Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: FC Barcelona have qualified for yet another UEFA Champions League quarter-final. In their Round of 16 fixture played over two legs, La Liga side defeated Manchester City 4-1 on aggregate.
This will be Barcelona`s seven successive appearance in the quarter-final stage of continental tournament – regarded as the most prestigious in club competition. Starting 2007-08 season, the Catalan giants have always been one of the top four teams in the competition, a record in Europe. In the previous season, they were knocked out of the competition by Liverpool.
Juventus and Real Madrid have came close to playing five straight semi-finals over a decade ago. Both the Europeans giants have reached the last-four stage on four successive seasons. Juventus were one of the top four teams from 1995-1999, while the most successful club in the world – Real Madrid have made the same mark during the 1999-2003 period.
With a favourable quarter-final draw, to be held on March 21, Gerardo Martino`n men could once again qualify for the semi-finals, for the seventh time in row.
In the previous six semi-finals, Blaugrana have defeated clubs from three different countries – England (Manchester United – 2007-08 and Chelsea – 2008-09, 2011-12), Italy (Inter Milan – 2009-10) and Spain (Real Madrid – 2010-11).
Besides Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Paris Saint-Germain have also reached the last-eight stage, with another four teams joining in the coming week.
Barcelona are the four time champions, lifting the trophy in 1991-92, 2005-06, 2008-09 and 2010-11.