A fourth European Cup and tenth major trophy under Pep Guardiola will be the targets when Barcelona arrive at Wembley on Saturday evening for their UEFA Champions League final. However, regardless of the outcome against Manchester United, Guardiola’s reign has been a truly sensational success story, with countless records already strewn in Barça’s path.
Here, FIFA.com looks at some of the many benchmarks set by the Catalans’ coach and players over the past three seasons.
Barça appearances was the new club record set by Xavi against Athletic Bilbao on 5 January, eclipsing Migueli’s previous benchmark. The Barça No6’s unparalleled tally now stands at 576.
Barcelona goals have enabled Messi to climb to third in the club’s all-time standings, with only Laszlo Kubala (196) and Cesar Rodriguez (235) left to pursue.
goals have been scored in Barcelona’s 61 games this season, although they will need to put another nine past Manchester United to equal the club record, set during Guardiola’s first season in charge.
goals have been scored by Messi in 107 appearances over the last two seasons. To complete his century, he will need to find the net for the first time on English soil, having failed on seven previous attempts with club and country.
points from a possible 114 was the record tally with which Barcelona finished their 2009/10 campaign. Guardiola’s team ended the season without ever having conceded the lead at Camp Nou and having scored three or more goals in 50 per cent of their league matches.
goals in 54 Barcelona appearances was Messi’s amazing tally for 2010. The little Argentinian ended the year having served up more goals (42), assists (15) and dribbles (166) than anyone else in La Liga.
years was how long Ferenc Puskas’s Spanish record for goals in a single season (49) had stood before Lionel Messi grabbed his 50th of 2010/11 on 23 April. The Argentinian has since scored twice more, although he must find the net again at Wembley to surpass Cristiano Ronaldo, who finished the season on 53 thanks to 11 goals in his last four appearances.
league goals away from home this season and 46 at Camp Nou have made Barça only the second team in La Liga history to score more goals on the road than at home. Real Madrid, with 34 away and 32 at the Bernabeu in 2006/07, were the first. Guardiola’s side also became the first team to score in every one of their 19 away matches in a single Spanish top-flight season.
away matches without defeat, a streak that lasted over a year, was the run that led to Barcelona smashing the previous record of 19, set by Real Madrid between 1979 and 1980.
goals conceded in 38 La Liga matches this season enabled Barça to set a new club benchmark for a 38-match campaign, breaking the record of 24 they set last season.
European finals have now been reached by Barcelona, breaking the record of 16 they previously shared with old rivals Real Madrid.
straight league wins in 2010/11 have enabled Barcelona to set a new Spanish benchmark, eclipsing the 50-year-old record of the great Real Madrid team of the early 1960s.
assists have been provided by Dani Alves in this season’s La Liga campaign alone, more than any other defender in the Spanish top flight.
Champions League goals this season have enabled Messi to become the first player to top the tournament’s scoring charts in three successive campaigns. If congratulating on winning the award before the final seems presumptuous, bear in mind that Javier Hernandez - United’s leading marksman in Europe this season - would need to score seven times at Wembley simply to equal Messi’s current tally!
trophies have been won by Guardiola during his three seasons at the helm, a tally which could become ten by Saturday night. Johan Cruyff, who won 12, is the only coach in Barcelona's history to have won more, although he took seven seasons to accumulate his haul of silverware. No Barcelona coach other than Guardiola and his Dutch mentor have succeeded in winning three straight championships.
of the 11 league titles been won by Barcelona over the past two decades have involved Guardiola either as coach or player.
defeats have been inflicted on Barcelona this season, but Carles Puyol was missing from the Catalans’ line-up in all six. Puyol, who made his 100th Champions League appearance in the semi-final, second leg, last suffered defeat in a Barça shirt over 13 months ago, in the 3-1 loss at Inter.
major trophies in a single calendar year – a feat never before achieved – was the sum total of Barcelona’s extraordinary efforts in 2009, Guardiola’s first full year in charge.
victories at the Bernabeu is an achievement that no coach in Barcelona’s history before Guardiola had managed. The 40-year-old has managed it in just three seasons, with his aggregate score in away Clásicos currently standing at 11-3.