Barcelona will commence their 13th Europa League Season in the game against Manchester United at Camp Nou on February 16th.
Today we will take a look back at Barcelona’s past record in UEFA Europa League.
Table of contents
Eight of the thirteen seasons that Barcelona have played in the UEFA Europa League are from the 70s and 80s. As a consequence, it’s no surprise that the majority of our UEL heroes are from that period. Let’s take a look at the individual stars who enlightened Barcelona’s history in the UEFA Europa League.
1) Migueli (1973 – 1988)
Former Spanish central defender Miguel Bernardo Bianquetti holds the record for most UEFA Europa League appearances for Barcelona. He has made 42 appearances for the Catalan club, which is half of the entire amount of Europa League games played by Barcelona in UEL history.
He scored against Vasas SC in the first leg of the RO16 (1975/76) and against Aston Villa in the second leg of the Quarter Finals (1977/78). It is worth noting that half of his four goals (in all competitions) for Barcelona have come in the Europa League Knockouts.
The rest of the most appeared Barcelona players are as follows;
2) Juan Asensi (1970 – 1980) – 32 Apps.
3) Johan Cruyff (1973 – 1978) – 26 Apps.
4) Johan Neeskens (1974 – 1979) – 24 Apps.
5) Antonio Olmo (1976 – 1984) – 21 Apps.
Top Goal Scorers
1) Johan Cruyff (1973 – 1978)
Hendrik Johannes Cruijff, one of the most influential figures in Catalan football history, owns the record for the most goals scored in the UEFA Europa League for Barcelona, with 12 goals in 26 appearances. His most productive UEL season was 1977/78, where he scored 5 goals and provided 3 assists in 10 games.
The list goes on with the following players;
2) Carles Rexach (1965 – 1981) – 11 Goals
3) Johan Neeskens (1974 – 1979) – 8 Goals
4) Juan Manuel Asensi (1970 – 1980) – 8 Goals
5) Juan Carlos Heredia (1974 – 1979) – 7 Goals
Most Successful Seasons
Barcelona has never featured in a Europa League final despite appearing in thirteen seasons. Barcelona’s finest achievement in UEFA Europa League is reaching the semi-finals. In 1975/76, 1977/78, 1995/96, and 2000/01, we achieved it. Let’s take a look at those four seasons in which Barcelona came closest to reaching the Europa League final.
After being eliminated in the first round in the previous two outings, Barcelona made a promising run to the semi-finals of the Europa League in 1975/76. The campaign began with a 6-2 aggregate win over PAOK in the first round. Then, Barcelona defeated Lazio 7-0 on aggregate in the second round before defeating Vasas SC 4-1 on aggregate in the RO16.
In the Quarter Finals, Barcelona played Levski Sofia from Bulgaria. Barcelona won the first leg 4-0, at Camp Nou. The away leg was a goal fest, where Levski Sofia won 5-4 and Barcelona, on the other hand, progressed to the semi-finals with an 8-5 aggregate win. Then, in the Semi-Finals Barcelona fell 2-1 on aggregate to Liverpool.
The 1977/78 season was a showpiece for Johan Cruyff’s legacy as a player. Barcelona began the season with victories over Steaua Bucuresti and AZ Alkmaar in the first and second rounds, respectively. In the RO16 Barcelona faced Ipswich Town and the two sides were level at 3-3 on aggregate. Then Barcelona went on to win the penalty shootout 3-1 to reach the quarterfinals.
After a tight affair, Barcelona defeated Aston Villa 4-3 on aggregate in the quarter-finals, qualifying for the Semi-Finals for the second time in three years. Barcelona got nervous once more in the semi-finals and were eliminated by PSV, 6-1 on aggregate.
In 1995/96 Barcelona played their first UEL since 1987/88, after finishing 4th in 1994/95 LaLiga Season. This can be recognized as Barcelona’s most successful UEFA Europa League campaign, where they had a nine-game unbeaten streak before losing the second leg of the semifinal.
Barcelona began the season with a 12-0 aggregate win over Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the first round, followed by a 7-0 aggregate win over Vitoria SC in the second round. In the RO16, we eliminated Sevilla 4-2 on aggregate, one of our local rivals and the most successful team in the tournament’s history. Barcelona then faced PSV again in the Quarter Finals, and this time won 5-4 on aggregate. However, for the third time in a row, the semi-final curse struck, and Bayern Munich eliminated us 4-3 on aggregate.
A few seasons later, Barcelona got granted another go at the UEFA Europa League. After being eliminated from the UCL group stages, Barcelona faced Club Brugge in the UEL RO32 and won the game 3-1 on aggregate. Then they defeated AEK Athens 6-0 on aggregate in the RO16 before defeating Celta Vigo on penalties in the quarter-finals. Barcelona’s rocky season came to an end after Liverpool won the second leg 1-0 following a 0-0 first leg.
Thirteen seasons in the Europa League without a single final may not be justified by Barcelona’s standards. The table below provides a season-by-season breakdown of Barcelona’s UEFA Europa League performances.
Other Notable Stats
- First Goal – Jose Antonio Barrios vs Porto (20/09/1972)
- First Brace – Johan Neeskens vs PAOK (01/10/1975)
- First Hatrick – Carles Rexach vs PAOK (01/10/1975)
- First Win – vs OGC Nice (2-0) at Camp Nou (03/10/1973)
- First Away Win – vs Lazio (3-0) at Stadio Olimpico, Rome (22/10/1975)
- Biggest Win – vs Hapoel Be’er Sheva (7-0) at Be’er Sheva (12/09/1995)
- Biggest Aggregate Win – vs Hapoel Be’er Sheva (12-0) 1995/96
What to Expect
If we dig deep, this is the most in-form Barcelona squad in UEFA Europa League campaigns since the 1995/96 season. Unfortunately, we are renowned for being a nervous team when it comes to continental football. So, it is important to keep our mentality up, if we are to win our maiden UEL. Having said that, it’s worth emphasizing that this Europa League season has to be the most competitive in the competition’s history, with the list of in-form heavyweights battling against each other.
What do you think? Will Barcelona be able to rewrite history?
Comment your ideas down below 🙂