Barcelona – a city known for gothic architecture, tapas, Catalonian pride and, most importantly, its soccer club. With great excitement I walked the beautiful La Rambla, toured Gaudi's exquisite building designs, including the most famous La Sagrada Familia, but my ultimate plan was to see a match played at Camp Nou. Soccer is religion in Europe and particularly in Spain. Indeed, Barcelona’s motto: ‘Mes que un club’ translates to ‘more than a club’ as it is a way of life to the Catalonians.
I woke early and dressed warm for a cold Sunday in the midst of February. After a ten-minute metro ride packed in amongst fans wearing the red and blue team stripes, I’m lining up outside the stadium to have my face painted, eventually leaving with two flags printed on my grinning cheeks. I deliberately arrived early to see the team bus drive in to a screaming group of supporters and to take in the atmosphere of the stadium – just like Rome’s Coliseum – as it fills up to its near 100,000 capacity.
Trumpets blare, drums beat and choruses are sung as the whistle blows and the game kicks-off. The pace is electric, passing exquisite as I slurp down Alhambra beer and cheer with the fan next to me. We try and communicate our enthusiasm using intermediate language skills but soccer ultimately breaks down all barriers as we high five every one of the six goals Barcelona score in typical flamboyant fashion against Getafe. The whistle blows to a final roar from the crowd and I wave my team scarf in tribute celebrating the end of a perfect day – well almost as I join the fans on the grass banks outside reveling in the game’s highlights. There is no better experience in Barcelona than a visit to the Camp Nou.
F.c.Barcelona,(n.d) More than a club. Retrieved February, 14th, 2016, from http://www.fcbarcelona.com/club/board-members/detail/card/more-than-a-club