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Leo Messi scored twice last time Barça beat an Italian side in the Gamper game / FCB ARCHIVE

Italy is the country that has had more teams play in the Joan Gamper Trophy throughout the game's history with a total of eight. Until 1996, the last year the Trophy was disputed with a four-team format, AC Milan (1986), Brescia (1994), and Inter Milan (1996) were the first three Italian clubs to compete. Only Inter made the final, where they lost to Barça 2–1.

AC Milan tops list

AC Milan are the Italian club who have played most times in the Gamper Trophy match with a total of three appearances. The ‘rossoneri’ appeared in the pre-season friendly for the first time in 1986, then appeared again in 2004 when Barça came from behind following Serginho’s opener, goals from Giuly and Iniesta giving them the win. In 2010 the game was a tribute to the figure of Ronaldinho – Pep Guardiola’s side claimed the trophy on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time.

Inter Milan have taken part on two occasions, the first in 1996 and the second more recently in 2007. The latest meeting ended with a comfortable 5-0 win thanks to goals from Ronaldinho, Giovani Dos Santos, Touré Yayá, Iniesta and Motta. In 2001 AC Parma came to town for the Gamper game to take part in its 36th edition. In a game with five goals, Barça ran out winners 3-2 with goals from Saviola, Christanval and Alfonso.

Napoli have also made an appearance in the famous pre-season opener at Camp Nou. On that 46th edition, Cesc Fàbregas, Keita, Pedro and Messi with two were the scorers.

Juventus and Sampdoria, two Italian Champions

In 2005 Juventus had the fortune to come face to face with a young talent named Leo Messi. With the number ‘30’ on his back, the Argentine star put in an excellent performance in the team’s presentation to the fans. Nevertheless, despite Messi’s great display, it was the Italians who took the trophy.

For their part Sampdoria have made three appearances in the Gamper game and are the last Italian side to beat Barça at Camp Nou in pre-season. In 2012, with a Barça side full of players from the B side, fell behind to an early goal from Soriano which in the end was enough to give the club from Genoa to claim the Gamper Trophy. The teams had previously met in 1997 in the fixture: the game was decided on penalties after a 2-2 draw in normal time with goals from Anderson and Giovanni. On that occasion Barça came out on top in the shoot out.

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