I travelled to Barcelona on Tuesday to watch Barcelona vs Rubin Kazan and it was a fabulous experience. Not only is Barcelona an incredible city, but FC Barcelona represents everything that a football should aspire to be.
The stadium and museum tour is an absolute must. It's very difficult to describe just how fantastic it is, but there were tourists from all over Europe at Camp Nou just to take the tour. I found Italians, Germans, French, Hungarians(!), etc...
It's truly a unique experience. Barcelona are a model club and it's safe to assume that no club offers a better service to their supporters than FC Barcelona. Where else could I have taken a photo like this one:
That's right. This is me and Lionel Messi, the greatest football player in the world. If I had chosen, I could also have taken a picture with Piqué, Busquets, Pinto or Daniel Alves. Admittedly, I was lucky to have gone on the right day, but this is a great example of what Barcelona has to offer to their supporters. Just like me, thousands of other supporters got a picture with their idols.
This was certainly the high point of the tour. An autographed picture with Messi is one of those things one treasutes for the rest of their lives.
After the tour, it was time to walk around the city. It's very easy to get everywhere by metro or even on foot. The people are incredibly nice; with Barca gear on, everyone will talk to you. The social environment around the club is something that I had never seen before: the whole city really feels the club. I was in Port Olimpic, Sagrada Familia, Las Ramblas... everywhere, there were Barca posters, Barca shops, people wearing Barca gear... It was a beautiful sight.
As for the match itself, it was awesome, as expected. The Camp Nou is a true masterpiece. I was on the top stands, but the view was just perfect. The atmosphere was also excellent: the public cheered Barcelona and showed the utmost respect for their team's football. Nothing like the senseless noise you hear in English stadiums. Messi is a true hero in Catalunya; it's easy to understand why he vowed to stay forever. As soon as he got up from the bench to start warming up, the whole stadium went wild, camera flashes started appearing everywhere... I would say that Messi's entrance was more celebrated than the goals themselves.
Here's an example of the Camp Nou atmosphere. I recorded both Barcelona and the Champions League anthems:
All in all, it was a great day in Barcelona, not only the Camp Nou but the city in general. If you're a Barcelona and have never been at Camp Nou, you should think about it fast.