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Benidorm-FCB (08/09). FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ (FCB).

Ceuta-FCB (10/11) FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ (FCB)

Cultural Leonesa-FCB (09/10). FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ (FCB).

Some members of the Barça squad know what it feels like to be eliminated in the first round of the Copa del Rey by Second Division B side. Over the past decade Barça was made to drink from the poisoned ‘Cup’ of elimination by Gramenet, Novelda, and Figueres. It’s been three seasons without any Copa surprises for Barça and the memories of previous frustrated runs ending at the hands of a Second Division B side have faded into distant history.

Benidorm (2008/09)

2008/09 the treble season, Barça started its Copa del Rey run away to Benidorm in Les Foietes. The first Barça goal in the Cup under Guardiola was a beautiful long range goal by Bojan. The return leg proved to be more difficult than anticipated. Messi, off a penalty, scored the go-ahead goal. Atlético Madrid was to be Barça’s next opponent.

Cultural de León (2009/10)

In Guardiola’s second season as head coach, Barça had to travel to León to play against the historic Cultural side in the round of 32 of the Copa del Rey. The team was up to the task and Pedro’s two goals all but certified Barça’s progress to the next round. Guardiola’s men thumped Cultural 5-1 in the return leg. Seville would be Barça’s opponent in the next round.

Ceuta (2010/11)

The North African team was Barça’s first obstacle to the Cup final in Mestalla. Getting to Ceuta was complicated as the small town doesn’t boast an airport. But Guardiola and his coaching staff decided, like always, to travel on game day; the team first took an airplane to Málaga and then traversed the Mediterranean by helicopter. Once again, Pedro scored the first and Maxwell rounded off Barça’s tally, as the Catalans took their victory.

Last two-game playoff KO: Betis (1993/94)

In 1993, a Betis side coached by Sergio Kresic, was the last team from a lower division to eliminate Barça in a two-game playoff. The Andalusians were in Second Division that season and Barça’s coach was Johan Cruyff. The away game ended in a draw and Betis managed a 0-1 win at the Camp Nou in the return leg. Despite losing out to Betis that year, Barça went on to win its fourth consecutive League title under Johan Cruyff and reach the final of the Champions League.

First time

This is the first time, not counting the Copa Cataluña, that Barça’s first team will play against Hospitalet in an official match. Never, not in the League or in the Cup, have the city neighbours crossed swords.

 


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