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Barça have a rare Monday night fixture coming up against Huesca (Monday 15 at 9.00pm CET), who are coming to Camp Nou for just the third time in their history. The Aragonese club may require some introduction, so here’s the lowdown…
Where are they from?
Huesca (not to be confused with Huelva in Andalusia and which has also had a Liga team in recent years) is in the north of Aragón, not far from the Pyrenees, and with a population of about 52,000 is one of the smallest provincial capitals in Spain. It’s particularly known for the Fiestas de San Lorenzo held in August each year.
The Sociedad Deportiva Huesca was founded in 1960, although it is essentially the same team that dates back to the Huesca Fútbol Club of 1910. Since 1922, the club has worn similar blaugrana jerseys to FC Barcelona. Nobody is entirely sure why that it is, but it is assumed that it’s because the players were admirers of the Catalan club.
The team spent most of its years playing in the lower leagues, and it wasn’t until 2008 that they won promotion to the second division for the first time. It was the beginning of the golden era for football in Huesca. Ten years later, in 2018, they won promotion to La Liga, becoming the first Aragonese team apart from Real Zaragoza to play in the top flight.
They only lasted one season, but immediately bounced back up again and are now enjoying a second season among the elite.
Head to head
Barça first played Huesca in a friendly way back in 1926 (it ended 2-2), while the first competitive meeting was in 2014 when a record attendance at their El Alcoraz stadium watched the two teams meet in the Copa del Rey. Barça won the first leg in Aragon 4-0 and then cruised to an 8-1 victory at Camp Nou in the return.
They didn’t meet in La Liga until Huesca’s debut season (2018-19). Although Huesca took an early lead at Camp Nou, Barça went on to win 8-2. The game in Huesca was a much tighter affair, ending 0-0, but despite the dropped points, Barça were still on fine course to win the league title, which they secured a few weeks later.
With Huesca back in the league this season, they met in the away leg on their first day of 2021. Frenkie de Jong scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory for Barça.
The season so far
Huesca have been struggling all season. They only managed to win one of their first 20 games (against Alavés) and although they have since added two more scalps to the list (Valladolid and Granada), they are still rooted to the bottom of the table, four points adrift of salvation.
They crashed out of the Copa del Rey at an early stage, beaten by second division Alcoyano.
Shinji Okazaki (Japan, 119); Dimitris Siovas (Greece, 20); Gastón Silva (Uruguay, 19)
Forward Sandro Ramírez (pictured below) played 61 games for Barça B and between 2014 and 2016 played 17 games for the first team, scoring a goal against Ajax in the Champions League and a hat-trick against CF Villanovense in the Copa del Rey. He played for Everton and four different Spanish clubs before joining Huesca earlier this year.
Sandro Ramírez. His arrival to the first team saw him take the number 19 for the 2015/16 season.
Tarragona born midfielder Eugeni Valderrama spent most of his teenage years at La Masia.
Forward Rafa Mir spent one year in the youth ranks at FC Barcelona.
Attacking midfielder Sergio Gómez was at Barça for eight years and made his Barça B debut in 2018 before leaving for Borussia Dortmund, from where he is currently on loan.
Top scorers 2020/21
Rafa Mir (7), Sandro Ramírez (3), Javi Ontiveros (2), David Ferreiro (2) and Dimitris Siovas (2)
Did you know?
Barcelona born Pablo Maffeo did such a great job of marking Leo Messi when playing for Girona against Barça that Messi said he was the toughest player he had ever faced! He’s given assists in Huesca’s last two games.
With seven goals, Rafa Mir needs three more to equal Chimy Ávila (10) as Huesca’s highest ever goalscorer in La Liga.
Shinji Okazaki, who was part of Leicester City’s Premiership winning squad in 2016, is Japan’s third highest goalscorer of all time (50 goals).
Dimitris Siovas won the Greek Superleague four times with Olympiacos.
José Rojo Martín, known as Pacheta, replaced Michel as Huesca coach in January. As a player he is best known for his spells at Espanyol and Numancia, and on retirement he spent a short period as interim manager of the latter. Until now, that had been his only managerial experience in La Liga, having spent his time at lower league clubs and also in Poland and Thailand.
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