Thursday, August 8, 2013

Day 7- A Tour of the Camp Nou, and the Climax of Our Trip

The Field at the Camp Nou


Yesterday we knew a full-morning training session would do much more harm than good looking forward to the night's game against CF Barcelona. We had practiced, and played Espanyol the morning, and night before, so our legs were already pretty dead. So instead of a training session we decided to hit the hotel pool for some water recovery, with the main feature of the practice being a synchronized swimming contest, with teams of 4 competing, and the coaches and moms judging.
The performances were absolutely exquisite... The gracefulness of our team in the water is something to behold...They are like dolphins...well, maybe more like flounder...

After this fine exhibition of creativity and coordination we headed to the beach with some soccer balls to do some light juggling, and technical drills.
Afterwards we again relaxed with some swimming and eating before departing for our tour of CF Barcelona's stadium, the Camp Nou, where we had seen Barcelona defeat Santos on our first day in the country.

The Camp Nou is much more than just a soccer stadium. The air in the stadium is heavy with history, passion, reputation, and glory. It really is an awe-inspiring place. The entire complex is made up not just of the nearly 100,000 seat stadium, but it also contains a collection of all kinds of athletic facilities, the largest grossing Nike Store in the world, restaurants, and a museum which houses the hundreds of trophies acquired by Barcelona since its founding in 1899. Some of the highlights of the tour were the 4 UEFA Champion's League trophies in the museum, seeing the locker-room, and walking past the team chapel and down the tunnel just like the players as they take to the pitch before a game.

The tour was awesome, but the climax of our trip was approaching fast...
Our evening match against the current "Champions of Europe", CF Barcelona!

Shaking Hands and Sharing Small Gifts Before the Match
Pre-game Huddle





Our match was played on a fantastic artificial field within the massive training complex of Barcelona's Football Club. The same place that players such as, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Xavi, and Iniesta, train at daily...
Within seconds of the kickoff you could see the class of Barcelona's team. They have the exact style of the legendary Barcelona mens team. They possess the ball with hardly a mistake for minutes on end. Their touch on the ball is immaculate. They are athletic and pressure the ball relentlessly if it is lost. And they put the ball in the back of the net with authority.
In the first half there were at least 3, or 4, national team players from top female footballing nations and we held our own.
The second half however, their was no fooling around from Barca. Their were at least 7 national team players, including this season's "golden-boot" winner for all of Europe...

Catherine Lamplugh Beating Barca to the Ball
Brittany Nicoline Looking for a Long-ball, with Melissa Pavi Overlapping

Taking the field with a team of this quality is a once in a lifetime opportunity, we learned the level to which this game can be executed, and we for sure learned a ton about defensive positioning and maintaining possession under-pressure.
Though Barcelona dominated the scoreline, and the possession, we by no means felt embarrassed by how we played. It is never easy to be soundly defeated by a team, but we played with a lot of heart, had some good moments of possession, some great defending, and some fantastic saves in goal. We definitely made Barcelona work for what they got, and for the level of this competition, that is a fantastic achievement.
The Landmark Conference is not going to know what hit them this season! Go Greyhounds!

The Amazing CF Barcelona Football Complex
Moravian With Barcelona All-Smiles After the Match

Tomorrow morning we will be packing up our luggage and heading to the airport in Barcelona. We will be catching a connecting flight in Madrid in the afternoon, and should arrive at J.F.K. Airport tomorrow evening. It was an amazing trip, and a huge blessing for all of us to be able to participate in it, but we are excited to get back home, rest up, and ready ourselves for preseason which is nearly here.

Thank you for all your support of us, and for following our blog. I will post one last wrap-up post tomorrow to summarize the trip and bombard you with photos!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like an incredible trip Brie! Thanks for all the cool updates and pictures, safe travels!
    Shel

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