FC Barcelona (CHAMPIONS, 85pts) vs RCD Mallorca (11th, 47pts)
Competition/Round: 2022-23 La Liga, Matchday 37
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Ronald Araujo, Pedri (out)
Mallorca Outs & Doubts: Antonio Sánchez, Lee Kang-In, Antonio Raíllo, Matija Nastasic (out), Ludwig Augustinsson, Iñigo Ruiz de Galarreta (doubt)
Date/Time: Sunday, May 28, 2023, 7pm CET (Barcelona), 6pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 1pm ET, 10am PT (USA), 10.30pm IST (India)
Venue: Spotify Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Jorge Figueroa Vázquez
VAR: Miguel Ángel Ortiz Arias
How to watch on TV: ESPN Deportes (USA), Viaplay Sports 1 (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), Sports18 (India), Not Available (Spain, Canada), others
Following a disappointing loss away to Real Valladolid in midweek, La Liga champions Barcelona return to the Catalan capital for their final home game of the season as they welcome Mallorca on Saturday afternoon.
And after 66 years the Greatest Stadium on Earth will be the home for a Barcelona match in its current iteration for the last time. The legendary Camp Nou will begin an extensive renovation process that will take a year and a half to complete, and once Barça return to it at the end of 2024, the bulk of the work will have been done as the venue is set to become one of the most spectacular sports arenas on the planet under the name Espai Barça.
It’s a very special night for the people of Catalonia who have looked at Camp Nou as one of the biggest symbols for this beautiful, unique, and proud region of Spain, and it’s a very special night for the Barça players who will make their last drive through the old tunnel, their last change of clothes in the old dressing room, and play one final football match in that legendary pitch.
And for two of those players, it’s even more special: Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba will play their final home match as Barcelona players, and will say goodbye to the crowd in a special farewell ceremony planned for after the game. It’s going to be a beautiful evening full of nostalgia and certainly a few tears and of beautiful speeches, and to make the night truly perfect the team has to win the match.
It’s easy to forget about the actual game with all the festivities involved, but this is actually an important match for Xavi Hernández and his troops. The Blaugrana are yet to pick up a point since becoming champions and lost two games in a row in discouraging fashion, with fringe players failing to step up and the team as a whole losing the competitive edge and defensive intensity that defined their title run all season.
It will be very important to get back to that, and lay the foundation for next season when the squad will hopefully be stronger and the expectations will be much higher. Mallorca have a young, talented, well-coached team that will try to spoil the final party at Camp Nou, and Barça must rediscover their best football to finish the season — and the stadium’s journey — on the highest of highs.
The night will be special regardless of the result, but the stadium, the fans, and Busquets and Alba deserve a win.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Balde, Kounde, Christensen, Alba; Gavi, Busquets, De Jong; Dembélé, Lewandowski, Ferran
Mallorca (5-3-2): Rajkovic; Maffeo, Valjent, Hadzikadunic, Copete, Costa; Ndiaye, Baba, Rodríguez; Muriqi, Kadwere
Coming off two straight losses, in the last ever game at Camp Nou, and the final home game for two club legends. There is no way I don’t see Barça back to their best selves and winning this for the home crowd, the home stadium and Busi and Alba: 3-0 to the good guys.