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Messi, Iniesta unveil spectacular new Camp Nou

Barcelona have unveiled designs for the revamp of the Camp Nou stadium.

The European champions’ new home, designed by architectural team Nikken Sekkei + Pascual i Ausio Arquitectes, is due to be opened in time for the 2021-22 season.

Camp Nou will have open “facades” constructed around the exterior to allow spectators to walk around the entire stadium, which will extend up to the top tier of the stands. A partial roof will be added and the capacity is set to be expanded to over 100,000.

Speaking at a ceremony at the stadium, attended by Barca board members, the first-team squad and media representatives, president Josep Maria Bartomeu said he believes the new stadium will become “an icon for the city”.

“We are proud to present the winning proposal for the new Camp Nou,” he said. “Many submissions were from the best architectural firms in the world. I want to thank all of them.

“I want to thank the work of the jury as well. They put in an awful lot of hours. It’s been a job well done.

“Other clubs have built better and more modern stadiums, with new technologies. This is why there have been projects in the last 20 years to improve Camp Nou, though for different reasons these could not move forward.

“Forty per cent of Camp Nou has not been touched since it was built. A club such as ours should have the best arena in the world. I believe this new Camp Nou will be an icon for the city, one of the most beautiful cities in the world.”

Bartomeu confirmed the club will seek sponsorship, including possible naming rights, as they will not begin work on the stadium unless backing is established and the club’s debt is reduced to projected levels.

“One of our objectives is to sponsor Camp Nou. We’re not openly in the market, looking for a title-rights company, but it will be soon. Now that the projects are clear, we can go to the market and find it.

“Without that, and without a limit of around €200million, we will not start the project.”

Jordi Moix, the director involved in the Espai Barca jury which selected the winning project, said: “This is not a project just for the club, but for the whole city, like the Olympics. We want the members and the supporters to really support us – it will be difficult during the four years of construction.”

Club captain Andres Iniesta, who unveiled the stadium model along with team-mates Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Javier Mascherano, says the rejuvenated Camp Nou will be a one-of-a-kind location in world football.

“I think it’s a very important step forward for the club, having a stadium like this one will keep on being a reference for one of the best clubs in the world,” he said.

“We’ll enjoy it in different ways, of course – some of us playing and some watching. I don’t know [which I’ll be doing]!

“We’ve been lucky to play at many different stadia, but I think this will be unique.”

Construction is due to begin in 2017.

Thu 21 Apr, 2016
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