If you want to understand modern Barcelona – you should visit Camp Nou stadium and museum of football club “Barcelona”. It is the business card of the capital of Catalonia along with architectural masterpieces of Gaudi, museums, theaters and cathedrals. And, the third on attendance after the Temple Sagrada Familia and the Picasso museum.
Soccer in Spain – not simply game. It is a cult, art, love and life.
Not without reason on one of tribunes of stadium is imprinted the motto of FC “Barcelona”: “It is more, than club”. It is a symbol of Catalonia, its history and modernity, traditions and the future. The team not simply extremely plays soccer. The club actively participates in country life, in its social and humanitarian programs. Football academy of Barcelona La Masia – real “factory of stars” of the Spanish and world soccer. Spaniards prefer to bring up the football geniuses, than to buy overseas legionaries. Also are able to do it! Not without reason about present team joke that the FC “Barcelona” is Spanish national team plus of Lionel Messi. And the Catalan – Josep (in a Catalan way “Jusep”) Guardioala, the pupil of football school of “Barcelona”, her glorified player and the captain of the national team of Catalonia became the best trainer for all history of club besides.
“Catalonia is the country. And the football club “Barcelona” – its army”, is the Englishman Bobby Robson, one of coaches of club told. It is difficult to be at more exact loss for words. “Barsa” not simply legendary club which glorified Barcelona, Catalonia and all Spain brilliant victories and star names. This embodiment of national Catalan spirit.
From the very beginning of history of club his founders tried to connect club with the native earth. From here both loud name of team, and its main symbols.
The coat of arms of Catalonia became an emblem of “Barcelona” from the moment of its foundation in 1899: red-yellow strips and a red cross of Saint George which Catalans still call a cross of Sacred Eulalia – patronesses of Barcelona.
And in 10 years the acquaintance to us the coat of arms of club which in more than hundred years almost didn’t change was approved. Blue and garnet strips of club equipment, an abbreviation of the name of the F.C.B team were added to elements of the Catalan coat of arms. and a leather ball – where without it! By the way, the origin of these strips has just no relation to Spain. They remind of the Swiss roots of the ancestor of “Barsa” – Hans Gamper. The athlete and the aficionado of soccer by the time of arrival to Spain already managed to play in several clubs of Europe. And even I participated in formation of some of them. And so: blue and garnet colors are a symbol of one of the Swiss cantons, Hans’s homeland. And respectively, colors of its favourite clubs – “Basel” and “Excelsior”.
There is at “Barcelona” also the anthem. It was written to the 75 anniversary of club in 1974 and since then is executed before each play of the team.
The most interesting attribute of football club “Barcelona” is called “the Grandfather of Barcelona”. For the first time this mythical character was mentioned in 1924 in journal article. Many decades an image of the Grandfather later it was embodied in the form of a sculpture of the elderly Catalan in the clothes reminding a football form of the 60th years and with barretiny on the head (a national man’s attire of Catalans). Over his head the flag of football club “Barcelona” flutters.
The Grandfather’s sculpture near youth football academy – to La Massia is established. It is considered that the Grandfather is the keeper of club and foretells it a set of nice victories. And therefore we will unusually read Barcelonians. And one fine day the cult character unexpectedly recovered. The fan of “Barsa” who since 1984 appears at all games of team in an image of the Grandfather became him. The history how after the first victory of the team in the Cup of the European champions it promised to shave a beard if the team makes it for the second time is well-known. The promise had to be kept in 2006 when the title was again won.
As soon as the speech came about fans, it is necessary to mention their nickname traditional, known for the whole world – “cules”. From a Catalan “culo” that in translation means “ass”. The origin of this word returns us by the beginning of history of club – to its first stadium. At the beginning of the 20th century the stadium of “blue and garnet” represented the glade surrounded with a two-storyed tribune and several rows of wooden benches.
The passersby going by stadium during a match saw from below that part of a body of the fans of “Barsa” sitting on the top circle of a tribune. Perhaps to someone this nickname would also seem offensive – only not to Catalans! In these regions the fifth point in big honor is also a pride subject, but not a reason for confusion for locals.
Here so, slowly, we reached, at last, to that part of history of “Barcelona” which is connected with its stadium.
