My favorite thing about studying abroad so far has been the opportunity to be able to take classes and visit places to immerse myself in the local culture! One of my classes is all about Fútbol Club Barcelona (FCB), and so I wanted to go to a game at the famous Camp Nou.
When my professor told our class about the energy that comes with being an FCB fan, he did not exaggerate. He said that when you are born a Barça fan, you die a Barça fan. You could feel the passion and the energy coming from every single seat in the stadium that seats nearly 100,000 spectators. People young and old raising their voices together for the team that they have grown up loving, “Barça, Barça, Barça!”
It was amazing watching the beautiful passes that the players pieced together as they moved toward the goal. It seemed unreal when the ball connected with the foot or head of a Barça player. Behind the north goal, fans twirled FCB and Catalonian flags while the crowd moved and sang with one voice the many cheers led by the beat of a drummer.
However, nothing compared to the roar of the crowd when superstar FCB forward Lionel Messi scored in the second half to bring the score to 2-0 Barcelona. They then announced that it was his 400th goal in La Liga since 2004, which is the competition of the top teams across Spain. People cheered and bowed before their hero, whose name many wore on the back of their red and blue striped jerseys.
The motto of Fútbol Club Barcelona is “More than a Club,” and being at a game tonight proved that to be true. This institution that has held together the Catalonian people for centuries is an outlet of pride unlike anything else that the region has to offer. It welcomes people into the fold of Barça fans and transcends any barrier to help people fall more in love with the amazing sport that has defined the European culture.
I am excited to learn even more about FCB and it’s impact on the region and its culture this semester while studying in Barcelona!
This post was contributed by Katie Simpson, who is spending her spring semester studying abroad with AIFS in Barcelona, Spain.