“This is a dream come true,” declared Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval on Friday at the Ciutat Esportiva, where he bore witness to FC Barcelona’s final training session ahead of Saturday’s match versus Granada at Camp Nou.
The 30-year-old slugger — who is in Barcelona to visit the city and will be on hand at Camp Nou Saturday night for the game — is not the first Major League star to fulfill a dream such as this. Last season, the Toronto Blue Jays outfielder José Bautista made a trip to Barcelona and attended a training session and a game as part of a family heritage tour of Spain.
“This is the best team in the world,” Sandoval said. “I think I’ve been Barça’s number one fan, but now more than ever because I’ve had the opportunity to be here and see how they train, and also being able to get up close to the players.”
“It’s very special for me,” he said.
Sandoval, a two-time All-Star and three-time World Series winner — he was the World Series MVP in 2012 as a member of the San Francisco Giants — is a loyal fan, too., getting up at “six or seven in the morning” to watch Barça games on TV.
“It isn't easy but a true fan has to follow his favourite team and players,” he said.