In just about 2 and a half weeks (on Saturday 6th September), England football tem will be playing Andorra in a World Cup qualifier. The importance to this blog? Well it's because it's being played at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona - up on Montjuic. Andorra's national stadium (Estadi Comunal de Aixovall Ciudad) is very small with a capacity of only 1300, so permission was asked for the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona to be the host - similar to the Qualifying campaign in 2005/2006 when they also played Andorra.
Many might remember that this was under the rain of the "wally with the brolly" Steve McLaren, and was one of the most torrid times for many an England player. I was at the match and it was appalling. The abuse hurled at our own England team was shocking. "You're not fit to wear the shirt" "You're getting sacked in the morning" ad other such chants ran around the stadium all night long. And we even won! I'd love to say that this time round it would be all different. We have anew manager in the Italian Fabio Capello - a man-manager and disciplinarian, so they say - but based on last night's dismal home performance at Wembley, I'm afraid to say that it looked like Steve McLaren all over again. Capello used all of his subs (again) as if this was the first time they'd met and the whole shape of the team was terrible. I won't let this go into a rant about football, don't worry!
Just a few interesting things that those of you coming to Barcelona (for the football or not) might want to read about. I was very pleased to learn last time around, that "La Caixa" bank over here also sells tickets for sporting events, too. I was aware that you could get the tickets for pop concerts and other musical events, but the football was one I hadn't considered. I assumed for tickets I would have to plod my way up to the Olympic stadium and queue at the ticket office. However, given the abundance of La Caixa's cash points; it's just as easy to get one from there. OK, you'll pay a small surcharge but it's worth it for the time you'll save. I think ticket prices this time round are about 60 €.
Accomodation in Bacelona last time round was difficult to come by and the majority of the stadium was full of irate England supporters. Let's hope it's not the same way this time round! For a good selection of Apartments for rent in Barcelona be sure to book early!