Barça fans take to social networks to support Guardiola / PHOTO: GERMÁN PARGA

Josep Guardiola’s farewell at the Camp Nou spread like wildfire on social networks. While thousands of Barça fans followed the emotional tribute to Guardiola at the stadium and on TV, others followed it online. Upon conclusion of the Barça-Espanyol match, the hashtag #graciesPep on Twitter trended worldwide; the hashtag was trending in Spain at the end of the first half. From 20:00 on, the number of tweets dedicated to Guardiola kept on growing: the amount of tweets tagged with #graciesPep started at 3,100 at 20:00, by 23:45 the number grew to 55,000 tweets.

Moreover, there were also thousands of tweets supporting Guardiola that weren’t tagged with the trending hashtag, some of which belonged to Barça’s first-team players. Andrés Iniesta said: “fantastic end of the season at the stadium. Thanks, boss!”

Facebook and YouTube

Facebook was another favoured platform for FC Barcelona fans to offer up their support to the outgoing manager. The Club’s posts regarding the Camp Nou’s tribute to the manager received 340,000 likes and 35,000 comments. The post that generated the most activity, 83,000 likes, was the news that Barça had won the match, just before Guardiola gave his speech on the pitch. The Barça Toons’ tribute to Guardiola was also successful on YouTube. The video had been seen more than 88,000 times by halftime.

Support from China

The tribute to Pep Guardiola surpassed international boundaries. More than a million messages of support for Guardiola were made on the Chinese social network Tencent Weibo. “It’s difficult to find the correct word to express how I feel. Thank you, Pep, let’s pay tribute to the great Guardiola,” and “King of the Camp Nou forever, Pep Guardiola,” represent the overall sentiment of Chinese supporters.