Today's training session

Xavi no jugarà aquest dimarts, Iniesta sí / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
Tito Vilanova summons 16 players for the Cup debut in Alava, in a list that missing five first team players and that includes Mascherano, Sergi Roberto and Oier

The list for Spanish Cup

Pinto, Oier, Alves, Montoya, Song, Adriano, Mascherano, Bartra, Dos Santos, Sergio, Iniesta, Cesc, Sergi Roberto, Tello, Villa i Alexis

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Tenth anniversary of @andresiniesta8 debut

Andrés Iniesta / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
On October 29th 2002, Andres Iniesta made his Barça first team debut in a Champions League game away to Bruges

Through ten photos in the “Revista Barça” Iniesta looks back at ten decisive moments in a career that has led him to become a key piece of one of the best Barça teams ever

This Monday, October 29th, marks ten years since Andres Iniesta made his first team debut for the Club. In the latest edition of the Club magazine Revista Barça, the Spanish midfielder reflects on those ten glorious years that have given us so many memorable moments – both for him personally and the Club as a whole – via a series of ten photos of those magic moments.

The excitement of his first training session with his heroes, his first game at the Camp Nou, the emotion of that first Champions League win in Paris, and the award from UEFA in August as last year’s player of the season… just some of the examples of the memories the photos evoke.

FIRST TRAINING SESSION

5th February 2001. “It’s a lovely memory – Wow I look really fat! That was the day my dream of training with my heroes came true. It was a special day for me. When I got the call, I couldn’t believe it! I want to thank Serra Ferrer once again for the opportunity he gave me”.

DEBUT IN BRUGES

29th October 2002. “I felt very comfortable that day. There were a lot of B team players who went on the trip, because we had already got through to the next round.  It’s a dream to make your first team debut – thank you Van Gaal. I’d been training with them since the start of the season and I think I played a decent game”.

FIRST GAME AT THE CAMP NOU

 5th January 2003. “The team had changed a lot and it was a very difficult situation. I had a similar feeling to Bruges – I was brought up at the Club and being able to play at the Camp Nou was something so special. It was a game against Recre and we won quite easily(3-0)”

IMPORTANT GOAL IN VALLADOLID

 11th April 2004. “It’s a curious image. I have a great friendship with Victor  – he’s my best friend. He was so happy that he ran the length of the pitch to celebrate the goal with me. It looks like he wanted to kill me, but it is a photo that just shows pure emotion. We were celebrating the goal that made it 1-3”.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE WIN IN PARIS

 17th May 2006. “It was the first big title we won. I have very good memories of the second half I put in(he came on at the break in place of Edmílson]. It’s such a special trophy…fortunately it wasn’t the last time we would win it”.

THAT GOAL!

 6th May 2006. “A unique moment, something I will always remember. It was one of those moments when everyone knew where they were, what they were doing and how to react. I feel privileged to have scored and lived that moment. It is the maximum expression of happiness, intensity and emotion. It’s virtually impossible to beat a moment like that”.

CALF INJURY

 13th April 2010. “I got injured in training and missed the climax to the season. It’s the worst thing that can happen to you as a player because it stops you doing what you enjoy. Fortunately, I was able to recover in time for the World Cup”.

BARÇA’S BALLON D’OR

 6th December 2010. “It was the day that they announced that we three were the finalists for the Ballon D’Or. I don’t know if that will ever happen again. It was unique, not just for the players, but for who we are and what we represent for Barça and for what Barça represents for us”.

A SPECIAL DEDICATION

 6th April 2011. “It was Champions League game against Shaktar and I scored in the first minute. The photo was taken two days after Valeria was born. She is someone who has changed my life, filled me with happiness and made me understand things from a different perspective. I hope I can dedicate many more moments like that to her.

UEFA AWARD

30th August 2012. “I’m with my family, but my dad isn’t there because he really doesn’t like planes. He’s always with me though, even if he’s not there physically. I don’t play to win individual awards  – that’s just a small part of football. To be on the podium with Cristiano and Leo is a prize in itself”.

 

Barça's last 10 debuts in the Copa del Rey

PHOTO: ARCHIVE FCB
FC Barcelona, who have managed to clinch two consecutive final berths in as many years, will kick off their Copa el Rey bid against Alavés, a team that currently plays in Segunda División B

Since the 2004/05 season, Barça have always made it to the second round of the competition

The last Cup fixture against Alavés

FC Barcelona faced off against the Vitoria-based team in the 2006/07 season in the Round of 16. Barça won in its visit to Mendizorroza by 0-2 and won again at the Camp Nou by 3-2. This season, the teams will face off in the Round of 32.

The Copa del Rey is back on Barça’s schedule. This Tuesday, October 30, the Cup holders will visit Mendizorroza to play the away leg of the Round of 32 against Alavés. The team from Vitoria currently sit atop their Segunda División B group with a total of 24 points.

