The power of magic

The power of magic

The Palau Blaugrana is a special court. The building's structure, the proximity to the fans and the atmosphere created for big games is unique and for 50 years it has been the spark that ignites the fire on epic evenings

Thanks to its reduced dimensions and the warmth of the fans situated close to the court, the Palau has always been considered an ideal venue for creating a pressure cooker atmosphere to intimidate opponents and energise the home side. It is the so called "magic of the Palau" which has helped the professional sections at Barça to great success with league title after league title and European trophies as well as epic comebacks. 

There have been many magical evenings at the Palau where some of the best players from basketball, handball, roller hockey and futsal have performed. There has been legendary battles between Barça and Real Madrid in the basketball of the 1980s with Epi, Solozábal, Sibilio against Corbalán, López Iturriaga, Romay and Fernando Martín and the historic moment in 1983 with the saving palm of Lluís Miquel Santillana that was vital in winning the 1983 title. In the times of the play off when the Palau enjoyed players such as Kenny Simpson and Audie Norris, players who lifted the fans off the seats with their exploits. That fifth and final game for the title in the so called 'Petrovic league' in 1998/99 that ended up being Barça's. Not forgetting the importance of the Palau in the 2002/03 when the team won the Euroleague for the very first time. 

There have also been memorable nights at the Palau for the handball team. In the 1984/85 season when in the decisive Cup Winners Cup game Joan Sagalés chased a ball down to score the goal that overturned the seven goal deficit against CSKA from the first leg. The Palau played a key role in the five consecutive European Cups for the Dream Team of Valero Rivera between 1996 and 2000 as well as nights with Xesco Espar and Xavier Pascual as coach. 

The roller hockey team owe the Palau a great debt for their 22 European Cup wins, starting with the first when Benfica went two goals up only for the fans to urge the team on and three goals from Jordi Villacorta making it 5-3, which was enough for the return leg (7-7). 

What do the coaches and players say?

Nacho Solozábal

"For me the Palau is like my home. So many years playing there, incredible nights with the fans supporting us, European matches...In the end, images I will never forget. I remember three important moments: one, when we won the world title in the Palau when Manolo Flores was coach - the second was the fifth game against Petrovic's Madrid team, that was a fantastic day and then the day they paid me a tribute and they retired my number. The Palau is 50 years old, congratulations, our generation was made here." 

Juan Antonio San Epifanio 'Epi'

"For me the magic of the Palau was above all the closeness and unity between the fans and the players. The warmth and support of the fans that we received, we were able to unite with them and give our best." 

Andrés Jiménez

"For me the magic of the Palau goes beyond the intense atmosphere given that the Palau is a relatively small space with the stands close to the court where the pressure and contact with the fans is very intense. For me the magic of the Palau is in the fact that you know at the most difficult point of the season, in those four or five super important games, you know the Barça fans will be there to respond as best they can and that communion between the fans and the team can give you the win that you need. That was the moment when the magic of the Palau came together. Fortunately, I have had the chance to experience those moments and those who have will never forget them." 

Manolo Flores

"The Palau is FC Barcelona in its purest form, it is passion for the shirt, it's the power that all the players receive, for that reason we are more than club and for that the Palau is unique and irreplaceable." 

Roberto Dueñas

"For me the magic of the Palau is difficult to explain but it is something that you can only feel; it's that typical day when there is a big in which you need a result, a game that if you don't win, you are not going to make it to the next round. The link between the fans, the team and the atmosphere at the Palau is what produces the magic and in the end the team comes out winning and everyone has that feeling of a magical night, even the opponents get that feeling and that makes it all unique and difficult to explain." 

David Barrufet

"For a long time the Palau has been my second home. I have spent more time here than anywhere else. The magic thing is true; when we came here to play with the Palau packed, the atmosphere that there was; it was impossible to lose, the fans sang, it was marvellous. To have my number retired is another great joy. The last game in the Palau when everyone came in yellow, that was a very nice goodbye." 

Enric Masip

"The Palau is my second home, I have spent practically half my life there. Also, my number 5 has been retired. For me, the Palau has been magical, the feeling, commitment and excitement that brings together being a Barça fan. The most special moments of my life are the day I signed for Barça and the day I left. For the Palau to reach 50 years is very special for someone who has lived through so much of it and I got goosebumps every time I heard the Barça anthem in that place." 

Aitor Ariño

"The magic of the Palau is an extra that you don't find anywhere else and it guides us to almost impossible wins." 

Ludovic Fàbregas

"For me the Palau is a magic place as the first time I went in I felt that I could hear people even though it was empty; I think it has to do with the shirts up above and the Club's history. It is a place where you go in and something happens; there is not but a lot of history and atmosphere; a place which breathes handball." 

Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas

"For me the magic of the Palau is a unique feeling that you can experience wearing the Barça badge." 

Aitor Egurrola

"The Palau is not my second home, it's my first. A lot of days coming to training, a lot of matches and I have had the fortune to experience the famous magic of the Palau in those games where the fans push you to victory, when you don't have strength it helps you to stop a ball in another match you wouldn't. It's the communion between the fans and the team that gives you that bit extra. I have had the pleasure of playing in two 'Final Fours' and that is perhaps the best memory I have of the Palau, being able to lift up my first European Cup as captain." "

Sergi Panadero

"The Palau is my second home. I have spent 18 years coming here every day and I have experienced moments of true magic. My best memory is of my first goal in 2003 against Cibeles. It was a dream come true." 

Pau Bargalló

"For me it is a special court. From a young age I have been coming to see matches and I had the dream of being able to play here." 

Beto Borregán

"My best moment is when they retired my number on 5 May 2013. I have had many magical nights at the Palau, it's my second home. Even though I work here, I spend more time here than at home. If I don't come to the Palau it's like there is something missing. I am happy that the Palau is 50 years old, this place has created many afternoons of magic and it can still give us many more." 

Edu Castro

"This place has a special magic. Empty it is great as it has special acoustic and the echo surrounds you, however, full with Barça fans is when it makes sense. They make it a fun and unique place. I have been coming here every day for 10 years and we have missed the fans during those 18 months. The best moments are celebrating the league title or the European Cups we have won." 

Gaby Cairo

"The Palau is like home. It is a really impressive venue for those who come to play here and unique for those who have been lucky enough to play here almost every weekend. The Palau has always had its magic and I am one of those fortunate people who has enjoyed it from the court." 

Jordi Torras

"To experience the magic of the Palau has been a privilege for those on the court. The section has grown in parallel with the fans and the atmosphere has made the magic an important factor in big games and winning trophies for the section - above all it is a nightmare for opponents." 

Sergio Lozano

"The magic of the Palau is that feeling when you can sense the Palau behind you and you feel invincible. Those moments are special and are the best there is." 

Gabriel and Ari Santos

"The magic of the Palau are the Dracs, the best thing you can feel." 

Xavi Llorens

"The magic of the Palau makes you feel nothing is impossible." 

Juan Carlos López

"The magic of the Palau is the union and bond between the fans and the players." 

Paco Sedano

"The magic of the Palau is being able to enjoy it out on the court where the best sportspeople in Spanish history at the best club in the world have been." 

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Força Barça

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