Punctual for their annual meeting with Cologne, Barça fulfilled the formality of the second leg of the quarter-finals against PSG with a comfortable victory (32-31) – the eight goals in the first leg were already definitive – and certified their 12th place in the final four of the Champions League, the sixth in a row, in the 15 editions with this format.

The Blaugrana team will meet on June 8 and 9 at the Lanxess Arena with Magdeburg, reigning champion and big favourite, Kiel – who completed the quarter-final feat by scoring nine goals in Montpellier – and Aalborg, who thrashed Veszprém ; an unpublished poster. The semi-final opponent will know on Tuesday, when the draw will be made in Budapest (5 p.m.).

Barça will arrive in Cologne as the second best team on the card, although with numbers very similar to Magdeburg, the two teams with more wins (13) and fewer defeats (3). Precisely, the Blaugrana team, the top scorer (535), has conceded two of its three defeats against the Germans and Montpellier, both in the last two days of the group stage. Unlike last year, Ortega’s team is no longer the one that defends best. It is surpassed by Magdeburg and Kiel. Of course, the Blaugrana team can boast for another year of being the team that has been to Cologne the most times. And long With 12 participations in the 15 editions, the closest is Kiel with 9 appearances; for Magdeburg it is the second, just like for Aalborg (rival in the 2021 final).

In the second leg of the quarter-finals, in front of a sold-out Palau Blaugrana, with the best attendance of the season (5,467 spectators), Barça soon put victory on track with Janc’s 5-3 goal in the 8m30s. A solid defense, as it already displayed in Paris, and the diversity of goalscorers, more easily than in the first leg, Barça began to pick up cruising speed without difficulty. So, at the 23 minute mark, they were four goals down (Aleix Gómez’s 14-10), went on to score 6 (Ariño’s 17-11) and closed the first half with a comfortable 5 (17-12 ).

Barça ended the duel with the 7 scored by Frade right at the start of the second half (19-12). With 15 goals to their credit, the Blaugrana stopped accelerating and PSG took advantage of this to make up the scoreboard and get within a goal.

The bad news was the injury of Pol Valera, who retired in the arms of Frade and Dika Mem with five minutes remaining. The Garriga centre-back hurt his right knee.

The nostalgic note was the farewell of the legendary Nikola Karabatic, Barcelona player between 2013 and 2015. The full-back, who retires at the Games at the age of 40, scored two goals.