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It's a new time for Fiorentina, who face Barça on 2 August in the final game of the International Champions Cup. After finishing fourth in the league, losing the semi final of the Coppa Italia against Juventus, and getting knocked out in the semi-finals of the Europa League against Sevilla, coach Vincenzo Montella said goodbye, sending Fiorentina into a new era. The Portuguese coach Paulo Sousa, the former coach of the Swiss champions Basel, will be the new man in charge this year.
The team has only won the Italian league twice, in 1956 and 1969, but has won the Coppa Italia six times and the Italian Super Cup once. As for European competition, in the 1956/57 season Fiorentina became the first Italian team to reach a European Cup final, which the lost to Real Madrid 2–0. In the 1960/61 season Fiorentina won the very first edition of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.
The last time FC Barcelona played Fiorentina was in the third match of the 2008/09 season at a memorial game marking the 25th anniversary of the death of Artemio Franchi — the former president of the Italian Football Federation and UEFA. Pep Guardiola — who was in his first season as coach and would go on to lead Barça to a historic first Treble that same season. Barça triumphed 3–1 that day on goals from Carles Puyol, Jeffren Suárez and Bojan Krkic.
Giuseppe Rossi, who once upon a time played for Villarreal in La Liga, continues recovering from an injury to his right meniscus that he suffered last September. His return is considered to be one of the keys to Fiorentina's season, both in Italy and in Europe. Another former La Liga player, Borja Valero, will remain as team captain, running the midfield.
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