PHOTO: ARCHIVE FCB

On December 16 the mystery will be solved. That's the day when the UEFA draw will be held, and when FC Barcelona will know who their rivals are in the last 16 of the Champions League, following the group stages that ended on Wednesday. The possible rivals are: Bayer Leverkusen, Olympique Marseille, Zenit, Naples, Basel, CSKA Moscow and Olympique Lyon. They all finished second in their group.

Three old acquaintances

Several of these seven teams have recently come up against Guardiola's Barça. Like Naples, the only Italian team who Barça might face, seeing as they can't play AC Milan because they were in the same group. Naples were the last team to play in the Joan Gamper Cup, a few months ago. That day the result was very favorable for Barça: 5-0.

Olympique Lyon is another club that Guardiola knows well. The two teams faced each other, also in the second round, in the 2008/09 season, when Barça came out on top with a global 6-3 result over the two legs. That same season, Barça also came up against Basel, in the group stage (winning in Switzerland 5-0 and drawing 1-1 at the Camp Nou), and they could be another possible rival in the last 16.

Four new faces for Guardiola

The other teams have never played against Barça with Guardiola in charge. Bayer Leverkusen, runner-up in the German League, last played FC Barcelona in the Champions League group stage of the 2002/03 season (Barça won 2-1 in Germany and 2-0 at the Camp Nou). Ten years earlier, during the 1992/93 season, Barça played CSKA Moscow in the last 16, the only time they have come up against the Russian team. CSKA knocked Barça out of the competition, with a global 4-3 result.

There are two teams that have never faced Barça in an official match. They are Zenit and Olympique Marseille, who both sealed their qualification for the knockout phase with a lot of suspense on the final day of the group stage.