We’ve Tried: A Visit to the Camp Nou Experience

Camp Nou Barcelona Stadium

Camp Nou, the home stadium of Barcelona Football Club, has been host to some of the greatest stars in football, and when over 98,000 voices sing the « Blue and Red » anthem in unison, the atmosphere is quite incredible.

I am personally a great fan of football and so to stay in the city of Barcelona without visiting the legendary Camp Nou is quite unthinkable. Without a second’s hesitation, I grabbed my camera and went on a guided tour of the stadium!

My first impression on arrival was the sheer size of the stadium. I didn’t actually spend much time outside as I had been so excited about the visit, and was like a child about to open his Christmas presents.

I headed to what I imagined was the entrance and whilst waiting a few minutes in the queue I watched as a couple had their photograph taken alongside a surprisingly realistic, life-size image of Gerard Piqué, and have to admit feeling almost envious!

I went inside and waited a few minutes until it was my turn to collect the audio-guide – I didn’t want to lose a single detail of the history of Barça. The audio guide is available in Spanish, Catalan, French, Italian, German, English and Dutch. It explains a whole number of different stories and anecdotes about Camp Nou.

 

image Enjoy a 5% discount on a visit to Camp Nou with the Oh-Barcelona card. {What is this?)

 

The visit

The tour begins in the visiting team’s dressing rooms, where some of the sport’s greatest players have spent the last few minutes of pre-match mental preparation. I have never seen dressing rooms like them, including a jacuzzi, massage tables and the large blackboard which José Mourinho is likely to have used for his great tactical preparation in the Champions League semi-finals.

 

I continue on my visit carefully following the numbers corresponding to the different chapters of the audio guide and go down into the tunnel where the players pass just before going on the pitch. You can imagine and literally feel the tension of the place. I pass in front of a room I had never seen before and wonder if I am really seeing what I think I am seeing.

But it isn’t a dream: candles, stained glass windows, a cross on the wall and a heavy atmosphere – a chapel inside Camp Nou. I felt a slight shiver when the audio guide suddenly explained that the chapel had been blessed by the Pope!

Although surprised I feel a great curiosity to learn more about this particularly enigmatic place and continue on my route. The light at the end of the tunnel indicated that I had reached the pitch. I stretch a little as if warming up for the big game and run out of the tunnel just like Lionel Messi, reaching the field and greeting an absent audience. It is the moment when it really hits me just how huge this extraordinary stadium really is. I take a number of photos and continue on with my visit up some more stairs and into the press office where I glance around wishfully at the journalists for an exclusive interview. It is in this room that the players and coach give their post-match analysis. It is a location we are used to seeing on television with its characteristic panel of sponsors in the back ground, and to actually see it first-hand is quite breath-taking.


I continue on my way, climb some more stairs and finally reach the presidential stand where the directors and President of Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu, sit to watch the matches. According to my audio guide, the President always sits in the same seat, in the middle of the row. The visit around the stadium continues and we reach the very top of the grandstand, the area of television and radio commentary cabins. The unique feature of Camp Nou in this respect is that the cabins have no glass meaning the commentators can really capture the stadium’s atmosphere. The view of the stadium is even more impressive and perfect to watch the match. I then head to the biggest cabin and to the complete surprise of the other visitors I cannot resist shouting “Goal, goal, goal, goal, gooooooooooooooooooooal Barrrcelona!!” Feeling quite satisfied I turn around to discover that I am not alone and a group of children are standing laughing at me.

The Museum

It is time for the FC Barcelona museum.

Beginning with the multimedia area, a fantastic way to awaken the senses with the sound of the Barça anthem, you can listen whilst following the lyrics, translated into 30 different languages. I pick up some headphones to listen to the anthem, close my eyes and suddenly find myself inside the stadium, with the speaker naming the players, and you can imagine what comes next….I lose complete control of my senses and begin singing at the top of my voice.

I stop in front of a touch screen where I am told about the history of the club’s greatest players, before watching a giant screen displaying some of the happiest moments in the team’s history. The great itinerary in the multimedia area makes me realize the real meaning of the Barça slogan: « more than a club »

FC Barcelona Camp Nou Display

En route I discover the shirts and boots that have been worn by some of the club’s greatest players: from Kubala to Cruyff and Puyol, it is quite wonderful to see the shirts that represented some really great moments for the players.

I reach the end of the visit and an area displaying a number of Barça trophies, including the World and Champions League Cups, to name the most important. The visit ends with the official FC Barcelona shop where you can find absolutely anything with the red and blue image, from traditional football shirts to scarves and dressing gowns. There are also bags of crisps, dog kennels, books, pens and numerous other items all stamped with the FCB logo.

President Núñez FC Barcelona Camp Nou Hallway

The experience in the Nou Camp was quite extraordinary and full of different feelings and emotions – I thoroughly recommend a visit!!

How was your visit to the legendary FC Barcelona Stadium?

Feel free to add a comment at the end of the article…

Geoffrey

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