It’s time for the 2021 Joan Gamper Trophy! The annual curtain-raiser for the Barcelona season has a big-time opponent this year as Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus come to town. The Gamper usually takes place at Camp Nou every year, but health authorities wouldn’t allow fans there so this one is happening at the Johan Cruyff Stadium, home of Barça B and the women’s team, in front of around 3,000 fans.
The traditional preseason finale is also when the first team is presented, and for the first time in almost two decades we will not see Lionel Messi there. It’s still really hard to accept and understand, but a new era begins today without the greatest player of all time.
And while it is really hard to care about a football game at the moment if you’re a Barça fan, this is also the first chance to see what Ronald Koeman’s plans are to try and replace the GOAT. The tactical approach, the formation, who plays in Messi’s position, all of that will begin to be answered today against one of the best teams in Europe in what will be an excellent test in the final game before the start of the La Liga season. Vamos!
Starting XI: Neto; Dest, Piqué, Araujo, Alba; Roberto, Busquets; Demir, Griezmann, Braithwaite; Memphis (4-2-3-1)
Bench: Iñaki Peña (GK), Umtiti, Royal, Balde, Nico, Pjanic, Puig, Coutinho, Collado, Manaj
Starting XI: Szczesny; De Sciglio, De Ligt, Rugani, Sandro; Cuadrado, Bentancur, Ramsey; Bernardeschi, Morata, Ronaldo (4-3-3)
Bench: Perin (GK), Pinsoglio (GK), Chiellini, Danilo, Pellegrini, Bonucci, De Winter, cKennie, Chiesa, Kulusevski, Ranocchia, Marques
MATCH INFO, HOW TO WATCH
Competition/Round: 2021 Joan Gamper Trophy
Date/Time: Sunday, August 8, 2021, 9.30pm CET (Barcelona), 8.30pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 3.30pm ET, 12.30pm PT (USA), 1am IST (India, Monday)
Venue: Johan Cruyff Stadium, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
How to watch on TV: Premier Sports 1 (UK), ESPN Africa (Nigeria), La Sexta (Spain), others
Matchday Thread Rules
We don’t have a lot of rules here, but there are a few things to keep in mind when joining our matchday threads:
Even if the referee sucks or we lose the game, watch the swearing. It’s just unnecessary. Also, don’t discuss illegal streaming links. Those who do it will be warned, and those who post links will be instantly banned. Finally, be nice to each other. This is a Barcelona community and we don’t need to offend one another.
Have fun with the game! Forever and ever, no matter the competition, VISCA EL BARÇA!