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Ernesto Valverde’s side kick off 2019 with a game against Getafe on Sunday in La Liga (kick off 8.45pm CET). The contest will take place in the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, a stadium named after the former footballer who was once a blaugrana yet who never actually represented Getafe during his professional playing days.
Who is Alfonso Pérez?
Built in 1998 the ‘Estadio Coliseum Alfonso Pérez’, to give it its full name, was named after the striker born in Getafe and who played for the club at youth level before making the short trip north to join Real Madrid. After leaving Real Madrid and a spell with Betis, Alfonso Pérez signed for Barça in the year 2000.
Unfortunately, the striker was never really able to recapture the form that had seen him star for the Spanish national team in the European Championships in 1996 and 2000 and the World Cup in 1998 and in 2002 he left Barça after just two seasons in which he managed two goals in 21 appearances.
Getafe’s current incarnation began as recently as 1983 but the club was originally founded in 1924. The club gained promotion to the first division in 2004 and quickly established themselves as a top flight side, qualifying for the UEFA Cup/Europa League in 2007 and 2010.
‘Los azulones’ were runners up in the Copa del Rey in 2007 when they knocked out Barça in the semi-finals and once again in 2008. In 2016 they were relegated after 12 seasons in the top flight only to bounce straight back up again the following campaign. Last season they ended the season in a highly respectable 8th place in LaLiga, their second best ever finish.
Head to head
Getafe have not beaten Barça in their last 11 meetings in LaLiga, losing eight and drawing three in that time. The last time they were victorious in the league in the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez against FC Barcelona was back in 2011.
Unbeaten in their last five matches in the league, Getafe come into the game against league leaders in 7th place in the table on 25 points, some 12 behind the blaugranes. However, of their four defeats in the league this season, three have come at home with losses against Atlético, Levante and Valencia.
Veteran striker Jorge Molina is top scorer so far this season with five goals in LaLiga for Getafe. Fellow striker Sergi Guardiola’s name might ring a bell for Barça fans but the man from Mallorca is not related to former blaugrana player and boss and current Manchester City coach Pep.
José Bordalás took over at the club in September 2016 and guided Getafe to promotion and a return to the top flight in his first season in charge. Long renowned as a specialist in ‘La Segunda’, the Alicante native was finally rewarded with a shot at coaching the first division last season and ‘los Azulones’ were repaid handsomely with as the 56 year old guided them to an eighth place finish.
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