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Nicola Middleton

Camp Nou, Barcelona in September 2011. AC Milan v Barcelona, Champions League. A recent memory from a new football fan!

We arrived at the gladiatorial stadium as dusk set in on a warm Mediterranean evening. The pitch was sunken below ground level, adding to the sheer size of the stadium. What a noise, what a din. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people in one area. 

Wee, white, bright lights from cameras flashed all over the stadium. Around us sat scarf-waving fans wearing the distinctive Barcelona colours of yellow, red and blue. It felt almost unreal. Our seats were directly behind the right-hand goal post. 

A lucky early goal was scored in the first minute by an opportunistic AC Milan. But my favourite football moment was when Barcelona went 2-1 ahead following Pedro’s equaliser. David Villa stepped forward to take a free-kick, 30 yards from goal. 

He struck the ball. It came directly at us, arcing towards the top right-hand corner of the goal. Perfection. If it wasn’t for the goal-net, the ball would have surely hit us. The crowd went wild. Yellow, red and blue scarves were twirled in the air.

2min33 secs for the perfect view of Villa’s beauty:

david villa gets ready to strike free-kick
David Villa (far right) gets ready to strike his free-kick
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