Camp Nou, the legendary football stadium in Barcelona is a must-see attraction for any football lover visiting the city. But it’s also pretty dang interesting for somebody who isn’t a die-hard fan.
I won’t lie, I was initially hesitant to visit Camp Nou. Don’t get me wrong, I used to love football, back in my teenage years when trainers were the only shoes I cared about and make-up was a myth. But as I got older my interests changed, replacing balls with books and trainers. Well. Every shoe I’ve ever loved. But that doesn’t stop me from appreciating the game and the mass community that follows it. I’ve never known a community more passionate and uniting, than that of the ones created by football. And so, for old times’ sake, it seemed like a great thing to do when exploring Barcelona.
Camp Nou has seen iconic players such as Romário, Kubala, Rivaldo, Cruyff, Ronaldhino and Messi play over the years, and it’s easy to see why so many believe Barcelona to be the greatest club in the world. The passion for the game is palpable in the city, and walking around the grounds of Camp Nou it’s obvious for anybody to see that they care as much about the history of football, as they do about the future of it.
The tour through Camp Nou starts with the museum that houses all of the trophies and memorabilia that FC Barcelona has collected throughout the years. It was fascinating to look at the club’s history and was immediately clear how much thought they had put into it, with interactive exhibits and a wealth of memorabilia—including a section dedicated to FC Barcelona’s legendary player, Lionel Messi.
Then you walk through to the press rooms, the player’s locker room (which, considering how nice the rest of the club is, looks as though it was a complete afterthought), the tunnel and the pitch. It was great to get an insight into the inner workings and see the dedication that goes into making sure that each match is a success.
Up next was the commentator’s booth—which has the best seat in the house no doubt. It’s on my to-do list to watch a football match in person, and I think I would actually keel over in happiness if I ever got to watch a match from up there or one of the boxes below. But apparently, they reserve those for people who are actually “fans” of football or something. Outrageous.
The stadium was designed by Francesc Mitjans, and with a capacity of 99,354—it’s the largest stadium in Europe. And from up here, it feels it. Showing how easy it is to be struck by its sheer size.
But overall, it was a pretty good day and whilst I didn’t originally want to visit Camp Nou, I am glad that I did. It was easy to appreciate the beauty of the game, and the history that’s wrapped up in it.