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One of the greatest supporters clubs meeting in London | MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Barça were paired with Chelsea in the Champions League Round of 16 draw on December 11th, and the two sides will meet in London on February 20th. They will do so accompanied by a large group of penyistes and members, who will travel to the English capital to support their side at Stamford Bridge. Tickets were already sold out a week before the visit from Ernesto Valverde’s men.

Penyistes on the road

It’s a game that Barça peñistas –many of them season ticket holders- do not want to miss. More than 330, from 150 supporters clubs around the world, will make the journey to London to experience the match in person. For some, Stamford Bridge is close by: For example, the Penya Union Blaugrana, from Newcastle, the Penya Blaugrana Irvine, from Scotland, and Penya Blaugrana London of Great Britain, founded in the capital in 1985.

A wealth of activities to celebrate the occasion

Making the most of the large travelling contingent that will descend upon London, the supporters club from the city –which has a 32 year history- will host their fellow Barça fans. On Monday 19th, a dinner for 50 supporters has been organised at their headquarters, the Bar & Co venue on the river Thames. One of its owners, Jorge Gallardo, was born in Barcelona and has converted the bar into one of the most emblematic in the city, with weekly pilgrimages from fans and a place to meet friends and watch football. It is a unique location, as the bar is situated on a boat with a capacity of 150 people across two areas: The deck, which features a big screen for watching games, and an interior room below with four screens and a projector. The dinner, will be inaugurated with speeches by Josep Maria Barnils, Chief Director of the FC Barcelona Social Committee, and Antoni Guil, President of the FC Barcelona Supporters Clubs World Confederation.

On Tuesday, in the hours before the game, the London-based supporters club have two meetings planned. The first will take place from 2:30pm to 3pm at the iconic Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain in Picadilly Circus, where Antoni Guil will bring together all those travelling fans and supporters group members. Close to Picadilly Circus, from 3pm, the pre-game buildup will take place in Riley’s Sport Bar Haymarket, the largest sports bar in the city. This meet-up has become a tradition whenever Barça visit London for a Champions League contest.

A decisive game

The support of the fans will be fundamental at a tough ground for away teams. The return leg against Antonio Conte’s side will be held on March 14th at the Camp Nou, to decide who goes through to the Champions League quarter finals. Whatever happens, the peñas will continue supporting FC Barcelona with the passion that unites and defines them.

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