Barça v Benfica: Did you know…

Mark Van Bommel, ex blaugrana, al partit del 2006 davant del Benfica / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
This will be Benfica’s third visit to the Camp Nou, where they have always lost

Benfica have not beaten a team from la Liga for two decades

The referee

The match official will be Svein Oddvar Mein of Norway, the same man who was in charge when Barça tore apart Bayer Leverkusen (7-1) last season, with five goals from Leo Messi. He has never whistled a Benfica match

Barça and Benfica meet in the last game of their Champions League group in game packed with trivia, the best of which we reveal here:

-This will be the third time that FC Barcelona has hosted Benfica. The Portuguese side has always lost at the Camp Nou

-The Lisbon based side lost 2-1 when they visited in 1991/92 and 2-0 in 2005/06

-That last visit by Benfica to the Camp Nou was on April 5, 2006, in the second leg of the UCL quarter finals. The FCB line-up included Valdés, Puyol and Iniesta

– FC Barcelona have an excellent record at home to Portuguese clubs. They have won ten and lost just once in eleven encounters

– Barça have already won the group, so they are only really playing for honour tonight. But it’s a massive match for Benfica. A win at the Camp Nou would see them through to the last sixteen in second place. A draw or a defeat, and it would all depend on what Celtic do at home to Spartak

– Benfica have not won any of their last 13 meetings with teams from the Spanish championship. They haven’t tasted success since 1982/83, when they knocked out Betis in the first round of the UEFA Cup

-The International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) considered Benfica to be the world’s number one team in November after they won all three games in their league, plus two in the Champions League and one in the national cup, the ‘Taça’

-Nolito could get to tread the Camp Nou turf once again. The former Barça B man played five games for the first team. When Barça entertained Ceuta on November 10, 2010 he scored his only goal under Josep Guardiola

-Xavi Hernández has made 663 passes in the group stages, 300 more than any other player in this competition

-Valdés, Mascherano and Messi have played every minute of the Champions League so far. Xavi and Pedro have also started all five group games

-Song, Mascherano and Pedro are all one yellow card away from suspension