Barcelona’s exodus to Montjuïc begins lukewarm at the Joan Gamper Trophy. Today, four days before the start of the League, the last champion seems in a state of expectation. Waiting to see how the squad is sealed, also how Xavi’s Barça adapts, but also his fans, to their new home. From the outset, a bittersweet debut, Barcelona suffered to defeat a Tottenham with a majority of substitutes in Barcelona. The Barça team woke up at the end of the duel. Ferran (minute 81), Ansu (89) and Abde (93) sealed the comeback, after Lewandowski had started the scoring, while for the English team Skipp had scored twice. “It will not be an easy season, it will be atypical because we changed houses; we need you more than ever”, asked Xavi.
Ter Stegen (Iñaki Peña, 61st minute), Eric Garcia (Lamine Yamal, 80th minute), Ronald Araújo (Sergi Roberto, 32nd minute), Alex Balde (Marcos Alonso, 61st minute), Koundé, Pedri (Gündogan, Oriol Romeu (Fermin Lopez, 80 minutes), Gavi (Ansu Fati, 61 minutes), Frenkie De Jong, Raphinha (Abde, 61 minutes) and Lewandowski (Ferran Torres, 60 minutes)
Guglielmo Vicario, Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez, Reguilon, Pedro Porro, Perisic (Djed Spence, 72 mins), Giovani Lo Celso, Oliver Skipp (Alfie Devine, 72 mins), Yves Bissouma (Pape Sarr, 88 mins), Solomon and Richarlison Manor (Dane Scarlett, min. 76)
goals 1-0 min. 2: Lewandowski. 1-1 min. 23: Oliver Skipp. 1-2 min. 36: Oliver Skipp. 2-2 min. 81: Ferran Torres. 3-2 min. 90: Ansu Fati.
Yellow cards Yves Bissouma (min. 26)
“It has cost, but we have arrived”. He blurted out more seriously than jokingly, a Barcelona fan who chose to go up Montjuïc on a motorcycle. He parked in one of the 3,500 spaces that were reserved for the only private vehicle with access to the top of the mountain. “Most people stop to ask us where they have to go,” explained the club’s security, who collaborated with the Urban Police at the different checkpoints. The cars, on the other hand, had a parking lot with capacity for 2,000 cars at the base of the mountain, with prices between 12 and 16 euros. From there, free shuttles brought the public to the stadium. It happened in the Gamper that the majority of the Barcelona fans followed the advice of the sub-inspector of the Urban Guard: “As far as possible, people should try to avoid private vehicles.” So, in general, the fans chose to get to the Olympic stadium on foot, by bicycle and by public transport.
“50% of attendees can go up on foot or through the escalators, which have a capacity of 20,000 people per hour. The investment of time to go to Montjuïc is not so different from the Camp Nou. It is about finding their best system ”, warned the director of the Barça Sustainability area, Jordi Portabella. In addition, the Barcelona entity provided shuttles with a capacity for 2,000 people per hour. The Barcelona fans, however, were jealous with the climb to Montjuïc. “This is seems like a pilgrimage,” complained one fan. Not all so negative. “In the end it’s a walk,” commented another. Attendance at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys was as planned by the club. “There will be about 30,000 people,” they commented in the club’s offices, which had left the price of tickets between 49 euros (basic) and 399 euros (players zone). Barça, finally, had 35,234 spectators (66% of the stadium’s capacity). Far from the 83,021 who watched the Gamper against Pumas de México last year (83%), much more when compared to the 98,912 people who watched Barcelona-Arsenal in 2019 (99%), before the pandemic —in 2020 was played against Elche behind closed doors and in 2021 against Juventus at John Cruyff.
Away from Camp Nou
Xavi was already predicting a cold Montjuïc and did not hesitate to call on the fans. “It’s very important that you make us feel like we’re at the Camp Nou,” said the coach. It turns out that the heat of the fans is not the only problem that Xavi faces on the eve of the League. Barcelona, for now, only has 13 registered players. Among them are Dembélé, who has everything agreed with PSG – “We are negotiating”, commented the sports vice president, Rafa Yuste -; and Kessié, that if nothing goes wrong he will go to Arabia. In other words, Barça has pending the registration of the three signings (Gündogan, Oriol Romeu and Iñigo Martínez), plus the renewals of Sergi Roberto, Ronald Araujo, Alejandro Balde, Iñaki Peña, Marcos Alonso. To those who are added, the three footballers who return from loan (Abde, Lenglet and Dest). “We are working. Soon, we will have good news. We have a very competitive team”, stressed Yuste.
All, in any case, except Dembélé and Kessié, participated in the official presentation of Barcelona in Montjuïc. Warm on the field against Tottenham, cold in the stands. A wake-up call for Xavi, especially for the president Joan Laporta.
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