Benfica-FC Barcelona. Did you know…

Iniesta at the Da Luz Stadium (2006) against Benfica. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.
This evening’s match, the second of the Champions League group stage, is chock-full of curious historical facts between the two teams

The referee

The referee assigned by UEFA to direct this evening’s match is Cüneyt Çakir (TUR). Çakir has refereed eights Champions League matches, one of them was the return leg of last year’s Champions League semi-final between Barça and Chelsea.

– Every time Barça and Benfica face off against each other, one has always gone on to win the European title: Benfica in 1961 and the Azulgrana in 1992 and 2006.

– In fact, Benfica and Barça were the finalists of the European Cup in 1961. The final isn’t remembers with much fondness in Barcelona, the Catalans hit the woodwork four times in the Berne final.

Víctor Valdés and Iniesta are the only active FC Barcelona players that have played in the Da Luz Stadium (2006). Xavi and Messi were both injured and Puyol was suspended.

– The last time Barça visited Portugal was in the 2008/09 season, when the team beat Sporting Club by 2-5. Piqué and Messi, among others, got on the scoresheet.

– The last time Barça faced a Portuguese side was in the 2011 European Super Cup. On that occasion, Barça beat Porto by 2 goals to 0.

– Of Barça’s 24 Champions League matches in the last 4 seasons, they won 11, tied 10 and lost 3.

– Benfica have played 200 European Cup matches and they’ve scored 348 goals. Barça have played 234 games and scored 462 goals.

– Barça are the team that have committed the least amount of fouls in this edition the competition (4).