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The final between Spain and Poland / PHOTO: ARXIU FCB

Wednesday July 25 marks the 20th anniversary of the opening ceremony of the Barcelona ’92 Olympic Games. The main venues used for the events were the Olympic Stadium and the Palau Sant Jordi, but FC Barcelona also offered some top class venues in the form of the Camp Nou and Palau Blaugrana. There were also fifteen Barça sportspeople involved in five different disciplines.

Spain win football gold at Camp Nou

The Camp Nou was used for a number of football matches: Italy 2 USA 1 (July 24, group stage); Poland 2  Qatar 0 (August 1, quarter final); Australia 2  Sweden 1 (August 2, quarter final); Poland 6  Australia 1 (August 5, semi final) and Ghana 1  Australia 0 (August 7, 3rd and 4th place).

The final between Spain and Poland was on August 8, also in the FCB stadium. Barça itself was represented in the Spanish line-up by Albert Ferrer and Josep Guardiola (as well as Antonio Pinilla, who was between loan spells at Mallorca and Albacete). Abelardo Fernández (Sporting Gijón), Luis Enrique Martínez (Real Madrid) and Alfons Pérez (Real Madrid) were also in the side, all of whom later joined Barça in 1994, 1996 and 2000 respectively. And there was also Francisco Veza “Paqui” of Tenerife, a product of the Barça youth system.

Some 95,000 spectators packed the ground for a gripping match decided by a Kiko goal to make it 3-2 in the last minute, his second goal of the night after “Pitu” Abelardo had scored the other. It was the first time Spain had medalled in the competition since getting silver at the Antwerp Olympics way back in 1920. Barcelona ’92 was the crowning moment for the “Quinta del Cobi”.

Martial arts and roller hockey in Palau Blaugrana

The Palau Blaugrana was used for the taekwondo, judo and roller hockey finals. Spain’s ladies won three taekwondo gold medals, and the men got a gold, a silver and a bronze. Spain also got two gold medals for ladies’ judo.

Roller hockey wasn’t an official sport at the Games, but was included as a ‘demonstration sport’. The Palau hosted the third and fourth place match on August 7 (Italy 3  Portugal 2) and also the final (Argentina 8 Spain 6). That meant silver medals for FC Barcelona’s Josep Benito and Joan Carles.

Fellow Spain internationals Carles Folguera and Ferran Pujalte would also be joining FC Barcelona later on, while Joan Ayats had been at the club until 1991. And the manager was Carles Trullols, a former FCB player. There were no Barça players in the gold medal winning Argentina team, but all of Gaby Cairo, José Luis “El Negro” Páez and Roberto Roldán would later be joining the club.

Other Barça sportspeople at Barcelona ’92

The other FC Barcelona representatives were less fortunate at those games, and missed out on the joy of a podium finish. In the athletics, Jaume Barroso came a respectable 14th in the 50 km walk, while Daniel Martí was eliminated from the pole vault after failing to get the bar any higher than 5.40 metres.

In team sports, Barça had both Juan Antonio San Epifanio “Epi” and Andrés Jiménez in the basketball team that finished ninth, while Puerto Rico, who finished one place above, had FCB’s José Rafael “Piculín” Ortiz in their squad.

And there were five Barça players in the handball team (David Barrufet, Ángel Hermida, Enric Masip, Iñaki Urdangarín and Lorenzo Rico), but despite such a talented squad, they only managed to finish fifth.

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