Nou Camp - Barcelona F.C., Barcelona
20 reviews from the community
Review of "Nou Camp - Barcelona F.C., Barcelona"
Too busy, I'm afraid. Hope the crew here is well.
Here's something to do while you're in Barcelona: ask (politely!) any Catalan on the street what the most important football team in the world is. It doesn't take an Einstein to realise that FC Barcelona will come up trumps 99.99% of the time."El Nou Estadi del Futbol Club Barcelona", affectionately known by the Catalan nickname of "Camp Nou", is the current home of FC Barcelona. The venue for numerous glorious footballing moments since its inauguration in 1957, the famous stadium undoubtedly contains the most revered blades of grass in Catalonia, and a comprehensive list of the sporting greats who have graced it would be very long indeed. The fiery Catalan separatist tradition has always flowed naturally onto the football pitch; anyone who has witnessed Barcelona against bitter rivals Real Madrid would find it hard to disagree!
FC Barcelona was founded in the late 19th century, and occupied several stadia around the city before moving to the Nou Camp in 1957. This was inevitable as the club's popularity had soared during the 50s, driven by the team's amazing success. With a capacity of 98,000 , the stadium is by far the largest in Europe and second only to the legendary Brazilian Maracana worldwide.Located in the northwest of the city, the stadium is a few minutes' walk from Collblanc Metro station (L5 Light-Blue). Admission is a real bargain at 575ptas (~£2.30) for adults and 425ptas (~£1.70) for students with the ISIC card.
With football being increasingly run as a business nowadays, it's hardly surprising that the Nike club shop is the first stop! And what a club shop it is - 2 massive storeys forming the equivalent of merchandising heaven. Whether you're looking for replica kits, signed balls, boots/trainers or mugs, you'll find them here. Even table football sets and novelty chocolates are available! Due to Barcelona's sizeable international contingent, especially from the Netherlands and Brazil, plenty of international kits are also on sale. And of course, the get-your-photo-taken-then-cut-and-pasted-next-to-your-favourite-player ploy is in full swing. As one would expect, prices are definitely on the high side.The first few museum exhibits cater for FC Barcelona's other (lesser known but equally successful) sports teams. Trophy cabinets are packed with ice hockey, field hockey, handball and basketball prizes. However, the emphasis soon moves onto football - the shelves upon shelves of glittering trophies were enough to make my QPR-supporting friend quite ill! Video screens are dotted everywhere, replaying Barcelona's magical European Cup triumph of 1992 and other memorable victories. Koeman's free kick at Wembley which sank Sampdoria was practically ingrained into my brain by the end of the visit!
An impressive amount of footballing culture and art is on show. Sculptures, paintings, antique balls and other paraphernalia are displayed to preserve the rich history of FC Barcelona.The incredible size of the Nou Camp only struck fully when we entered the stadium proper. The pitch itself was strictly out of bounds (no Hollyoaks-esque antics then!) but we were allowed to explore freely the middle terrace. The pitch and the groundsmen looked distinctly tiny, such was the vastness of the stadium. The fact that we visited the Nou Camp on the eve of Liverpool's UEFA cup semi-final meant that there were quite a few red shirts milling around, and this only added to the rarefied atmosphere.
On the way out, photos of some of the great players who have represented Barcelona adorned the walls. To name a selection: Cruyff, César, Maradona, Eusebio, Stoichkov, Ronaldo, dare we include Figo? The team photos featured the British exports of Mark Hughes and Gary Lineker!The current crisis in the UK could leave the English game without a national stadium. The FA really could learn a lesson or two from the slick professionalism of FC Barcelona. Who needs the Twin Towers anyway?
PS The Ciao management has informed me that none of my travel ops may be considered for the latest competition, because I'm not old enough :( It's very disappointing, but I'm enjoying this series so much that I might as well complete it!
NB. This is the 5th instalment of my BS series. For the introduction, please kindly turn to "BS Uno - The Odyssey Begins"; general information on Barcelona is scattered throughout the series. Thanks for reading!
Product Information : Nou Camp - Barcelona F.C., Barcelona
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Listed on Ciao since: 07/12/2000