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Spotify Camp Nou, above all else, is FC Barcelona's home ground, however, if we take an in depth look at the stadium's almost 66 years of history since its opening on 24 September 1957, we can see that it is much more than that. So, in the light of the fact that this Sunday's game against Mallorca at 7pm CEST will be the last before the extensive renovation of the stadium which means that the team will play for more than a season at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, we list 10 fascinating facts about the ground that you may or may not know:
From a special mass to a black cat
A football stadium is, for many people, a place of worship, and Camp Nou was exactly that on 7 November 1982 when Pope John Paul II celebrated mass in front of 120,000 people, the same season that the footballing deity Diego Armando Maradona led Barça to the Copa del Rey and Copa de la Liga titles.
The mass appeared to bring Barça luck but when a black cat appeared on Luis Enrique's first game in charge of Barça in 2014, it could have been construed as a bad omen. Fortunately, that was not the case as the blaugranes ended the season completing the treble for just the second time in the Club's history.
4,321 goals for and 1,247 wins
Those are the figures that Barça have collected in official matches at Spotify Camp Nou with one game remaining to play, this Sunday against Mallorca. The first goal was scored by Villaverde, goal 1,000 by Asensi, 2,000 by Guillermo Amor, 3,000 by Ronaldinho and 4,000 by, of course, Leo Messi.
Biggest win, 10-1
From all those 4,321 goals, 10 came in the same game. On 8 April 1962 a Barça side coached by Kubala beat Second Division side Basconia 10-1. The goalkeeper for the Basque side that day was one José Ángel Iribar, who would go to be a football legend at Athletic Club.
Biggest win to biggest goalscorer
If Barça scored 10 goals in a single game, there have been five players who have scored five in a single game. The most recent was Leo Messi who achieved the feat in a 7-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen in 2012. The first to do it was Eulogio Martínez against Las Palmas in an 8-0 win in 1960.
José Antonio Zaldúa did the same in a Fairs Cup game against DOS Utrecht in 1965. 11 years later in 1976 Manolo Clares repeated the feat in a 6-1 win over Valencia as later did the Austrian Hansi Krankl in a 9-0 win over Rayo Vallecano.
Spotify Camp Nou, record venue
On 5 March 1986 in a 1-0 win in the first leg of the European Cup quarter final against Juventus, Barça established a record attendance with 120,000 fans witnessing the game, a record that still stands as the stadium's capacity is no longer as large.
This season a record was set in the Europa League with 90,225 people attending the game against Manchester United and last season a record was set for women's football match anywhere in the world when 91,648 fans witnessed a game between Barça Women and Wolfsburg in Champions League.
Biggest player presentations
The Barça fans do not just turn for their team's matches; on more than three occasions more than 50,000 people have filled the stadium for player presentations. The biggest came back in 2009 when 60,000 people witnessed the unveiling of new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Last year 57,300 culers saw Robert Lewandowski's presentation and a decade ago 56,500 came to the stadium to welcome Neymar as a Barça player.
Big international matches
The great stadium has not just been the venue for some memorable Barça matches. In 1964 Spotify Camp Nou was the scene of the European Championship semi-final between the USSR and Denmark and in 1982 the ground played host to two games in the World Cup, Italy v Poland in the semi-final and the opening game of the tournament between Argentina and Belgium.
Olympic Football has also been played at the stadium with Spain's 3-2 win in the final over Poland in 1992 taking place at Spotify Camp Nou with blaugranes Josep Guardiola and Albert Ferrer picking up gold medals. Of course, we cannot forget that the Catalan national side has played various fixtures at the ground against the likes of Brazil, Argentina and Russia to name but a few.
In terms of club football, who could forget Manchester United's famous victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final in 1999 with Spotify Camp Nou as the backdrop. Cup Winners Cup finals, Copa del Rey finals and Fairs Cup finals have all taken place at the stadium as well as the French Rugby Union league final in 2016 between Racing 92 and Toulon.
The perfect sized pitch
For all those important matches, the pitch has to be in the best possible state. The grass is currently between 20 and 22 millimetres high, depending on the time of year. 1 hour before the game, 10 minutes before and at half time the sprinklers come to help the ball zip across the pitch. Weekly examinations take place to evaluate the state of the playing surface and to ascertain if any work is necessary for it to create the best possible playing conditions for the team.
A top venue
And lastly, Spotify Camp Nou has not just played host to some of the most memorable ball playing artists over the years but also some of the greatest musical artists. The first concert at the stadium was in 1983 and saw Julio Iglesias joined on stage by none other than Diego Maradona. Since then, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson and U2 have played there with Spotify Camp Nou also hosting eight concerts of the Cruïlla XXS festival, limited to just 800 fans as it took place during crowd restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
These are just 10 of the millions of tales from the Spotify Camp Nou, and culers, we want to hear about yours. Use the hashtag #FinsAviatSCN to relate your funniest, nicest, or simply best memory of the Stadium. Spotify Camp Nou played host to many stories, let's hear yours!
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