That Futbol Club Barcelona is one of the top football teams in the world is undoubtedly and so serious sports fans have to pay at least one visit in their life to see them play at their home stadium, the Nou Camp.
FC Barcelona is often known as Barça, used to emphasize the Catalan pronunciation rather than the lisp “Barthelona” of the Spanish Castilian. While many who visit Barcelona refer to this city as Barça, you will find that none of the locals do – it is reserved only for sports clubs.
And if you attend one of the FC Barcelona matches, you will find a lot of visitors in the stadium too. Barcelona’s growing popularity as a short-stay destination has resulted from super cheap flights from EasyJet and Ryanair among others, and the club’s increasing fortunes over the last few years since Joan Laporta became president and Ronaldinho came on the plane has ensured that the number of Barcelona FC tickets sold to tourists has been skyrocketed.
But the team didn’t start and end with Ronaldinho; Samuel Eto’o is Barça’s Lain star while Lionel Messi is currently tied as the next Maradona, with “his own goals this century” to prove it. And don’t forget goalkeeper Victor Valdes who is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in Spain, team captain Carles Puyol, or the likes of Xavi, Deco or Ludovic Giuly.
If you attend one of the more popular matches at the Nou Camp you will experience the thrill of the local crowd and if it is Real Madrid that Barça plays then that passion will be on the point of overboiling.
Nearly a hundred thousand spectators can sit at the Nou Camp and when the stadium is full of rumble the crowd can be deafening. You will find people of all ages and backgrounds and if the match coincides with a public holiday in particular then many children will be served for the match, accompanied by their parents or grandparents.
Whether Barça wins, loses or draws is always important, but if Ronaldinho plays in form the final result can sometimes be secondary. With a display of ball control that many footballers practice but rarely use in match situations, Ronaldinho can stun his football, enjoy himself to the full and delight the crowd.
Nou Camp is one of the biggest football stadiums in the world and going there is an experience in itself. While football fans should aim to see Barça in action, the stadium is also very popular as a tourist destination. In fact the Barça museum is Catalonia’s most visited museum, ahead of Barcelona’s Picasso Museum and Salvador Dali’s museum in Figueres.
With trophies, documents and photo views, you can also participate in a stadium tour, which includes visits to the changing rooms, tunnels and directors area.
With all that in store how can you call yourself a sports fan and not pay homage to one of the greatest teams on Earth on their home turf?