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FC Barcelona and AS Roma face off on Wednesday 5 August at Camp Nou at 10.00pm CET in the 50th edition of the Joan Gamper Trophy. Interestingly, six players and three coaches, past and present, have represented both clubs.
Pep Guardiola was the first former Barça player to play in the Italian capital. He arrived in the summer of 2002 from Brescia, but did not quite find his place — appearing in just four Serie A and Champions League games — and returned to Lombardy after half a season.
The second to play for both was Ludovic Giuly, who played one season at Roma in 2007/08 following three years at Barça, where he had won the Champions League, two league titles and two Spanish Super Cups. The Frenchman played in 32 Serie A and nine Champions League games before packing his bags for Paris Saint-Germain.
In the last five years alone, four former Barça players have gone to AS Roma. Bojan Krkic made the jump in the summer of 2011 and played two years there, appearing in 33 league games plus four in the Italian Cup while scoring seven goals.
Seydou Keita, who also won a European championship with FC Barcelona, played in Rome last season. And the 35-year-old midfielder signed up for one more year after having made 29 total appearances there last season in the Serie A, the Italian Cup and the Champions League. The Mali native will be sharing the dressing room with two other ex-Barça players — the Paraguayan striker Tonny Sanabria and Iago Falqué, who came to Rome this summer from Genoa.
The Catalan Lluís Miró, who had been Barça's goalkeeper keeper between 1939 and 1943, coached the team in the 1961/62 season. Miró was the first coach of the Enric Llaudet era as Club president, but was replaced was Kubala after losing 6–2 at Valencia, and ended up behind the bench in Rome after one year in Marseille. Miró coached Roma in the 1964/65 season.
Helenio Herrera, who from 1958–1960 had led Barça to two league titles, a Spanish Cup, and an Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, was at the helm of AS Roma between 1968 and 1973, winning one Italian Cup. In his second stint at Camp Nou in the 1980/81 season, he led Barça to the Copa del Rey title.
And that brings us to Luis Enrique, who spent one year coaching the Romans in 2011/12 following three seasons as managing FC Barcelona B. In Italy he joined forces with Bojan Krkic, and together they finished seventh in Serie A. Luis Enrique left Roma and had a one-year stop at Celta before being brought to Camp Nou, where he would lead Barça to a historic Treble in his first season.
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