Even though Tito Vilanova’s Barça began training in July, it wasn’t until halfway through August that the team played its first official match. Vilanova’s team made its debut on Sunday, August 19, against Real Sociedad in La Liga (5-1). Since then 100 days have passes. Throughout this time the team led by Vilanova have bounced back from their Spanish Super Cup defeat to take the top spot in La Liga, qualify for the round of 16 in the Champions League as group leaders, and with their Copa del Rey tie against Alavés on track to make it to the next round. All of this with the a trail of smashed records left in the team’s wake.
18 victories from 21 matches
In these first 100 days, Barça have played 21 official matches, 18 of which have been won by the Blaugrana (12 in La Liga, 4 in the Champions League, 1 in the Copa and 1 in the Spanish Super Cup.) In other words, 85.7% of the matches played with Vilanova at the helm have ended in victory. The two defeats came at the hands of Real Madrid, in the return leg of the Spanish Super Cup, and Celtic FC, in the Champions League. The only draw came in La Liga, when Mourinho’s Real Madrid visited the Camp Nou.
Valdés, Messi and Xavi, the players with the most minutes
Víctor Valdés is the player with the most minutes on the pitch in Vilanova’s first 100 days as manager. The keeper, who has only missed one match - Copa game against Alavés -, has played a total of 1,800 minutes. Leo Messi, with 1,746 minutes, and Xavi, with 1,601 minutes, are the second and third most utilised players by the manager.
In addition, Messi has been one of Barça’s key players so far this season. The Argentine is the team’s highest goalscorer with 26 goals. He’s netted over a third of Barça’s goals. In fact, Vilanova’s Barça have scored a devastating 61 goals (2.9 per match) - 43 in La Liga, 4 in the Super Cup, 11 in the Champions League and 3 in the Copa del Rey.
Vilanova sets record
The manager has not only surpassed the record set by Van Gaal’s 1997/08 Barça - the Club’s best ever start to the domestic competition - but this weekend the team equalled the best ever start in La Liga history with 12 victories and 1 draw, a record previously held by Real Madrid.