Soccer in Barcelona

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Futbol Club Barcelona. Founded in 1899, the Futbol Club Barcelona attained its greatest glory in May 2009, when its victory over Manchester United in Rome sealed the club's third European Championship and Spain's first-ever triplete (triple), taking home all of the silverware: League, Cup, and European titles. Even more impressive, to friend and foe alike, was the way they did it, playing a wide-open razzle-dazzle style of soccer rarely seen in age of cynical defensive lockdowns and muscular British-style play. Barça, as the club is affectionately known, is Real Madrid's perennial nemesis (and vice-versa) as well as a sociological and historical phenomenon of deep significance in Catalonia. Ticket windows at Access 14 to the stadium are open Monday though Saturday and game-day Sundays 10–2 and 5–8; you can also buy tickets at Servicaixa ATM machines at Caixa de Catalunya banks, through ticket agencies, and directly on-line. Camp Nou, Aristides Maillol 12, Les Corts, Barcelona, Catalonia, 08028. 93/4963600 or 902/189900. www.fcbarcelona.com.

RCD Espanyol. Things began to look up a bit for this soccer team, long languishing in a tiny stadium above the Diagonal, when the club moved west to the suburb of Cornellà and into a new state-of-the-art 40,500-seat home base. Espanyol still struggles to survive in the League First Division, but enjoys the support of enthusiastic local fans. Tickets are best purchased at Servicaixa machines. Take the T1 tramway from Pl. Francesc Macià, or the Metro Line 5 from Pl. Catalunya, to Carnellà Centre; the stadium is a 15-minute walk from there. Estadi Cornellà-El Prat, Av. Baix Llobregat 100, Cornellà de Llobregat, Barcelona, Catalonia, 08940. 93/2927700. www.rcdespanyol.com.

Spain Ticket Bureau. This company can score seats for Barça home games, as well as other sporting events, concerts, and musicals, in Barcelona and elsewhere in Spain. Booking ahead online is a good idea, especially for headliner events, but expect to pay a healthy premium. Rambla de Catalunya 89, Entl. A, Eixample, Barcelona, Catalonia, 08007. 93/4882266 or 902/903912. www.spainticketbureau.com. Passeig de Gràcia, Catalunya.

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