Celtic-Barça: Did you know…

Messi scored two goals in his last vitist to Celtic Park / PHOTO: ARCHIVE FCB
Barça will face off against Celtic FC at Celtic Park this evening in the Champions League group stage. Barça could clinch qualification to the next round if they are able to defeat the Scottish side

– FC Barcelona have played away to Celtic FC three times. Barça lost its first match at Celtic Park in 2003/04 (1-0) and won the following two, in 2004/05 (1-3) and 2007/08 (2-3).

– Of their last 25 away matches in the Champions League, the Blaugrana have won 12 and lost 3.

Tito Vilanova’s FC Barcelona hope to equal the record set by Louis van Gaal for the best start to a season in Club history. The team managed by the Dutchman won all six of its group stage matches.

– After Juventus and PSG lost this weekend, FC Barcelona are the only league leaders of the big European leagues that have yet to lose a match.

Gerard Piqué, who has been named to the team for tonight’s match, hasn’t played a game for Barça since Week 1 of the Champions League, against Spartak Moscow (3-2). He picked up an injury against the Russian side that has kept him from competitive play for two months.

Leo Messi, with 73 goals, is only two goals adrift of the record of goals scored in a calendar year set in 1958 by the legendary Brazilian, Pelé.

– In the 2007/08 season, Barça’s Argentinean scored a brace at Celtic Park (2-3).

– The last time Celtic FC lost in European play was to Atlético Madrid. The Sots lost 0-1 last season in the group stage of the Europa League.

– Celtic FC’s record at home against Spanish clubs stands at six victories, two draws and four defeats. Of the four defeats, two of them came at the hands of the Blaugrana.

– This century, only Hearts, Rangers and Aberdeen have been able to claim victory more times at Celtic Park than Barça.

– The English keeper for Celtic, Fraser Forster, was called up to the English national side in October. He’s the first Celtic player called up to the national side since Alan Thompson, who was named to the national team eight years ago.

– The referee for the match is the Dutchman Björn Kuipers. He officiated the return leg of the quarter finals last season between Barça and Milan (3-1). He also officiated the Stuttgart-Barça knock-out round match in 2009/10 (1-1) and the Barça-Kiev group stage qualification match (2-0). He has never officiated a Celtic FC match.