FC Barcelona qualified for the Round of 16 this Tuesday in Moscow, taking the Blaugrana to nine consecutive appearances in the first knock out round of the Champions League. The team led by Tito Vilanova mathematically secured their spot in the next round after beating Spartak Moscow by 0-3. Barça have one game remaining in the Group Stage, at the Camp Nou against Benfica.
To the next round as group leaders
Barça have qualified for the Round of 16 as group leaders in the last six seasons. After Benfica defeated Celtic FC by 2-1 in Portugal, Barça’s top spot in Group G is mathematically secured. The last time the Blaugrana went through to the Round of 16 as the second-placed team was in 2006/07, when Chelsea claimed the top spot of the group.
A regular in the latter stages of the competition
The only time Barça didn’t qualify for the Champions League in the 21st century was in the 2003/04 season. The competition’s format was a bit different back then. In 2003, 2002 and 2000 Barça went through to the quarter-finals as group leaders and faced off against Juventus, Panathinaikos and Chelsea, respectively. The only time Barça didn’t get out of the Group Stage was in the 2000/01 season, when Milan, Leeds United and Besiktas eliminated Llorenç Serra Ferrer’s Barça.