Xavi in the away leg of the Champions League semifinal of the 2008/09 season / PHOTO: ARXIU FCB

A lot can happen in three years and the paths taken by FC Barcelona and Chelsea, rivals in this season’s Champions League semifinal, prove it. The English team have won four titles (Community Shield in 2009, the 2009/10 Premier League and the FA Cup in 2009 and 2010) since Andrés Iniesta’s goal at Stamford Bridge in the return lef of the 2009 Champions League semifinal. Barça, on the other hand, have claimed 13 titles.

Same group of players

The basic makeup of the teams, however, have changed very little over these three years. Most of the players that featured in Chelsea’s starting XI against Barça in the 2008/09 semifinal are still with the team. The only players that no longer continue with the Club are Álex, Ballack and Anelka, while Cech, Bosingwa, Terry, Lampard, Cole, Malouda, Essien and Drogba are still part of the London-based team.

Of the 11 Barça players that played against Chelsea three years ago, 9 remain with the team. Only Touré and Eto’o have left. In the 2009 semifinal, the average age of the squads, however, was fairly different: 28 years and 10 months for Chelsea and 25 years and 11 months for Barça.

Three managers since Hiddink

While Josep Guardiola continues to lead FC Barcelona, three different managers have graced the Chelsea bench since Guus Hiddink: Carlo Ancelotti (2009/11), André Villas-Boas (2011/12) and Roberto de Matteo, who started on the 4th of March.

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