), Luis Suárez (4), Antonio Puertas (3)

Barça connections
Midfielder Ramón Rodríguez, known as Monchu (pictured below) was a La Masia resident for the best part of a decade and played 63 games for Barça B. He made his first team debut against Napoli in the Champions League, but spent last season on loan to Girona before going to Granada on a free transfer last July.


Winger Rubén Rochina was also at La Masia and played for Barça B under Luis Enrique. His many clubs since then have included Blackburn Rovers, Rubin Kazan and Levante, and last summer he started his second spell at Granada.

Midfielder Luis Milla shares his name with his father, who was a product of the Barça youth system and played 54 games for the first team before leaving for Real Madrid in 1990.

The manager

Rather than being a former player, Robert Moreno first started coaching when he just 14! After managing a number of teams in his native Catalonia, he caught the interest of Luis Enrique, who used him as an assistant at a number of clubs, including Roma, Celta and, of course, FC Barcelona (see photo below), as well as the Spanish national team. Moreno first went it alone as manager at Monaco and then accepted the offer of the Granada job ready for the current season.

Luis Enrique and Robert Moreno during training / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB


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