June 23, 2024

It was electric. The crisp 55-degree air was charged with the energy of thousands of Barcelona soccer fans, despite the disappointing loss to Málaga.
I was in Barcelona for the weekend, and figured there was no better way to experience the culture than through a soccer match.
It was the first soccer match that I had ever been to in my life, but let me tell you, for those Barcelona fans, it was definitely more than just a soccer match, even though it was just a regular season match.
It was a spectacle. Heck, it was a spectacle just watching the spectators, most of them clad in the red, blue and yellow Barcelona scarves tied tightly around their necks.
Beginning with the booming opening chant, bursting forth from 10,000 different mouths, the electricity transmitted through the Camp Nou stadium from then on.
Every heart-breakingly close shot on goal triggered an emission of collective “Ohh’s” reverberating throughout the stands.
Every “injured” Málaga player rolling around in the grass while clutching a leg invoked a hundred shrill finger whistles piercing through the air.
Every bad call from the referee ignited a series of swear words roaring throughout the stadium.
And best of all, every time Lionel Messi’s bright orange cleat came into contact with the ball, a deafening clatter of stomping feet, beating drums and clapping hands erupted throughout the facility.
Although I am not a die-hard soccer fan, it was pretty amazing to be just one of the thousands of energy outlets transmitting electric excitement through Camp Nou, cheering alongside the Barca flag wavers, rowdy feet stampers and steel drum beaters.
And I’ll tell you, even though it is almost nine months later, I can still hear the deafening roar of “Barca, Barca, Barca…” pulsating throughout my body.

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