FC Barcelona stands to potentially generate more than $80 million through a successful performance in their Champions League group stage, marking their return to the knockout phase after a three-season absence.
While clinching the La Liga title last season required significant effort and secured their position in Pot 1, the recent UCL draw in Monaco was notably favorable to the Blaugrana, in contrast to previous years’ tougher draws.
In the current edition, Barcelona finds itself in Group H, alongside Royal Antwerp, Porto, and Shakhtar Donetsk, with Tuesday’s match at the Montjuic Stadium marking their competition opener. While acknowledging the quality of their opponents, Barcelona holds a strong possibility of winning all six matches by year-end.
According to Mundo Deportivo, such a successful run would translate into a much-needed €16.8 million ($18 million) in earnings, equating to €2.8 million ($3 million) for each victory.
This amount can supplement the €15.64 million ($16.7 million) that Barcelona is set to receive for their participation in the group stage. Additionally, there is a substantial €34.11 million ($36.5 million) prize awaiting them for holding the third position in a historical ranking based on the best-performing teams over the past decade.
While Barcelona hasn’t secured the championship title since their victory over Juventus in Berlin in 2015, they have made it to the semi-finals in 2012, 2013, and 2019. In those respective years, they were ultimately surpassed by the eventual champions: Chelsea, Bayern Munich, and Liverpool.
In this endeavor, Barcelona won’t need to advance as deeply into the competition to significantly boost their finances. Even achieving a place in the last 16, which is the primary goal set by head coach Xavi Hernandez, would result in an additional €9.6 million ($10.2 million) in earnings.
If Barca win all six of their group games then, their total earnings will be €76.05 million ($81.3 million) which will be greatly welcomed in an era of struggling to navigate Financial Fair Play limits.
The additional funds could also be instrumental in facilitating winter transfers and ensuring the smooth arrival of Brazilian teenage sensation Vitor Roque from Athletico Paranaense, as originally planned for January 2024.
It’s worth noting that Barcelona has achieved a total of 18 points from six group-stage games only once before. This remarkable feat occurred during the 2002/2003 season, when Barcelona appeared to be one of the top contenders in the tournament. However, their journey was cut short in the quarter-finals when they were eliminated by Juventus, who eventually became the runners-up.
The next best point tallies for Barcelona came in the 2005-2006 and 2011-2012 seasons when they garnered 16 points. As previously mentioned, in 2012, Barcelona was eliminated in the semi-finals by Chelsea, who went on to win the UEFA Champions League by defeating Bayern Munich in a penalty shootout at the Allianz Arena.
In the 2005/2006 season, a team led by Ronaldinho, featuring a young Lionel Messi and current manager Xavi, triumphed by defeating Arsenal in Paris and securing the prestigious trophy for the second time in the club’s history.