Dinamo Bucharest – FC Barcelona: Final test before Liga debut

19.15, TV3: With just one week to go before the league gets under way, Barça face Dinamo Bucharest tonight in the last of their preseason friendlies

Tito Vilanova’s side is unbeaten in preseason fixtures after beating Hamburg and Raja Club Athletic and drawing with PSG and Manchester United, although they won both those games on penalties

At 19.15 CET on Saturday evening, Barça face Dinamo Bucharest in their final warm-up match before the 2012/13 season officially commences. The Catalans are unbeaten in preseason friendlies this summer, after winning at Hamburg SV and Raja Club Athletic Casablanca and then drawing with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United after 90 minutes, although they followed both those games with wins in penalty shootouts.

In the Romanian capital, Tito Vilanova’s ‘mini-tour’ of Gothenburg and Bucharest will come to an end. The squad then returns home to start focusing on the Liga opener against Real Sociedad, which will be on Sunday August 19 at 21.00. A win in Romania would be the perfect boost for the side ahead of that clash with the side from San Sebastian.

Fontàs back

After making his debut against Manchester United, Jordi Alba could feature even more prominently in tonight’s game. We may also get our first glimpse of Andreu Fontàs after a seven-month absence through injury. Dani Alves is also expected to play, for despite spraining an ankle against Man United, fortunately it was a far less serious injury than originally feared. Carles Puyol, however, missed the final training session in Sweden with thigh injury.

Messi on fire

Leo Messi is Barcelona’s top scorer this preseason with four goals. He’ll be looking to add even more to his account on Saturday, and it’s a comforting thought for Barça supporters to know that the Argentinian superstar doesn’t seem to have lost anything of his goalscoring touch.

Historic Romanian side

With thirty-three titles, Dinamo is the second most successful club in Romanian football history. In total, they have won eighteen Leagues, thirteen Cups and two Supercups, a record only surpassed by their biggest rivals, Steaua.

The club’s most legendary figure is the great Dudu Georgescu, who won the Ballon d’Or in both 1975 and 1977, the latter for what was an all-time European record of 47 league goals in the 1976/77 season. Some wondered if anybody would ever be able to amass a tally like that ever again, but it happened. And the man who did it was none other than Leo Messi with his extraordinary 50 goals for FC Barcelona in the 2011/12 Liga season.