Football Club Barcelona, one of the best football teams in the world, playing in this World Cup, but players will play dramatic roles this summer in Africa.
BY STEVE MARSH
game day in Barcelona, but nothing close to the nip in the air that Americans associate with On the subway to the game, the only ones wearing brand-new Messi No. 10 jerseys are two skinny Catalonian teenagers. That all changes at the Maria Cristina stop, where I reemerge into the warm Barcelona night and am suddenly surrounded by hundreds more Messi, Puyol and Xavi jerseys, the yellow letters and numbers glowing on what the locals call the blaugrana (Catalan for and another 100,000 fans will pack Camp Nou tonight to see Football Club Barcelona, or as the club is known colloquially. The team boasts not only the consensus best player in the 22-year-old Lionel Messi, the diminutive Argentinian constantly being compared to the great Diego the core players of the Spanish national team, this favorites to win the World Cup. think there would be some buzz, right? But the excitement come close to meeting crowd seems nearly subdued as they stroll toward what every soccer writer seems obligated to refer to as of the true To a casual soccer fan (and as a typical American who only starts paying attention to soccer during the run-up to the World Cup,
The fact that Americans refer to football as soccer annoys football fans around the world, who understand why we refer to a game in which the ball is mostly passed and caught with the hands as football. They ran out of hot dogs at this cathedral before halftime. For such a glorious shrine, the amenities at a European football arena such as Camp Nou are drastically from those to which most Americans are accustomed on game day. The waft of cigar smoke is shocking, and the atmosphere is just a little bit more retro. It reminded me of going to an old-school NFL stadium, like Soldier Field before the renovation.
FOR PHOTO CREDITS SEE PAGE 120.
Left: Argentinian forward, Lionel Messi, celebrates after scoring during the El Spanish League football match against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on April 10.
deltaskymag.com June 2010