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Today, FC Barcelona inaugurated the Estadi Johan Cruyff, which as of this season will be the new home of the Barça B and women’s teams, as well as the U19 side when they play in European competitions, replacing the Miniestadi. This new sports facility pays tribute to the ‘father’ of the unique style of play that has characterized Barça throughout the world and was one of the main drivers of the club’s commitment to its own youth football system. With this spirit in mind, the opening ceremony included the stadium’s first match, between the Barça and Ajax youth teams, the two clubs that most defined Cruyff’s career.
The president of FC Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu, was accompanied at the event by several representatives of the Barça squad, including coach Ernesto Valverde and the four captains of the first team, Lionel Messi, Gerard Piqué, Sergio Busquets, and Sergi Roberto, as well as the Barça Women player Marta Torrejón, and along with ex-players who played by the Barça philosophy and who are already part of the club’s history, including Carles Puyol, Eric Abidal, the club’s current technical secretary, and Patrick Kluivert, the director of youth football.
The event was also attended by Johan Cruyff’s family, including his son Jordi Cruyff, and some of the members of the ‘Dream Team’ who played under the Dutchman, such as Guillermo Amor, Sergi Barjuan, Albert Ferrer, Eusebio Sacristán, José Ramón Alexanco, Miguel Ángel Nadal and José María Bakero.
Designed by Batlle i Roig Arquitectura, one of the leading architectural studios in Barcelona, the stadium is an impressively modern, efficient and sustainable structure with the capacity for 6,000 people and incorporates different innovative technologies. The ground thus becomes the crowning jewel of the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, located on the outskirts of Barcelona, just a few kilometres from the Camp Nou.
The inauguration of the stadium follows on from Monday's unveiling of the statue of Johan Cruyff on the esplanade outside the Camp Nou grandstand through which FC Barcelona has is paying permanent tribute to the Barça legend on the stadium grounds.
First piece of Espai Barça
The Johan Cruyff stadium is also the first finished piece of the Espai Barça, the project to transform and integrate FC Barcelona facilities. This ambitious programme envisages the redevelopment of the Camp Nou, and the creation of the Barça Campus, which involves opening the club facilities up to the city, removing architectural barriers and introducing measures to improve urban mobility in the vicinity of the stadium.
Likewise, the construction of the Johan Cruyff Stadium at the Ciutat Esportiva means the Miniestadi, where until now Barça B and women's team played all their official matches, as did the U19A team in European competitions, is no longer required. The site will be used for the construction of the New Palau Blaugrana, the home of professional indoor sports - basketball, handball, roller hockey and futsal - and one of the main facilities of the Espai Barça project.
A modern and efficient stadium
The standout features of the new Johan Cruyff Stadium include its asymmetric profile, with a grandstand for 1,000 spectators and a lower tier for the other 5,000, and all the seats offer excellent visibility, thus fulfilling the standards used in the construction of modern-day football stadiums.
The construction and design of the new stadium also includes a major commitment to accessibility, with strategically located areas for wheelchair users, and to sustainability, such as the optimisation and reuse of the excavated site in order to reduce the volume of waste produced in the construction process and features inside the building such as low consumption lighting and other such measures.
The stadium is also one of the first in Europe to use LED lighting and will be equipped with two video-scoreboards to ensure spectators get to enjoy the best possible experience, with the screen not only displaying the score but also such other content as match replays, video messages and so on.
The stadium also honours the Barça identity, with the red colour of the building combined with the blue of the seats, and the message ‘More than a Club’ appeasing in the stands, written on yellow seats that are strategically distributed in the zone in front of the grandstand.
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