The past ten years have been a story of near unbridled success for the Catalan giants of FC Barcelona. From the Ronaldhino inspired Rijkaard managed days of the mid-noughties to the Messi-Suarez-Neymar triumvirate who destroyed everyone in Europe in 2014-15 the last decade of European and Spanish football has been defined by the skills, passing and elegant artistry of the Barcelona team than have won championships, Champions Leagues, cup and general global domination – seemingly untouchable, seemingly sweeping all opposition aside.
But,of course, among these glory years there have still been occasions when, incredibly, Barca have been on the receiving end of a good old fashioned giant killing.
Yes, we know that Real Madrid and some of the other big guns of European footy can have their number from time to time. But it’s those, albeit rare, moments when the mighty men of the Nou Camp fall to some of their smaller counterparts that we collectively gasp and check to see if our computers or TVs are faulty.
Celta Vigo 4 Barcelona 1 – September 2015
We don’t have to go that far back – a couple of days to be precise – to find our first example. Coming into the match against Celta, defending league and European champions Barcelona were already in ominous form, top of the league with a 100% record. It seemed to impress Celta Vigo not one little bit. And why should it? After all – they had beaten Barcelona at Camp Nou only a year ago. But this wasn’t a beating – this was a proper hammering. Iago Aspas scored two (including one worldie) and made all Liverpool fans wonder if perhaps they had been watching his less talented twin play for them these last few seasons as Celta fairly ripped Barca – Messi and all – to shreds.
Barcelona 0 Hercules 2 – September 2010
In 2010-11 Barcelona would score almost 150 league goals as they swept to another imperious league title win. En route they lost only twice all season. Once to Real Sociedad and, almost astonishingly – at HOME to lowly Hercules. In what is surely one of the great Spanish league shock results of all time, the Alicante based minnows claimed the spoils with a double from Nelson Valdez, ending an unbeaten run of 17 matches for Barcelona and decimating a home record that had seen them win and score at least three goals in their previous 11 matches. It was a glorious moment in a season doomed to failure however, with Hercules relegated in 19th place come season’s end.
Numancia 1 Barcelona 0 – September 2008
Ok, so a theme is developing. If you’re a smaller club looking to put one over on Barcelona then try to play them in September!
The 08-09 season would be remembered as one of the great seasons in Barcelona’s illustrious history. League and Champions League winners this was Guardiola’s dream team with Messi at the helm of it all. For Numancia, the lowly Castille side from Northern Spain, it was going to be a long season which would ultimately see them relegated out of the league. But that didn’t stop them stopping Barca in their tracks to glory as Mario delivered the golden goal which brought a famous victory over the visiting football royalty.