The most recent meeting between Spanish giants Barcelona and Hibs, a pre-season friendly in July 2008, was the one sided-affair that had been expected as Messi et al contributed to a 6-0 win over Mixu Paatelainen’s side at Murrayfield.
It was, however, a different outcome almost half a century earlier when Hugh Shaw took his Easter Road team to Catalonia for an Inter-Cities Fairs Cup quarter-final first leg tie the day after Boxing Day in 1960.
More than 50,000 were at the Nou Camp and it was Hibs who were quick out of the traps, Joe Baker’s brace having twice put the Capital side in front only for the hosts to peg them back.
However, further strikes from Tommy Preston and Johnny McLeod had given the visitors the ascendancy once more.
But Barcelona wouldn’t let up and they levelled the match at 4-4 to give their shell-shocked supporters some hope of progressing to the last four ahead of the second leg in Edinburgh in the February.
Easter Road welcomed 47,000 for the return leg and, despite Barcelona having led 2-1 at half-time and 6-5 on aggregate – the home side having gone ahead through another Baker strike – Hibs rallied with Preston equalising in the second half.
Then, with just five minutes remaining, Bobby Kinloch’s penalty sent those inside the Leith ground wild. Hibs had won 3-2 on the night and a quite breathtaking tie 7-6 on aggregate. Shaw’s men, though, were knocked out in the semi-final by eventual winners Roma.