Cesc celebra el gol de Messi / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

The team led by Josep Guardiola continues to make history. With Tuesday’s victory over AC Milan in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, Barça are the first team to ever manage to qualify for five consecutive semifinals in the competition. It’s worth noting that the competition’s current format started in the 1992/93 season.

This fantastic run was started by Frank Rijkaard in the 2007/08 season. On that occasion, Barça saw off Schalke 04 after beating the Germans in both the legs of the tie by 1-0. They were sent out of the competition in the semifinals by Manchester United (0-0 at the Camp Nou and 1-0 at Old Trafford).

With Josep Guardiola on the Barça bench, in the 2008/09 season, Barça eliminated Bayern in the quarterfinals and Chelsea in the semifinals. In the 2009/10 season, Arsenal were Barça’s victim in the quarterfinals, however the Catalans were eliminated by Inter Milan in the semifinals. Last season, after eliminating Shakhtar in the quarterfinals, FC Barcelona sent Real Madrid crashing out in a memorable semifinal matchup. With Guardiola on the bench, Barça have always reached the penultimate round of the competition.

The 13th semifinal in Club history

This is the 13th time FC Barcelona have reached the semifinals of the Champions League in Club history. The first four times Barça made it to this round was when the competition was called the European Cup. They were in the 1959/60, 1960/61, 1974/75 and 1985/86 seasons - Barça played against Real Madrid, Hamburg, Leeds and Göteborg, respectively.

In the competition’s current format, counting this season, FC Barcelona have made it to the semifinals on nine occasions. The first time was in the 1993/94 season, followed by the 1999/00, 2001/02, 2005/06, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11 seasons. The team played against Oporto, Valencia, Real Madrid, Milan, Manchester United, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid. Of the 12 match-ups played to date, Barça have managed to get to the final on six occasions. Of these, they’ve won the title four times.

It’s important to point out that, in this overview, the 1991/92 season is not taken into account. FC Barcelona qualified for the final in Wembley after the group stage, they beat Sampdoria to claim Barça’s first European crown.

Three titles in seven years

In the 2005/06 season, Rijkaard’s Barça lifted the Club’s second Champions League title in Paris. With Guardiola as manager, the Club would add two more titles. The first came in the 2008/09 season, in Rome, and the second, in the 2010/11 season, in the same venue of the 1992 final, at the legendary Wembley stadium. In total, three titles in seven years and six semifinals in the same timespan.

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