Tottenham Hotspur host Barcelona at Wembley in second round of the Champions League on Wednesday and the encounter is poised to be a cracking one. The Spanish club travel to London with a very good record at the England national stadium, having claimed some historic victories there over the years.
Barcelona won the European Cup at Wembley back in 1992 when they beat Italian side Sampdoria 1-0 in the final thanks to free-kick by former Southampton and Everton manager Ronald Koeman. Not only was it the Catalan giants’ first ever appearance at the iconic venue but it was also the first time they won the biggest prize in European club football.
Managed by Dutchman Johan Cruyff the Barcelona side also had Pep Guardiola in the team as a defensive midfielder, while former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was the captain of the Sampdoria team that day.
Another impressive display by Barcelona at Wembley was in the 1999 Champions League group stage when they beat another North London club Arsenal 4-2 thanks to goals by Rivaldo, Luis Enrique, Luis Figo and Phillip Cocu who currently manages Turkish side Fenerbahce.
But in recent times their most notable performance at the venue came in 2011 when Guardiola led the side as manager into battle with Sir Alex Furgeson’s Manchester United in the Champions League final. Pedro, who at the time was still playing for Barcelona, opened the scoring before striker Wayne Rooney equalised before half-time.
The game was however turned on its head when Lionel Messi found the back of the net with a long range shot in the 54th minute and then David Villa made sure of the result when he curled a shot past Edwin van der Sar into the top right corner.
Barcelona, now managed by Ernesto Valverde, will certainly be eyeing another memorable performance when they face Spurs on Wednesday with a capacity crowd expected. Lionel Messi, Sergio Besquests and Gerard Piqué are all three players that will have fond memories of Wembley as the only remaining players in the current side that played in that final back in 2011.
With Mauricio Pochettino’s side struggling with a lot of injuries, Barcelona will be favourites heading into the game but for Spurs to keep them out they will need to produce a similar performance as the one last year when they beat Real Madrid 3-0 at Wembley. The potential return of captain Hugo Lloris should give the side a vital boost but striker Harry Kane will need to be at his very best, with Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli both missing out due to injury, if Spurs were to have any chance of getting points from the match.