Barcelona say emotional goodbye to the Nou Camp with players in tears and fireworks lighting up sky for huge send off
BARCELONA said an emotional farewell to the Nou Camp with departing players left in tears and fireworks lighting up the sky.The Spanish giants are moving to the Olympic Stadium in Montjuic next season whilst the Nou Camp is redeveloped.
Barcelona bid farewell to the Nou Camp until November 2024Credit: AP
Jordi Alba said his goodbyes to the Nou CampCredit: Rex
Club captain Busquets is expected to move to Saudi ArabiaCredit: Rex
The departing players were given a proper send offCredit: AFP
Xavi’s side cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory against Mallorca in their last game at the Nou Camp until November 2024, with Ansu Fati netting a brace and Gavi scoring the other.
The Spanish champions will return to the Nou Camp in the 2024-25 season with the capacity at 50 per cent, before work is completed during the 2025-26 season.
It was an emotional night for club legends Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba who both played their final home game for Barcelona.
Both players were applauded off the pitch by the home support and received souvenirs from the club for their service before addressing the fans.
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Alba is leaving Barcelona after mutually agreeing to terminate his contract a year early.
The 34-year-old joined the club from Valencia in 2012 and has gone on to make 458 appearances for the Catalan club, scoring 19 times and providing 91 assists.
He has been linked with a move to Inter Milan and is also expected to have lucrative offers from Saudi Arabia.
Alba said: “Good evening, first of all I would like to thank all the fans for all the love in my career.
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“Today I also have to remember many people who played a very important role in my career and it was a great honour to share the pitch with them.
“Thanks to my teammates, this year maybe I didn’t play a lot, but the most important thing is always to try to help, of course I feel very proud of helping my teammates.”
Alba also paid tribute to Busquets, who he has played alongside for more than a decade.
He added: “I want to talk about an important and beloved person, Busquets. It was a great honour to play alongside him. I wish him all the best.”
The left back finished by saying how proud he has been to be a Barcelona player.
He concluded: “Now I will follow the team from another place. Always proud to be a Barcelona player. Visca Barça! Visca Catalunya!”
Club captain Busquets is expected to move to Saudi Arabia having spent his entire senior career at the club, making 481 appearances and scoring 11 goals.
In his address to the fans he said: “Good evening, first of all I want to thank all the players, the current players and those who have been with me these last few years, I thank them all.
“I thank the coaching staff, the employees, everyone at the club and everyone who helped me during this period, and I also thank the fans. They played a very important role in what we achieved. It is a great honour to be in the team.”
Busquets added that it had been a dream to play for the club he had supported since he was a child.
He said: “I dreamt when I was young to play a match in this stadium, this dream came true and I played several matches here, the best stadium in the world. I will never forget this.
“I came here as a fan when I was a child, and now I’m very proud to be part of the best club in the world.”
The Spanish midfielder did hint that he could be back in the future.
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He finished: “Now I’m leaving this team, but the dream I had has come true, this is not a definitive goodbye, it’s a see you later.”
Barcelona round out their LaLiga campaign away at Celta Vigo on Sunday.
Fireworks erupted over the stadiumCredit: Getty
The departing players said their farewellsCredit: Getty More