Victor Tomas

FC Barcelona Intersport, the top seeded team in the Champions League, will face HC Croatia Osigurenja Zagreb, Kadett Schaffhausen, Füchse Berlin, Pick Szeged, and the winner of Group 4’s qualifiers (Besiktas JK or HC Dynamo Minsk) in the group stage of the 2012/13 edition of the continental competition. Füchse Berlin, Barça’s first rival, and Zagreb are, on paper, the toughest teams in this stage of the competition for the Azulgranas.

Well acquainted with the rivals

Of the four teams in FC Barcelona’s group, three of them have already faced off against the Azulgranas in the past. The three teams are Zagreb, Schaffhausen and Pick Szeged. The first two, moreover, were paired up with Barça in last year’s group stage. Barça managed to beat Schauffhausen twice, but Zagreb tipped Xavi Pascual’s team at the Palau with a 29 to 30 scoreline.

The Hungarian team Pick Szeged, on the other hand, hasn’t played against Barça since the 2007/08 season. FC Barcelona won that match.

Romero and Igropulo return to the Palau

The team that Barça have yet to face is Füchse Berlin, the capital side finished fourth in the Bundesliga this past season. The German team, moreover, have two ex-Barça players in their ranks, Iker Romero and Konstantin Igropulo, who left the Azulgranas at the conclusion of this season. Therefore, both players will return to the Palau Blaugrana in this year’s edition of the Champions League. Füchse will be Barça’s first matchup in the European competition.

La composició de tots els grups

GROUP A: Montpellier, Chekhovskie Medvedi, SG Flensburg-Handewitt, Reale Ademar Lleó, the winner of Group 1 of the qualifying round and the Wildcard winner

GROUP B: THW Kiel, MKB Veszprém, BM Atlètic de Madrid, IK Sävehof, Celje Pivovarna Laskoand the winner of Group 3 of the qualifying round.

GROUP C: AG Kobenhavn, Gorenje Velenje, KS Vive Targi Kielce, Chambéry Savoie, St. Petersburg HC and the winner of Group 2 of the qualifying round.

GROUP D: FC Barcelona Intersport, HC Croatia Osiguranje Zagreb, Kadetten Schaffhausen, Füchse Berlín, Pick Szeged and the winner of Besiktas JK / HC Dinamo Minsk

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