Here’s an overview of Barça’s last ten debuts in the Copa del Rey:

2011/12: Hospitalet succumb to the Blaugrana

The Blaugrana notched up one of the largest overall victories in the history of the competition against Hospitalet as Barça won 0-1 in the away leg and 9-0 in the return leg. In the Round of 16, Barça brushed Osasuna aside after netting four times in the away leg. In the quarter-finals Barça faced the finalists of the previous edition of the Cup, Real Madrid. Barça earned their revenge by beating Los Blancos at the Bernabéu (1-2) and drawing at the Camp Nou (2-2). Valencia faced off against Barça in the semi-finals. The men led by Guardiola weren’t able to seal passage to the final until the return leg (2-0), after drawing one-all at Mestalla. The Blaugrana went on to fire three goals past Athletic Club in the final of the Copa del Rey to claim the last title of the Guardiola era.

2010/11: Comfortable start against Ceuta

Barça kicked off its Copa del Rey campaign against Ceuta in the Round of 32. Barça won the away match by 0-2 and thumped their Segunda División B rivals in the return leg by 5-1. A goal from Abidal in San Mamés, his first as a Barça player, in the return leg of the Round of 16 saw Barça through to the quarter-finals. In the next round, Barça faced Betis. The Blaugrana won 5-0 at the Camp Nou but lost 3-1 in Seville. In the semi-finals, Barça brushed Almería aside with an overall 8-0 scoreline. The final pitted Real Madrid against FC Barcelona, and Guardiola’s men lost 0-1 thanks to a goal from Ronaldo in overtime.

2009/10: Superb performance against Cultural Leonesa

The reigning champions of the competition made their debut against Cultural Leonesa in the Round of 32. In a relatively placid away leg, Guardiola’s men won by 0-2. Barça went on to win 5-0 at the Camp Nou two weeks later. Barça’s Cup bid ended in the following round. Sevilla booted FC Barcelona from the competition thanks to a surprising 1-2 victory at the Camp Nou, Barça won in Seville by 0-1 but it wasn’t enough to see the Andalusians out of the competition.

2008/09: Benidorm points the way to the treble

It was Pep Guardiola’s first year on the Barça bench and his men faced Benidorm in the Round of 32 of the Copa del Rey. The Blaugrana sealed passage to the next round by an overall score of 2-0. In the next round Barça edged Atlético Madrid thanks to victories in both the away and return legs (1-3, 2-1). In the quarter-finals, Barça faced Espanyol. Guardiola’s men won 3-2 at the Camp Nou and tied at 0-0 in the return leg. Barça had managed to reach the semi-finals for the third time in as many seasons. Barça went on to clinch a spot in the final by beating Mallorca 2-0 at the Camp Nou and tying 1-1 in Mallorca. The victory in the final (1-4), in Mestalla against Athletic Club Bilbao, was the first title of the Pep Guardiola era, the first jewel in the treble crown that Barça would win that season.

2007/08: Victory over Alcoyano

In the Round of 32, Barça brushed Aloyano aside with a 0-3 win in the away leg and a 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou. Sevilla proved to be tougher rivals in the next round. The two teams drew in both Round of 16 matches: 1-1 at the Pizjuán and 0-0 at the Camp Nou, thus sealing Barça’s passage to the next round. Villareal also proved to be a difficult rival. The Blaugrana clinched a semi-final spot thanks to the 1-0 at the Camp Nou after drawing 0-0 at El Madrigal. In the semi-finals, against Valencia, Barça were eliminated after the 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou and the 3-2 defeat in Valencia.

2006/07: Effective Barça against Badalona

Badalona was Barça’s first victim in the Copa del Rey. The men led by Frank Rijkaard managed to secure an aggregate score of 6-1 over their rivals. In the Round of 16 it was Alavés’ turn – Barça’s rival this season in the Copa del Rey. Alavés lost both their matches against Barça, the aggregate score was 5-2. In the next round Barça faced a familiar opponent, Zaragoza. The Aragon side defeated Barça in two of the three previous editions of the competition, but this time they saw how Barça fought back from the away leg’s 0-1 deficit to clinch a spot in the next round. Barça, however, were booted from the competition at the Colisseum Alfonso Pérez in the return leg of the semi-finals. After a jaw-dropping performance from Messi in the away leg at the Camp Nou (5-2), Barça surprisingly lost 4-0 in the return leg.

2005/06: Barça thump Zamora

The Blaugrana kicked off their Copa del Rey campaign in the Round of 16. The team led by Rijkaard beat Zamora, a team that played in Spain’s Segunda División B, by an aggregate score of 9 to 1. Zaragoza, however, sent Barça crashing out of the competition in the quarter-finals. Barça lost 4-2 at La Romareda and won 2-1 at the Camp Nou.

2004/05: Upset against Gramenet

The team that Barça had defeated the previous year sent the Blaugrana out of the competition in the first round. Gramenet gave Spanish football the surprise of the season when they beat Barça by 1-0.

2003/04: Narrow victory over Gramenet

After learning their lesson from the previous season, Barça defeated Gramenet in a single-leg round by 0-1. The team then played away at the Ciudad de Murcia in the Round of 32. Barça won 4-0, in what also was a single-leg fixture. In the Round of 16, Barça clinched a spot in the next round thanks to a 3-1 scoreline. In the quarter-finals, Zaragoza defeated Barça by beating the Catalans 0-1 at the Camp Nou and securing a one-all draw at La Romareda.

2002/03: Novelda surprises Barça

Barça kicked off its Copa del Rey campaign against Novelda. The team managed by Van Gaal lost in surprising fashion by 3-2. Geovanni and Riquelme were Barça’s goal-scorers that night.