Barcelona vs. Juventus: Historical Meetings
Gustau Nacarino / Reuters

For two clubs that have remained among the European elite over the decades, Barcelona and Juventus actually haven't crossed paths all that often.

Specifically, the Catalan club and the Old Lady have met a grand total of five times in European competition, most recently 12 years ago in the semifinals of the Champions League. Furthermore, two of the five encounters came in tournaments unfamiliar to most: the 1951-52 Latin Cup and the 1970-71 Fairs Cup.

So, if history is anything to go by as Barcelona and Juventus prepare to take the pitch for a sixth time in Saturday's Champions League final, there really isn't a great deal of subject matter to research.

None of that, however, should suggest their previous confrontations haven't produced entertaining football. Their most recent run-in saw Barcelona suffer a heartbreaking defeat at the Camp Nou, a tie in which Xavi - who is set to depart the only club he's ever known for the bizarre allure of Qatari football - scored a goal against Gianluigi Buffon that forced extra time.

Here's a trip down memory lane of the five meetings in European competition between this year's Champions League finalists:

1951-52 Latin Cup: Laszlo Kubala scores as Barcelona drop Juventus in semifinals

What's that? Never heard of the Latin Cup?

Well, that's completely understandable.

The not-so-prestigious tournament took place from 1949 to 1957 and featured the champions of Spain, Italy, France, and Portugal. Barcelona, fresh off a La Liga title, met Juventus in the semifinals and won 4-2 courtesy of goals from Eduardo Manchon, Hungarian football icon Laszlo Kubala, and Estanislau Basora.

1970-71 Fairs Cup: Juventus exact revenge nearly 20 years later

What's that? Never heard of the Fairs Cup?

Once again, that's completely understandable.

Initially founded in 1955, and organised to coincide with trade fairs, the Fairs Cup is recognised as the predecessor to the UEFA Cup. The name change came in 1971-72, stemming from European football's governing body taking over the competition and its separation from trade fairs.

In what was the Fairs Cup's last hurrah, Juventus exacted their revenge in the round of 32, defeating Barcelona 4-2 on aggregate with a pair of 2-1 wins.

Juventus' squad included the likes of Fabio Capello, who scored in the second leg, and Roberto Battega, who found the back of the net in both legs. They progressed to the final, where the away-goals rule saw them fall to Leeds United.

1985-86 European Cup: Terry Venables leads Barcelona to victory

"We've knocked out the strongest opponents we could have drawn."

Those were the words of then-Barcelona manager Terry Venables after his side eliminated Juventus, who entered the tie as defending champions under Giovanni Trapattoni, in the quarterfinals of the 1985-86 European Cup.

The first leg saw the Catalan club emerge with a 1-0 win at the Camp Nou courtesy of a late strike from Julio Alberto.

In the reverse leg, a bizarre header from Steve Archibald that deflected off 'keeper Stefano Tacconi's left hand - as well as the post - gave Barcelona an early lead. Although current UEFA president Michel Platini found an equaliser for Juventus, a 1-1 draw was enough for Venables' side to advance to the semifinals.

Striker Marco Pacione missed a number of scoring chances in the second leg, recalling later in his life: "Juve fans never forgave me for that."

1990-91 Cup Winners' Cup: Barcelona squeeze by Juventus in semifinals

A number of familiar faces were on the pitch when the clubs met in the 1990-91 Cup Winners' Cup semifinals, a tournament that included the winners of domestic cup competitions and which was absorbed by the UEFA Cup after the 1998-99 season.

Featuring for Barcelona was Andoni Zubizarreta between the posts, Ricardo Serna, current Southampton manager Ronald Koeman, Michael Laudrup, and Hristo Stoichkov, while at the other end of the pitch, Roberto Baggio lined up alongside Julio Cesar.

In the first leg, Johan Cruyff's side claimed a 3-1 win at the Camp Nou, fueled by a brace from Shoichkov and a goal from Andoni Goikoetxea.

The second leg is where the drama unfolded, however. Beginning with a stunning free kick in the 61st minute that Baggio curled over the Barcelona's wall.

One minute later, the Catalan club were reduced to 10 men when Guillermo Amor was sent off, leaving them to defend for their lives in a manner that's hard for today's generation of Barcelona supporters to imagine.

In the end, however, Juventus was unable to find another goal, and it was Cruyff's squad advancing to the final.

2002-03 Champions League: Marcelo Zalayeta's extra-time winner silences Camp Nou

The most recent encounter between the clubs was undoubtedly the most entertaining, and it featured Xavi as well as Buffon, both of whom will almost certainly take the pitch Saturday.

Paolo Montero gave Marcello Lippi's side a 16th-minute lead in the first leg following a scramble in Barcelona's penalty area. However, Javier Saviola - then only 22 years young and with the footballing world at his feet - found a late equaliser, giving Radomir Antic's team the advantage going back to the Camp Nou.

It looked as though this would be another instance where Barcelona got the better of Juventus, particularly when Edgar Davids received a red card just before the second leg was moments away from extra time.

Pavel Nedved, with his hair at the peak of its flow, had opened the scoring with a phenomenal solo effort that saw him cut through Barcelona's backline before blasting a shot past 'keeper Roberto Bonano. Xavi then levelled the score with a left-footed finish.

As a penalty shootout loomed, the unlikeliest of scenarios went down, as Marcelo Zalayeta, who entered the fixture as a substitute, found the winner in the 114th minute, volleying home a cross from fellow substitute Alessandro Birindelli that dropped every jaw inside the Camp Nou.

"This was a disaster," Xavi said after the match.

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Barcelona vs. Juventus: Historical Meetings
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