It was exactly a quarter of a century today, on 25 July 1992, when the city of Barcelona celebrated one of its proudest moments. The Olympic Games had finally come to the Catalan capital and the Estadi Olímpic on Montjuic hosted a spectacular opening ceremony.
It was an event that changed the city forever, well and truly putting Barcelona on the world map. The legacy of those games is what is now one of one the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
Having won its first European Cup just a few weeks before, things were already joyous enough at FC Barcelona, but the club also played a part in the Olympics, providing both the Camp Nou and Palau Blaugrana as venues.
The Camp Nou was used for football matches, starting with Italy beating the United States 2-1 and followed by two quarter finals (Poland 2-0 Qatar and Australia 2-1 Sweden) one semi-final (Poland 6-1 Australia), the bronze medal match (Ghana 1-0 Australia) and the grand final, where Spain took gold by beating Poland 3-2 in front of 95,000 people.
That Spanish side included Albert Ferrer and Josep Guardiola of FC Barcelona, as well as several players that were at the club at other times in their careers, including Abelardo Fernández, Luis Enrique and Alfonso Pérez.
It was Spain’s first football medal since the historic silver at Antwerp in 1920.
The taekwondo and judo competitions were held in FCB’s indoor pavilion, producing no fewer than eleven medals for the home team, six of them gold.
The Palau also hosted the final stages of the roller hockey, which was appearing as an exhibition sport. Spain (with Barça’s Josep Benito and Joan Carles in the side) had to settle for silver in that one, with Argentina topping the podium.
Three of the winning side would later join FC Barcelona: Gaby Cairo, Roberto Roldán and José Luis ‘el Negro’ Páez.
The club was also represented in basketball, with Juan Antonio San Epifanio ‘Epi’ and Andrés Jiménez among the players in the Spain team that finished a disappointing ninth (and José Rafael ‘Piculín’ Ortiz competed for Puerto Rico).
David Barrufet, Enric Masip, Ángel Hermida, Iñaki Urdangarin and Lorenzo Rico were all part of the highly fancied handball side that eventually had to settle for fifth.
The club also had two representatives in track and field. Jaume Barroso came fourteenth in the 50km walk, while Daniel Martí competed in the pole vault.