An FC Barcelona, full of B team players, was beaten by Sampdoria 0-1 in the 47th edition of the Joan Gamper tournament, a trophy that is losing prestige as the years pass by.
Sampdoria has taken their revenge for the Wembley final of 1992 with a solitary goal scored in the 2nd minute of the match by Soriano, in a passive game where the majority of Barca’s elite were watching from the stands.
It was a very watered down Joan Gamper Trophy to say the least, stuck between the first game of the season and the first leg of the Super Cup against Real Madrid, and far from their glory years where Barca fans first discovered the signings of the season playing for the first time.
Barca fielded at this year’s summer tournament, that pays tribute to the founder of the club, a team that was more like a B Team as quite rightly so, they are looking to keep the first team fresh for this Thursday’s match against Real Madrid. Yes, the rival Sampdoria, has served to pay tribute to the heroes of Wembley, twenty years after the first European Cup that was won by with a free kick from Ronald Koeman.
This time, the fans who turned up at the Camp Nou could not even find the latest signing from Arsenal, Alex Song, who was not picked despite greeting the Barca fans. But players that the fans did get to see were Andreu Fontàs, Afellay and especially David Villa, all getting back into the swing of things after long injury spells.
The match started with an early surprise as the Italians advanced upfield within the first minute of the match to find Soriano scoring from a good cross from Obiang. Barca were unfazed however and set the tempo of the game, showing that the lower ranked players are following in the footsteps of the first team heroes, but lacking the pace and intensity despite the fine efforts of young Gerard Deulofeu, the most dangerous of this watered down Barca, although guilty at times of excessive individualism.
David Villa, who scored this weekend against Real Sociedad his first goal after his leg break was able to further increase his time on the pitch with 70 minutes at a good pace but with no clear chances of scoring.
In the end, without almost any shots at goal, Tito Vilanova’s new Barca has put away another edition of the Joan Gamper Trophy that will hardly be remembered. Barca didn’t really have their mind on this game, preferring instead to concentrate on the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Real Madrid on Thursday.