It’s not easy to start a tradition, but FC Barcelona have managed to become a near permanent fixture in the semi-finals of the Champions League. This Wednesday, Tito Vilanova’s men qualified for the penultimate round of the European competition for the sixth consecutive time, a feat that no other team have managed to equal since the competition adopted it’s current format (1992/93).
In fact, the old record was broken last season, when Barça clinched its fifth consecutive semi-final berth. Juventus (from 1995 to 1999) and Real Madrid (from 1999 to 2003) made four straight semi-final appearances over a decade ago.
From Rijkaard to Vilanova
FC Barcelona continue to be the focal point of European football; champions twice over from the last four editions of the competition, the team have always been in the top four best clubs of the continent since the 2007/08 season. In that season, the last of Frank Rijkaard’s tenure on the Barça bench, Barça were eliminated in the semis by Manchester United.
With Josep Guardiola as the head man in Can Barça, the team continued to flourish on the continental stage as he led his men to four straight semi-final berths, and winning the title in 2009 and 2011. Now, with Tito Vilanova as the head manager, Barça continues to do well in the Champions League.