Millions of people will tune in around the world and thousands will be in attendance as Barcelona take on Lyon, but one spectator at the Camp Nou will be the most special: Anthony Borges, a teenager and former Barça Academy player who was shot five times as he saved several of his classmates last year during a school shooting.
The incident took place last year in Florida, where a student at Stoneman Douglas High School killed 17 people with a gun. The body count would have been much higher were it not for Borges.
When the shooter attempted to open the door leading to Borges’s class, Borges barricaded the door with his body to prevent him from entering, saving at least 20 people in the process. The murderer shot him through the door, hitting him five times in his back and legs and putting his life in danger.
Of the 17 people who received non-fatal injuries during the incident, Borges was the most severely hurt. He has had nine surgeries and had a third of a lung removed. One bullet nearly pierced his liver.
Borges, a Venezuelan immigrant, is a Barcelona supporter and a football fanatic. During his recovery he kept saying he couldn’t wait to be well enough to get back on the pitch.
After hearing his story, the team’s stars signed a personalized shirt to be sent to him to support him during his recovery:
Wearing his Barça shirt while still in the hospital, Borges went on the Today show and recounted the harrowing experience. Despite it all, he said he felt “good.”
Anthony is finally out of the hospital - the last victim of the shooting to be released - and he’s finally well enough to travel. He also is in good enough shape to accept Barcelona’s invitation to watch a game at the Camp Nou. He has already visited the stadium, and after watching the UEFA Champions League match, he will be invited to visit the club’s museum and meet the players during their next training session.
Anthony Borges, who was shot five times while saving 20 classmates' lives last year in Florida, finally gets to fulfill his dream of visiting the Camp Nou! He will watch today's match and then meet the players.— Luis Mazariegos (@luism8989) March 13, 2019
Another round of applause for him pic.twitter.com/PUQY6n3Wxa