Camp Nou is the largest football stadium in Europe with a seating of 99,354. ‘Camp Nou’ used by the Catalan people means ‘New Field’ in English. The home stadium of FC Barcelona club was inaugurated in 1957. Originally the stadium was named ‘Estadi del FC Barcelona’ but later changed to ‘Camp Nou’ through a fan poll. Unlike other stadiums, the Camp Nou is owned by a group of individuals who are responsible for the stadiums affair.
Over the years, the stadium capacity has kept on changing. In 1950’s, when it was called ‘Les Corts’ the seating was 60,000. The legendary Spanish player Ladislao Kubala is known to be the first FC Barcelona star in those days.
During his performance days, the crowds kept on increasing and it became difficult to accommodate the growing number of visitors at one time and that’s how the idea of ‘Camp Nou’ a bigger stadium was built.
The grand stadium has hosted several crucial matches in the history of football such as the final of the Summer Olympics in 1992, UEFA cup finals, the World Cup finals in 1982 and other finals of Champions league and La liga. In fact, the Spanish football team had won its first Olympic Gold here beating Poland 3-2 in the final.
Camp Nou receives full attendance for FC Barcelona games where many of the fans are tourist. Due to high ticket prices, the locals prefer to watch the game in clubs and pubs.
It is said that the tiki-taka style of Spanish football play was mastered at the camp nou. This unique strategy helped them win the world cup in 2010. However, the Spanish side couldn’t repeat their performance and lost to Russia in a crucial penalty shoot-out in 2018.
A Camp Nou tour gives you access to attractions like the press room, chapel for the players, a walk inside players facilities, commentary box in the stadium and souvenir shops.
Museum inside Camp Nou is a key attraction for the visitors. The museum houses FC Barcelona’s club legacy displaying players merchandise, footwear, trophies and other fascinating memorabilia. A dedicated Lionel Messi wall showcasing the legends achievements is a big crowd puller.
The symbolic stadium has an exclusive Presidential box and VIP’s lounge. You can experience the paradise of football by taking a walk through the players tunnel and even get close to the pitch, or simply sit in a players dugout and feel the intensity.
‘Mes que un club’ written in yellow on the blue backdrop means ‘More than a club’. It represents the Catalan sentiments and their love for the sport.
‘Barca’ is another colloquial term used to address the Barcelona team. This term strongly appears in the official anthem of FC Barcelona club. The anthem song is played in loudspeakers at the time of matches where all the club supporters sing together. So in your next travel visit to Camp Nou… do remember to sing this song … Barca Barca Barca!
I visited this place in 2018.
Few more pictures taken during my visit:
Tickets can be booked with – www.fcbarcelona.com
Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai