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There have been some emotional nights at Spotify Camp Nou over the years, and one of the most emotional of all was saved to last. 66 years after it was originally opened in 1957, Sunday's game against Mallorca was the very last before its transformation into a new-look venue that will open its doors for the first time in late 2024.
It was also the night that two all-times greats, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, took their final bows. 88,000 fans were in the stadium for that, and also to hear the same Josep Maria de Sagarra poem that was read the night the stadium was first opened in 1957. And they were also there to see six giant shirts being carried onto the pitch by representatives of different club departments, symbolising the six decades of the 'old' stadium.
And this was followed by a traditional sardana dance to the tune of the Barça anthem performed by local dance groups with music by the Cobla Principal de Terrassa and the vocals provided, naturally enough, by the fans in the stadium!
Change of generation and the final song
The most symbolic moment of all came when the club's member number 14, senator Miquel Esquirol, who has been a regular in the stadium since it opened in 1957, handed one of the corner flags used in today's game to two young boys called Toni y Arlet, members of the new generation who will be frequenting the new and renovated Spotify Camp Nou.
And to end we had local singer Beth, with her rendition of the Cant dels Adeus (Goodbye Song) written for the occasion by La Trinca. And it all ended with a simply stunning firework display to bring an end to the stadium before work begins in earnest on the reconstruction project first thing on Monday morning.
But things had already been buzzing at Spotify Camp Nou long before the game has even started. Fans arrived in more blaugrana colours than ever and among the attractions outside the stadium was the chance to have pictures taken with the most important trophies that have been won at the stadium over the years.
There was also a beautiful moment when the names of the players were read out who played in the first ever game in the stadium in 1957, using the voice of the late, great stadium announcer Manel Vich, before the current announcer Aleix Santacana, read out today's line-ups.
And there was more at half-time when Catalan singer-songwriter Lildami delighted the fans with a performance of his hit Supermercat, and after the game there were huge cheers as the giant screens flashed different images of some of the greatest moments lived at the stadium over the years.
Full of history. But also full of history. We look forward to seeing you again, Spotify Camp Nou!
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