Two Catalan teams in European football competitions for first time in 12 years
FC Barcelona in a tricky Champions League group, while RCD Espanyol in Europa League after surviving three qualifying rounds
Two Catalan teams will play European football competitions for the first time in 12 years, after FC Barcelona qualified for the Champions League after winning Spain’s 2018-2019 La Liga, and RCD Espanyol made it to the Europa League after surviving three qualifying rounds.
Barça will take off on their quest for a sixth Champions League trophy by facing a tricky group including Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan and Slavia Prague, as determined by the draw that took place in Monaco on Thursday.
New opponents and old friends
Barça and Slavia Prague have never met before in official competition so history will be made when the blaugranes take on the Czech club who eliminated Romanian side Cluj in the qualifying round.
Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund met Barça in the 1998 UEFA Super Cup final that ended in victory for the blaugranes but the two teams have never crossed paths before in the Champions League.
In contrast it will be the third time that FC Barcelona face Inter Milan in the group stage of the competition. The most recent meetings between the two clubs came last season when Barça claimed a 2-0 win at Camp Nou before taking a point in a 1-1 draw at the Guiseppe Meazza stadium.
Road for maiden European trophy for RCD Espanyol?
Meanwhile, RCD Espanyol will face CSKA Moscow, Ludogorets and Ferencváros in their first main draw Europa League appearance since the 2006-2007 season when the team made it to the final, which they lost to Sevilla FC.
The 'pericos' were also runner-ups in the 1987-1988 of the then called UEFA Cup, and hope to improve that result by winning their first European title.