Messi, in 2010, against Milan. PHOTO: ARXIU FCB.

The Camp Nou is becoming a frequent visiting spot for Italian teams. In fact, three Italian sides have featured in the last three editions of the Joan Gamper Trophy: Milan in 2010, Naples in 2011, and Sampdoria in 2012. The Genoa side is the seventh Italian team to play in the preseason match organized by Barça.

Three consecutive Italian sides

The Azulgranas have won the last two editions of the Gamper. Against Milan, in a match that served to pay tribute to Ronaldinho, victory was had after a penalty shootout. Against Naples, in August of last year, Barça convincingly won by 5 to 0. Sampdoria will be the third Italian team to feature in the Gamper in as many years. Even since the tournament’s format was changed to a single match (1997), there have never been three consecutive teams from the same country feature in preseason match.

The seven Italian teams

AC Milan (1986 and 2004), Naples and Sampdoria (1977 and this summer) are three of the seven Italian sides that have played in the Joan Gamper Trophy. The other four are Inter Milan (2007 and 1996), Juventus (2005), Parma (2001) and Brescia (1994). Of these teams, only the ‘Vecchia Signora’ beat Barça to win the Gamper. Coincidentally, that was the night that the Camp Nou was introduced to a very young Leo Messi.