It was on 28 July 2012 that FC Barcelona visited the city of Tangier for the first time. The occasion was a preseason friendly against Raja Club Athletic Casablanca, which Barça won comfortably, 8-0, with three goals from Leo Messi, two from Alexis Sánchez and one each from Dani Alves, Sergi Gómez and Gerard Deulofeu.
The venue was the same Stade Ibn Battout that will be hosting this Sunday’s Spanish Super Cup between Barça and Sevilla (10.00pm CET), the first official match of the 2018/19 season.
But Barça had visited Morocco five times before that, three times to play in Casablanca and twice in Tétouan.
The first was on 6 May 1951, when Barça met Atlético Tetuán in the quarter finals of the cup. Due its territory forming part of what was then the Spanish Protectorate of Morocco, the home club was playing in the Spanish football pyramid.
Barça won 3-1, with László Kubala scoring twice in what was only his third game in the blaugrana shirt, and eventually won 7-1 on aggregate en route to winning the trophy for the tenth time.
The season after, Tetuán were promoted and played their first and only season in La Liga. Barça won the title in that 1951/52 season, and Tetuán finished rock bottom, with the game in North Africa ending 5-2 to FCB.
Following Moroccan independence in 1956, Atlético Tetuán transferred operations to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, and the modern-day AD Ceuta are an evolution from that club.
The Mohammed V Trophy was a prestigious summer tournament played each year from 1962 to 1989. Barcelona appeared once, in 1969, beating São Paulo of Brazil 2-0 in the semi-final and Bayern Munich on penalties to lift the trophy after the final had ended 2-2.
Five years later, in 1974, Barça were back in the same city. Fresh from the famous 5-0 defeat of Real Madrid and with Johan Cruyff among their ranks, Barça faced local club WAC Casablanca in a friendly, and ended up 3-0 winners - and stayed for two days afterwards to enjoy a summer break together in the city.So, that’s six wins in six games for Barça in Morocco. Here’s hoping that on Sunday the 100% record continues!