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While it was just over one month ago that FC Barcelona played their first match at the new San Mamés, the Catalans will be back in the Basque Country this Saturday to face Eibar, where they will make their inaugural visit to another league ground – Ipurua Municipal Stadium. Saturday's match against Eibar, a team in the midst of their first season in the First Division, is set for 6.00pm CET. The match will have global TV coverage.
In their history, Barça have faced seven Basque teams on the road. Eibar will be the eighth. Athletic Club Bilbao and Real Sociedad are the usual suspects. Alavés have also hosted Barça, although they have not been in the First Division since 2005/06. But the Basque football tradition goes much deeper. In the beginning of the 20th century, the Catalans faced Arenas de Getxo and Real Union, who were two of the biggest clubs back then. Barça also faced Barakaldo and Baskonia.
Basque football has always been intertwined with that of FC Barcelona, from the historic battle with Athletic Club in numerous Spanish Cup finals – where they will face off once again in May – to the numerous Basque players who have played for Barça. Players like Jose Mari Bakero, Julio Salinas, Andoni Zubizarreta, Alexanco, López Rekarte, Txiki Begiristain, Xavier Eskurza, Perico Alonso, Gaizka Mendieta and Andoni Goikoetxea, among many others, have worn both Basque and Barça colours.
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