88,667 people were at the Camp Nou on Sunday evening for the game with Valencia. That’s the fourth highest attendance of the season, topped only by the Liga games with title rivals Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid and the Spanish Super Cup game with Athletic Bilbao.
On the back of some disappointing results in the domestic championship and elimination from the Champions League, that was quite some response from the fans, who can never be accused of turning their back on their team when they are needed most. Quite the contrary, the Camp Nou was united as one in a show of immense support for the players. Unfortunately, the result was not what Barça wanted, but that was not for lack of effort from the players or for lack of support from the wonderful Blaugrana supporters.
A banner saying “Tornarem a vèncer” (‘we’ll win again’) was unfurled as the game was starting, and right up until the final whistle, the Barça players were backed by a ceaseless roar from the terraces. The fans haven’t forgotten what this team has done for them over these last few years, nor the amazing 39-match unbeaten run that ended less than a month ago. They know that with their support, the good times will soon be back. Indeed, Barça are still top of La Liga and through to the Copa del Rey Final. Another league and cup double is still very much on the cards, and that is a cause for celebration, not dismay.
Luis Enrique was full of praise for the supporters in his post-match conference, saying that “I played here for eight years and this is my second season as manager and I have never seen the Camp Nou get behind the team like they did tonight. I congratulate them.”
Gerard Piqué also mentioned the fans when he spoke to the media after the game. “They were better than ever” he said. “To come out for the second half losing 2-0 and with everything against us at the moment, I can only give them ten out of ten. I truly can’t remember the Camp Nou being like that!”