The UEFA Champions League is Europe's biggest stage and where legends are born. It is what all players aspire to. Appearing in this competition is a milestone for any Barça player. This year, the opening match brings with it the possible debut of up to four players: Munir, Sandro Ramirez, Douglas Pereira and goalkeepers Ter Stegen and Jordi Masip. Luis Enrique will also be making his first Champions League appearance as a head coach.
Sandro Ramirez and Munir, technically still Barça B players, have enjoyed significant playing time in the first three Liga matches. Munir was also called up to play for the Spanish national team. The young striker of Spanish and Moroccan origin has been in excellent form and could make his Champions League debut on Wednesday.
Douglas, on the other hand, has not yet appeared for FC Barcelona. If he gets into the game against APOEL on Wednesday, he would not only be making his Champions League debut, but also his FC Barcelona debut.
One of the team's new goalkeepers, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen of Germany, played one game in the 2012 qualifying stage with his old team, Borussia Monchengladbach. They lost that match 3-1 to Dynamo Kiev. Another goalkeeper, Jordi Masip, who played with Barça B last season, has only appeared in two friendlies, against HJK Helsinki and at the Trofeo Colombino, versus Recreativo Huelva. He didn't concede a single goal in either game. Both keepers could also make their Champions League debuts against APOEL.
Luis Enrique making first appearance
One thing for sure is that Luis Enrique will be making his first head coaching appearance in the Champions League. Although he played in the competition many times as a player, he never got the chance to coach on Europe’s biggest stage at either of his previous clubs, Roma or Celta. And he also missed out on the chance to manage Roma in the Europa League in 2011/12 when his side was knocked out by Slovan Bratislava in the qualifying round.