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The return to the Camp Nou was always going to be an emotional affair. Their first game in front of an empty stadium, wearing black armbands in memory of the people who have been lost to Covid-19, was always going to be a night the players will never forget.
Just before the game with Leganés started there was a moving reminder of why this was happening, as the music of ‘El Cant dels Ocells’, which is traditionally played during minute’s silences in the stadium, was played by the local Liceu orchestra on the giant screens.
Fans, there in absence
The players also got hear a wonderful rendition of the club anthem being sung a capella by supporters who had sent videos of themselves singing the song on Viber. It was one of many ideas to help the fans and the player to feel the bond despite the lack of any physical supporters inside the ground.
These included a mosaic laid out on the empty seats in the first tier spelling the message Aquí juguem tots (We all play), as part of a campaign that reflects the unity between the club, its community and by extension its fans all around the world.
There was nobody to fly them, but a number of banners were also positioned on the terraces. The youth section’s flags were draped over seats in the north corner, and the different supporter’s clubs were allocated the southern end. Behind the goal, huge canvases that were also visible on TV screens, proclaimed the More than a club and We all play messages in Catalan.
The club’s global fan base was also represented on the LED hoardings around the pitch. CUPRA, FC Barcelona’s global partner, was behind the campaign to get fans to send photos of themselves supporting Barça, and over 25,000 answered the automobile firm’s call. The same idea is going to be carried across into the remaining games that Barça will play behind closed doors at Camp Nou.
Barça v Atlético, we all play
When Barça host Atlético Madrid on June 30, things are moving up an additional notch with a project whereby fans will be able to buy personalised shirts and have them placed on seats as if they were attending the game themselves. Part of the proceeds will go to Covid-19 causes, and the shirts will be sent to fans’ homes, while they will also be able to look themselves up on a giant hi-res picture of the terraces.
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