Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Copa del Rey is Spanish for "WOOOO! Fourth Row!"

the view from our seats

So tonight I went to Barcelona's round of 32 match up against Segunda-B side CD Alcoyono. Alcoyono is perhaps the only Segunda-B team to have found its way into the Spanish lexicon with the phrase tener más moral que el Alcoyano (to have as much morale as Alcoyano).

Quick football aside before I get geeked out. The Copa works the same way as the Champions League, a home and home knockout tournament, only the Copa features 83 teams from Spain's top three divisions, rather than the giants of Europe. Barça won the first leg 3-0, which meant the objectives for the evening were as follows:
  • Barça: Don't lose by four goals (laugh if you want, but it happened in the Copa semifinals last year)
  • Alcoyono: Live up to the morale thing
  • Jake: Rock out, have a good time, post photos to Flickr
All in all, an enjoyable game, even in the rain. A plucky Alcoyono salvaged a 2-2 draw in the 90th minute to give the players and their fans (and they brought a lot of fans from Valencia) some memories that will surely last a long while. But now it's time to be a giant geek.

We had fourth row seats.

You walk into the Camp Nou and you're at the 200 level. We were in section 6. Not 206, section 6. To get to our seats, you had to go down four or five flights of stairs until you were basically in the stadium's basement, and then you walk out to where you're level with the pitch in a 98,000 seat stadium. All four goals were scored in front of us. I was ten feet from Carles Puyol, Bojan Krcic, and Giovanni Dos Santos. (Bojan is tiny, by the way.) I had the same feeling I got going to Old Busch to watch a baseball game when I was five. We're talking Jack Clark, Willie McGee, Cardinals can do no wrong, happy dance type feelings.

Santi Ezquerro zips down the touchline

And the best part was, I didn't have to sell my soul for the tickets. Since it was an early round Copa del Rey game, tickets were 20€. For the clasico, our seats were 190€ if you didn't get them from a scalper. You have to go and do this!

Barça in action!

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