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FC Barcelona visit Fiorentina this Sunday for the final game of the International Champions Cup. The game will be played in the Artemio Franchi Stadium in Florence and kick-off is at 9.00pm CET. The Italians finished fourth in Serie A last season and lost in the semi finals of both the Europa League (against Sevilla) and the Coppa Italia (against Juventus).
The last time the two sides met was in the summer of 2008, in the third game of the preseason not long after Pep Guardiola had taken over the reins of the first team. On that occasion, Barça won 3-1 in the Artemio Franchi Stadium with goals from Puyol, Jeffren and Bojan; Pazzini scored for Fiorentina.
Three wins in three competitive ties
With regards to matches in official competition, the sides have have been drawn together three times. The first meeting came back in the 1964/65 season, in the old Fairs Cup. In the first leg at the Camp Nou, the Italians won 1-0 but in the second leg a blaugrana side coached by César Rodríguez won 2-0 to go through thanks to a brace from Peruvian Juan Seminario.
The second tie between the Catalans and the Florentines came in the 1996/97 season with Bobby Robson on the bench. That was in the European Cup Winners Cup semi final where Barça were held to a 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou in the first leg, Nadal scoring for the home side and Batistuta replying for the Italians. In the second leg, a brilliant 2-0 win in Florence gave Barça their passage to the final, Couto and Guardiola the scorers. The Catalans would go on to claim the trophy with a win over PSG in Rotterdam.
The most recent official clash came in the group stage of the 1999/2000 Champions League. At home, Louis Van Gaal’s team won 4-2 with two goals from Rivaldo and one each from Figo and Luis Enrique. At the Artemio Franchi, the sides drew 3-3 with Barça already through to the next phase of the competition. The game was memorable for a spectacular overhead kick from Fiore’s Mauro Bressan.
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