The lowdown on Granada CF

The lowdown on Granada CF

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

On Sunday at 9pm CEST, FC Barcelona will be looking to make it three Liga wins in a row as they host Granada. But their recent record against the Andalusians is surprisingly poor. Time to check in on the red-and-whites… 

Where are they from?

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.


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.

In 2019/20, 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. Three seasons after those dizzy heights, they were back in the second division, but bounced straight back up to rejoin the big boys in 2023/24.

Head to head

Barça have not traditionally had too much trouble in games against Granada, but recent meetings have been exceptions to the rule, with Barça failing to win any of the last four meetings.

And the one before that, a dramatic Copa del Rey quarter final in 2021, required extra time after two extremely late goals from Griezmann and Jordi Alba nicked a draw before the regulation 90 minutes were up.

Two months later, Granada, who had never so much as drawn at Camp Nou, claimed a shock 2-1 win in the Catalan capital, a result that practically ended all hope of a blaugrana league title.

Although they were relegated in 2021/22, Granada did go down knowing that they had managed to draw 1-1 both home and away against Barça, and when they returned they drew with the Catalans yet again.

Two goals from Bryan Zaragoza gave Granada a freak 2-0 lead at Los Cármenes, and it took first Lamine Yamal and then Sergi Roberto in the 86th minute to salvage a point.

Last five meetings
08/10/23 Granada 2-2 Barça
08/01/22 Granada 1-1 Barça
20/09/21 Barça 1-1 Granada
29/04/21 Barça 1-2 Granada
03/02/21 (Copa del Rey) Granada 3-5 Barça


Form guide

Very little has been going right this season at Granada, who have only won two of the 23 games they've played so far, at home to Mallorca and Cádiz. Their away form has been particularly dismal. So far they have only picked up one point on the road, a 3-3 draw Almería way back in October. With just 12 points to their name, Granada are already 8 points astray of survival, and it is only thanks to Almeria, who haven't won a single game, that they are not bottom of the table.

To make matters worse, despite beating little Arosa in the opening round of the Copa del Rey, Granada were found to have fielded an ineligible player and the Galicians won by a walkover.

Many changes

President Sophia Yang attempted to address the club's ailing fortunes with an all time record of ten new signings in the winter transfer window, with new faces in practically every position.

These include two goalkeepers. Augusto Batalla replaces André Ferreira, arriving from River Plate in his native Argentina, who it hoped will do something about the alarming number of goals (45) that the team has conceded thus far. Marc Martínez has been signed from Cartagena as a reserve goalie.

In defence, Bruno Méndez is a Uruguayan international acquired from Corinthians on whom many hopes are pinned. Also signed this winter were Kamil Piatkowski, a Polish defender formerly of Red Bull Salzburg, and Faitout Maouassa on loan from Bruges.

The only new midfielder is Cameroonian Martin Hongla, who has a past at Barça Atlètic and is back at Granada after a spell at Hellas Verona in Italy.

And the Granada attack has been bolstered by another Pole Kamil Józwiak, the Canadian-Romanian Theo Corbeanu, and two Uruguayn internatioals, loanee from Manchester United Facundo Pellistri, and Matías Arezo who returns to the club from a loan spell at Peñarol.

But there have also been movements away from Granda, seven in total. The biggest loss is that of Bryan Zaragoza to Bayern Munich, who scored both goals against Barça earlier this season. Zaragoza topped La Liga for dribble attempts (129) and was second for completed ones (53), and a player so unafraid to take on defences will be sorely missed in an attack that has struggled all season to produce goals. 

The squad

Players with international caps
Myrto Uzuni (Albania, 29), Martin Hongla (Cameroon, 22), Kamil Jóźwiak (Poland, 22), Facundo Pellistri (Uruguay, 18), Theo Corbeanu (Canada, 7), José Callejón (Spain, 5), Bruno Méndez (Uruguay, 6), Kamil Piątkowski (Poland, 3), Matías Arezo (Uruguay, 3), Lucas Boyé (Argentina, 1), Gonzalo Villar (Spain, 1)

Barça connections
Right back Ricard Sánchez spent four years of his youth at La Masia, although it was at Atlético Madrid that he completed his development.

Fellow defender Ignasi Miquel also spent several years in the Barça youth system. He was then at an extraordinary number of different clubs in England and Spain, but now seems to be settled nicely into life at Granada.

Martin Hongla was picked up by the Granada academy but spent time in 2018 with the Barça reserves. Since then, he has been in Ukraine, Belgium and Italy before returning to Spain on loan to Valladolid from Verona last season and moving full-time to Granada a few weeks ago.

Defensive midfielder Gerard Gumbau (pictured below) is one of the key members of the Granada team. Previously, he played three times for the Barça first team before spells with Leganés, Girona and Elche.

Gerard Gumbau made his first team debut against Elche / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

The manager

Another casualty of the season has been coach Paco López, with whom Granada parted ways on November 26. His replacement is Uruguayan Alexander Medina, who is on his first European adventure after playing and coaching mainly in his own country but also in Brazil and Argentina, most recently at Vélez Sarsfield.

Força Barça
Força Barça

Related to this article

Close article

Related to this article