. F.C. Barcelona, known locally as Bara, is one of the best known soccer teams in the world, and second only to real Madrid in Spain, though its supporters would never admit to that. It has never been relegated from its home league, La Liga, only two other boasting that record. The International Federation of Football History and Statistics list it as the most successful team world-wide between 1991 and 2008.
The correct name for Camp Nou is the Nou Estadi del Ftbol Club Barcelona, and its address is Avinguda Aristides Maillol, s/n, 08028, Barcelona. It is 5 miles from the center of Barcelona and you get there using the bus (Lines 7, 15, 43, 67, 68, 74, 75, L12, L50, L60 & L62) and by Metro (Line 3 from Maria Cristina or Les Corts and Line 5 from Collblanc or Badal). It is 13 Kilometers from Barcelona’s El Prat Airport.
The original permanent ground for the club was known as Les Corts, situated in the Les Corts district of Barcelona since 1922. As membership and following of the football club increased, it became obvious that a new ground would be needed, and there was an initial debate as to whether that should be situated at a development site by the top end of the Diagonal, or at a place known as La Maternidad, which the club had purchased in 1950. It was eventually agreed to go with the latter; the foundations were laid in 1954 and the Camp Nou completed 3 years later.
The club is a rich one, as would be expected from its success. It owns its own magazine and newspaper, and its own TV and radio stations. It is certainly a world class team, regularly being involved in competitions such as the Champion’s League for the top teams in Europe.
The Camp Nou is a dream for football enthusiasts the world over, and includes a museum that is one of the best football museums in the world. Visitors can have guided tours, and they are much in demand by soccer fans. The tour takes you right through the stadium, including the dressing rooms, the pitch and the press areas. You can run down the tunnel onto the pitch and imagine yourself leading your country out for the final of the World Cup with the roar of the crowd in your ears. This stadium has a fantastic atmosphere even when empty, and every supporter of Bara dreams of running out onto this pitch.
The museum offers everything you could hope for from a world-class soccer museum. It holds many personal items of footballs stars over the years, with loads of photographs and other artifacts displaying the history of Ftbol Club Barcelona. You will find out about the fabulous Josep Samitier, with 103 games to his name between 1919 and 1932, and Paulino Alcntarawho scored 357 goals in 357 matches. How about the player with most ever appearances, Miguel Bernardo Bianquetti, known to his fans as Migueli, who played a record 548 games for the team between 1973 – 1989. Enjoy finding about some of the more modern greats, such as Maradonna, Ronaldo, Cruyff, Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi, the fabulous Argentinean recognized as probably the best player in the world at the moment. All played for Barcelona, and all are or were fabulous world class players that could step into any international team on his day.
The museum (El Museo del Ftbol) opened in 1984, and has increased in size a great deal since then. Over 1.2 million people visit this museum every year – how’s that for popularity! It is without doubt the biggest and best football museum in the world, and in addition to showing the expected artifacts, it also offers details of the social side of the club with some great audio-visual displays.
Many other football clubs are using El Museo del Ftbol as an example for them to follow as they design their own. It will not be easy to follow, and it is improving all the time. The guided tour is well worth taking, although if you would rather wander around yourself you can use an optional audio guide that offers commentaries in seven languages: Catalan, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, English and Italian.
You need tickets and these are available from the club through Gates 7 and 9. Enter through the gate and look for the Boulevard Ticket Offices. Prices will change of course, but right now they are 17 for adults and 14 for 6 – 13 year-olds for the tour of the club and the museum, with children under six years old free.
The museum is open between 1000 and 1830 except Sundays and Bank Holidays when the closing time is 1400. On days when matches are being played the tour is closed until 1500. You don’t have to book in advance, but it is possible to book online using the football club’s website, and you can also phone (+34) 93496 36 08 or email email@example.com
Also make sure that you get your accommodation booked well in advance, because the city can be very busy during the holiday season. Barcelona has a number of short term apartment rentals available for you and your family, but they tend to go very quickly so book well in advance.