Football, Barcelona and porn stars….or so I thought!

Ok.  Here’s the drum.  You are in Barcelona on a holiday and the first morning there you stumble into the tourist shop to pick up your museum pass and what do you know?  There is a sign up at the counter informing the fine football loving folk about town that there are still tickets available for the Champions League semi final in two days time!  FC Barcelona V Bayern Munich no less.  So I guess I had no option but to buy myself a ticket for the match.

It’s a wet day so once I collect my museum pass and match ticket I jump the metro in search of Camp Nou, home to FC Barcelona, the biggest football club in Europe over the past decade and one of the greatest clubs in the history of world sport.

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As I approach Camp Nou her sheer beauty smacks me in the face as she comes into my line of vision along the road I walk.  It’s an intimidating sight and I have not even passed through the stadium gates yet!  Once inside the grounds you are led along a pathway to the ticket office and a line up that snakes it’s way around the corner.  The lady at the ticket window informs me that because of the rain things are quiet today.  I’ve lined up for 20 minutes just to buy my tour ticket and she tells me it’s a quiet day? Wow!

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So another short walk up some stairs and past some rather unhappy looking security guards and I am overwhelmed as I enter the stadium museum.  One must remember that FC Barcelona, the people’s club have won no less than 22 La Liga titles, 4 European Cups, 2 World Club Champions titles, 26 time winners of the Copa del Ray, 4 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cups, 4 UEFA Super Cups and many more titles throughout Spain, Europe and the world!

This, my friends, is footballing royalty seen in few other places around the globe!

You are greeted by trophies on your right as you begin and a visual history to your left.  The more you progress the more it begins to truly sink in exactly where you are.  There are more trophies, photo’s and memorabilia, more trophies, interactive aras and well, more trophies.  It all quickly becomes intimidating as you pass your way through towards the stadium tour.

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What struck me most about this museum was just how quickly some people were passing through.  In fact many were skimming over, taking the odd photo but sadly not taking in the rich and deep history behind FC Barcelona.  Why pay good money and rush through it all in under an hour? Their loss!

After a good two hours I found myself at the entrance to a top tier of the stadium and my first glimpse of Camp Nou in all her glory.  Built and opened in September 1957 this colossal stadium with open air seating is something beautiful to witness.  I have been to some of the world’s elite sporting amphitheatres in my time and Camp Now is easily in my top 5.  I try to close my eyes and imagine what the crowd must sound like when the team is in full flight.

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Unlike many other stadium tours you can take your time here.  If you feel the need to take a seat and embrace the beauty of where you are then you can.  There are no time limits and there is plenty of opportunities to grab yourself a few happy snaps, which I do.  You slowly wind your way down to the change rooms before filing through the tunnel to pitch side where you can smell the atmosphere of all the glorious players who have graced the pitch. Maradonna, Cruyff, Messi and many greats of world football have plied their trade on this pitch.  Yet here I am living the dream and taking in the vast open spaces.

Thankfully for myself the heavy rain had eased up which meant I was able to enjoy my time pitch side.  Within seconds of me moving back up into the stands they closed the area off to other visitors because of the slippery surface as the rain once more began to throw it down.  Lucky me. Poor them.

A short time later I am taking a seat in the press box at the very top looking out over this field of dreams.  I close my eyes once more and imagine I am watching the great sides of years gone by.  I try to feel the atmosphere with nigh on 100,000 people are in the stadium, willing their team to victory. If only I had been a world class footballer.

A short time later I made my way back into the second half of the museum that involves are far more interactive element.  You can see all the kids loving this part.  It is a visual feast and by the time I finish in this area it dawns on me that I have been here for over 5 hours.  And I still have not seen everything I wanted to see!

Two days later Barcelona was heaving with Germans!  They had come from everywhere filling the pubs and side walk cafes whilst singing loud and long through the day.  By early afternoon some looked like they might struggle to see the start of the match!  They just kept on singing though.

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i adore watching football supporters in action.  They are a special breed.  Devoted to their team more than anything or anyone else.  It truly is a religion.  Parking myself in a cafe on Las Ramblas I was able to take in all the German antics and singing.  There were thousands of them.  A proper see of red everywhere you looked!  Later in the afternoon I made an exit and made my metro journey to Camp Nou.

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Barcelona were down 4-0 from the first leg and were also without the worlds best footballer, Messi for this match.  It was always going to be a difficult result for them to turn around though if one team was capable it had to be Barcelona.

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Barca supporters aren’t racist! They only hate Mancs!

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Countless men lined up to get a happy snap with this lady. She must have been a porn star or some such?

They began the match playing their high tempo passing game and looked good early on.  Bayern Munich held strong at the back though and late in the second half had put the match to bed 3-0.  The wall of Barca fans inside Camp Nou remained to the end.  They sung as loud when 3-0 down as they had at the start of the match when full of hope.  They were amazing.  As to the German fans who had helped make the day and night so special.

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Football is a beautiful, majestic and poetic sport to watch.  It is the only true world wide sport played by billions and watched by many more.  Lovers of the beautiful game will embrace this stadium and museum tour of Camp Nou with open arms.  Even if you don’t like sport, let alone football make every effort to come here and discover the political and social history behind this great club.  A true symbol behind Catalan culture.

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