In Cologne, FC Barcelona will play in its 15th EuroLeague Final Four, which is the second-most by any team in competition history. The seven-year gap between its most recent Final Four appearance and its 2021 qualification was the longest such gap the club ever endured. In the first decade of the Final Four era, which began in 1988, Barcelona reached European basketball’s flagship event six times – including four appearances in the championship game. However, Barcelona failed to bring the trophy home and then missed out on the first Final Four in the Catalan capital, in 1998.

The next time Barcelona hosted the Final Four was in 2003 and that time Dejan Bodiroga, Sarunas Jasikevicius – who is now the team’s head coach – and co. went all the way. Barcelona had another golden age when it qualified for the Final Four in five of six seasons between 2009 and 2014 and won its second EuroLeague crown in 2010 in Paris. The only season in that time in which Barcelona missed the Final Four was 2011 when the games were back in Barcelona.

Barcelona has lost three consecutive semifinal games and historically is 6-8 at that stage. Its two championships are the fewest by any club with at least 10 Final Four appearances. Barcelona has not always performed at its best in Germany, where it has lost six of its last nine games. This season will mark Barcelona’s third Final Four in Germany. It fell to Jugoplastika Split in the semifinals and Aris Thessaloniki in the third-place game at the 1989 event in Munich. Barcelona came up short against CSKA Moscow in the semifinals in Berlin in 2009 before defeating Olympiacos Piraeus in the third-place game.

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