Decoding Barcelona's most defining Champions League campaigns
Barcelona are among the most successful teams in the UEFA Champions League. They have won the prestigious title five times and are only behind Real Madrid (13), AC Milan (7), Liverpool (6), and Bayern Munich (6). Barca won their first title in 1991/92 when it was known as UEFA European Cup. They won their next four titles in 2006, 2009, 2011, and 2015.
Why does it matter?
Barcelona had to wait till 1992 to lift their first European title. However, since then, they have bettered their record in the competition by winning it on four occasions in the 21st century. Lionel Messi (120 goals) is their top goal-scorer in the competition. Barca have already exited the UCL this season and will want to show their character in the coming years.
Maiden title for Barcelona
Johan Cruyff guided Barca to their first UCL title. Michael Laudrup and Pep Guardiola were part of this squad. They defeated Hansa Rostock and Kaiserslautern in the first and the second round respectively. They bested Sparta Prague, Benfica, and Dynamo Kyiv in Group B to qualify for the summit clash. They downed Sampdoria in extra time in the final, courtesy of Ronald Koeman's goal.
Lionel Messi's first UCL title with Barca
Barcelona won their second UCL title in 2005-06. Brazilian great Ronaldinho led the way for Barca while young Messi and Andres Iniesta showed glimpses into the future. They progressed to R16 after topping the group stage with 16 points. They defeated Chelsea in R16, passed the Benfica test in the quarters, and bested AC Milan in the semis. They outperformed Arsenal in the final.
Messi tops UCL goal-scoring chart
Messi netted nine goals in 2008-09 as Barcelona lifted their third UCL title. Barcelona finished the group stage as table toppers. Next, they defeated Lyon in the last 16 and then bested Bayern in the quarter-finals. Andres Iniesta's wonder goal in semis against Chelsea helped reach the final, where they defeated Manchester United, courtesy of goals from Samuel Eto'o and Leo Messi.
Barca thwart Man United
Barcelona enjoyed a flawless campaign in 2010-11 to clinch their fourth UCL title. They won the group stage ahead of Copenhagen, Rubin Kazan, and Panathinaikos. They dispatched Arsenal in R16 and dismantled Shakhtar Donetsk in the quarter-finals. They outclassed Real Madrid to set up the summit clash with Manchester United. Pep Guardiola passed the Sir Alex Ferguson test as Barca downed United 3-1.
The MSN era
The fearsome trio of Messi, Suarez, and Neymar wreaked havoc as Barca won their fifth UCL title. Barca won the group stage ahead of PSG, Ajax, and APOEL Nicosia. They defeated Manchester City in the R16 and hammered Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals to progress to the semis. In the last four, they defeated Bayern 5-3 on aggregate. They downed Juventus in the final.Share this timeline