Navarro against Olympiacos / VÍCTOR SALGADO-FCB

As has been the case in recent season, FC Barcelona were drawn in the worst group possible in the group stage of the competition. Bayern Munich, Fenerbahçe, Panathinaikos and Milan amongst others. Despite this, Barça put in a more than satisfactory performance in the group stages, ending in first place with a 9-1 record. Their best performance in Group C came away at Bayern where they won 99-77.

In the Top 16, the blaugranes crossed paths with Real Madrid and ended the phase in second place in their group, behind their rivals who would go on to lift the trophy at the end of the season. FC Barcelona ended Group E with an 11-3 record. Two defeats in their first three matches of this stage of the competition set the alarm bells ringing but the team showed they were able to come back from this early setback with wins away at Alba Berlin and Maccabi to set them back on track for place in the quarter-finals.

Olympiacos the hurdle

Olympiacos, winners of two of the last four Euroleague competitions, were the blaugranes’ rivals in the last eight. The winners would make it through to a Final Four to be played in Madrid this year. However, just as in 2010/11 when they were eliminated by Panathinaikos, Greek opposition barred their path to the semi-finals.

After an excellent win in the Palau by 73-57 in which Barça managed to keep quiet the visitors’ star player Spanoulis, the Greek team found their form. Olympiacos took the second game at the Palau by 76-63 and away from home two victories in Pireu saw Barça’s opponents take their place in the Final Four.