Lombardo, Bakero i Pagliuca, a Wembley. FOTO: Mark Leech.

For all Culés the name Sampdoria always conjures up memories of the 1992 Champions League Final in Wembley. A solitary goal from Koeman in the 111th minute in overtime against the Italian side crowned the Azulgranas champions for the first time in Club history. However, that wasn't the only time the two teams faced each other in a final. The Catalans were truly the bête noir of the Genoa side, seeing that three years earlier Barça saw the Italians off in the Cup Winners Cup in the Berne Final with goals scored by Salinas and López Rekarte.

Now, two decades after the final in London, Sampdoria will once again face off against FC Barcelona, this time in the Joan Gamper Trophy.

Second Joan Gamper appearance for the Genoa side

This will be Sampdoria’s second visit to the Camp Nou for the summer tournament organised by the Catalan Club. The first time was in 1997 and Barça won the match in a penalty shootout, after a two-all draw. That match saw Rivaldo make his debut in the Azulgrana stadium. However, the first time both teams played against each other was in 1960 in a friendly played in Genoa. Sampdoria won that match by 4 to 0.

Ambitious return to the football elite

Sampdoria return to the Serie A after a year in the second division of Italian football. Despite finishing sixth in the regular season, the Genoa side managed to clinch promotion in dramatic fashion in the playoff against Varese. One of Sampdoria’s go-to players is Nicola Pozzi; he scored the goal that secured a Seria A berth in the return leg against Varese. Sampdoria are embarking on an ambitious project to return to the Europe's football elite and regain the prestigious status of the historic Sampdoria of old led by Pagliuca, Mancini and Vialli.

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