Since 1957 and to this day the house arena of football club “Barcelona” is the Camp Nou stadium that in is translated with Catalan as “new field”. So fans soon after opening began to call it. His official name then was “Stadium of football club Barcelona” (Estadio del FC Barcelona). “New field” he was nicknamed in relation to old stadium – “Camp de les Corts” which became too small to contain the grown-up number of admirers of team. Not the last role in the decision on the beginning of construction of new stadium was played with that the worst enemy of Catalans – the Madrid “Real” – already celebrated opening of the new arena. In three years of construction of new stadium the number of persons interested to attend matches of “Barsa” increased by one and a half time. And only in 2001 its primordial, national name – “Camp Nou” was returned to the arena.
Exactly here “blue and garnet” endured the highest points of the history. Here they won loud victories and reaped the richest crop of football trophies.
Today this hundred-thousandth stadium – one of the largest football arenas of Europe and the world. Both on capacity, and on the occupied space. For the history it was several times reconstructed. The first time – for the World Cup of 1982 when the stadium in Barcelona was going to host an opening match. Capacity of stadium was increased to 115 thousand. The record of filling of tribunes of stadium was set on one a bit later from Michael Jackson’s concerts – 135 thousand audience! Approximately at the same time – also the Museum of football club “Barcelona” was in the mid-eighties open. It became very popular at once and among football fans, and with ordinary tourists.
When in the nineties the last century the new rules of UEFA forbidding standing places on tribunes were introduced, the stadium again had to be reconstructed. Benches were replaced with seats. Because of it the capacity of tribunes was reduced to present 99 thousand.
“Camp Nou” – one of the few five-star stadiums on classification of UEFA. In Spain such only 4. To see this super modern sports complex, it is necessary to buy the ticket in the museum of FC “Barcelona”. Excursion on Kamp Nou stadium also is included in its price. It is possible to make it directly in one of cash desks, and it is possible and online to avoid possible turns. Owners of a discount card of Barcelona (Barcelona Card) receive a five-percent discount for an entrance to the museum.
Feature of excursion that it is calculated generally on independent survey. You aren’t limited in time and you can glance slowly in all corners of stadium which will seem to you the most interesting. Numerous indexes help to be guided. And still it is possible to address for the help to any of security guards if you know at least the minimum English.
We suggest you to get acquainted with the main stages of excursion.
It is better to begin excursion with the museum.
In one of three halls of the museum the huge collection of photos of different years is collected. But its main highlight – a huge interactive touch wall. Here you can learn history of club in more detail. After all she is marked out not only brilliant victories, but also tragic events of civil war when Catalan team was exposed to repressions from the Franco regime. Here it is possible to watch video topics about modern life of club, to see a collection of the best heads and to leave the comments.
The second hall of the museum – “Soccer art”. It is an exhibition of the works of art anyway connected with soccer. Among other there are works of great Catalan artists of Dali and Tapies here.
The club relics and numerous trophies won by “Barsa” for long history are stored in the third hall. Here you will see gold boots of Leo Messi, the Maradona t-shirt and legendary Ronald Koeman boots in which the victorious goal in a cup-final of Champions of 1992 was scored. Among a set of football trophies of club the main pearl of a collection – the Cup of the Champions League of 2006. Both of these cups were already mentioned by us if you remember, so far as concerned the Grandfather of Barcelona. And so with the Cup of 2006 it is possible not only to be photographed, but also to touch – at additional expense. Costs a touch to history some 13 euro.
Besides the museum you can visit a locker room for guests. The locker room of owners – an inner sanctum of this football behind the scenes – is closed for foreign eyes. But in a guest locker room you can feel at home. Everything can be touched, considered and even to sit on shops.
Near locker rooms there is a place, surprising for modern stadium: the real, though small, Catholic chapel, with stained-glass windows, small benches and an altar. It was consecrated in 1984. Here football players pray before a match. Yes, for devout Catalans it is more, than the club is a temple of soccer. Perhaps in it the secret of their luck and not just in skill and natural endowments is covered?
To feel inflow of adrenaline which loads on the next fight of the football players leaving in the field under a rumble of many thousands stadium, pass on the tunnel conducting in the field.
And having come to the arena, it is possible to sit on a bench, to trainers the panorama of football fight from where opens.
The modern, equipped state-of-the-art commentator booths are also open for visit. From height of 35 meters everything, what occurs in the field is clearly visible.
It is possible to glance and to the hall for the press where after a match football players and the trainer answer questions of journalists. Or to the VIP-hall where there are management meetings with sponsors.
And no matter how you treated soccer and team from Barcelona before travel on “Camp Nou”, having left from here, you will precisely look at Game of millions with new eyes.
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