Ifeanyi’s Corner Opinion

SCN: 10 facts you didn’t know about the Camp Nou

The Camp Nou, at Barcelona's game against Real Valladolid, October 2019 / OMAR HAWWASH/BLAUGRANAGRAM
The Camp Nou, at Barcelona’s game against Real Valladolid, October 2019 / OMAR HAWWASH/BLAUGRANAGRAM

The game against Mallorca at the Spotify Camp Nou on the 28th of May 2023 will be the last one at the iconic stadium until November 2024 as the stadium will undergo structural changes.

The club recorded favorable home attendance this season, with an average of over 83,000 spectators every match day.

This is the highest attendance record in the Blaugrana’s recent history.

The iconic stadium has housed lots of global football stars since it opened on the 24th of September in 1957. The Camp Nou has been home to multiple Ballon d’Or winners in old and recent times.

It has hosted finals at domestic and continental levels and it has also housed the greatest footballer of all time.

From the Joga Bonito specials of the ever smiling Ronaldinho to the incredible space awareness of Xavi Hernández to the elastic gliding of Iniesta, the simplicity and press resistance of Sergio Busquets to the magic of the majestic Messi – the Camp Nou has been home to all and more.

The stadium was home to the Barça sides of Johan Cruyff and Pep. Barça under these two coaching legends marked eras that made the Camp Nou a “death zone” for visiting teams. The stadium has also been home to Xavi’s Barça as he tries to get the club back to the top of European football.

Today Barça says “see you later” to the iconic Camp Nou.

Let’s take a look at 10 things you most likely didn’t know about the Catalan fortress.

1. The key reason for deciding to build a new stadium was Ladislao Kubala. The Barcelona superstar was the guy every Barça fan wanted to watch so they always came in their large numbers but the capacity of Barca’s old ground “Les Corts” was just 48,000, and that wasn’t enough. The board of directors paid attention to the supporters who were asking for a new ground and years later presented the Camp Nou.

2. The construction of the Camp Nou took three years to complete (1954-1957). It was inaugurated on the 24th of September that year which coincided with the annual festival of Mercé, the patron saint of the city of Barcelona. Francesc Miró-Sans was club president at the time.

3. The first game at the Camp Nou was played against a Warsaw Select XI. The Catalan side got their first win at the stadium (4-2).

4. Eulogio Martínez was the first to score at the Camp Nou. He represented FC Barcelona for seven years and remains in the memory of Barça fans who were present at the Camp Nou on that day.

5. The first official match was played on the 6th of October in 1957. Barça at the time was managed by Domènech Balmanya. The club defeated the visiting Jaén 6-1.

6. Barça went on a 13 game unbeaten streak (11W, 2D) after the game against Jaén.

7. The 5-1 victory against Sevilla in the 2014/15 season was Barça’s 1000th home win.

8. The stadium used to have a 120,000+ seating capacity, same as the Maracanã in Brazil, but it had to be reduced for health and safety reasons.

9. It is currently the stadium with the biggest capacity in Europe: housing 99,354 spectators.

10. The Camp Nou is the stadium where the Ballon d’Or has been showcased the most, registering an astounding 14 times.