– Finished 3rd in La Liga last season on 71 points, 15 behind Real Madrid and 18 behind Barcelona.
– They play at Mestalla which has a capacity of 55,000.
– Their manager is 38-year-old Unai Emery who joined the club in 2008 after spending two years at Spanish side Lorca Deportiva, where he gained promotion to Division 2 in his first season, the first time in the club’s history, then 5th in that division in his second season. He then left for UD Almería where again he earned promotion, this time to the top division, again for the first time in that club’s history, then 8th in his second season.
– Their highest scorer for the past five years has been David Villa who has since left them for Barcelona.
– Their second highest scorer was 22-year-old winger Juan Mata with 10 goals.
– Argentinian midfielder Ever Banega claimed the highest number of assists with the club, with 8, just 2 fewer than Messi.
– Their goalkeeper, César Sánchez, had the third best record in the league behind Casillas and Valdés, conceding on average just 0.97 goals per game.
– Their most recent successes include the La Liga title, UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 2004, Copa del Rey in 2008, and reached the Champions League final in 2000 and 2001, losing out on the latter in sudden death penalties.
– They are the current Scottish champions, winning the league on 87 points, 6 points clear of Celtic.
– Their manager is Walter Smith who was Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant at Scotland during the 1986 World Cup. He went on to manage the national team himself in 2004 after stints at Rangers and Everton. He has won 9 league titles with Rangers during the two times he’s spent as their manager. He also spent some time at United as our assistant towards the end of the 03-04 season after Carlos Queiroz left for Real Madrid.
– Ferguson on Smith: “There are few people in the game with his experience, knowledge and technical ability.”
– Rangers have won 53 league titles, including 5 in the last 10 years.
– The club’s all-time top scorer, Ally McCoist, is their assistant manager.
– Their top scorer was Kris Boyd with 23 goals, who has since left them for Middlesbrough, with Kenny Miller their second highest scorer on 18 goals.
– Last year their finished bottom of their CL group and the season before they didn’t make it past the qualifying round to get in to the competition.
– This is the Turkish side’s first ever season in the Champions League, however, they did reach the quarter finals in the 1975 European Cup Winners’ Cup and the 1995 UEFA Intertoto Cup.
– Their nickname is “Green Crocodiles”.
– They play at the Bursa Ataturk Stadium which has a capacity of 25,000.
– They were champions of the Turkish League last season for the first time in their club’s history, pipping Fenerbahce on the final day of the season, who had started the day 1 point clear. They are a small club who don’t have a lot of money and their title win came as a big shock.
– Their manager is Ertuğrul Sağlam who picked up 30 caps for Turkey during his playing career and who has been in management for 7 years. He was the manager of the Beşiktaş side who lost 8-0 to Liverpool in 2007. He won the UEFA Intertoto Cup with Kayserispor in 2006.
– 20 of their 28 players are Turkish and 4 of them currently represent Turkey.
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