Barcelona celebrate LaLiga title victory with open-top bus parade: Lewandowski, Xavi, Busquets, Putellas…
Barça’s men’s and women’s teams have won their domestic leagues this season, with both achievements celebrated in Monday’s parade.
On Sunday, Barcelona secured their first LaLiga title since 2019 thanks to a 4-2 win over local rivals Espanyol and, less than 24 hours later, ‘culers’ lined the streets of the city to celebrate, sporting jerseys worn by their heroes across a number of different eras. Retro kits from the 70s, Meyba jerseys associated with the 1992 European Cup win jerseys, Kappa kits harking back to the Romario-led 5-0 thrashing of Real Madrid and any of those made by Nike and adorned by the likes of Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski. They were all there, looked out especially for the party.
Barcelona men’s and women’s teams celebrate league wins
Chants old and new rung around the city centre. From ‘you did it once, it’s time to do it again’ (‘tot guanyat, tot per guanyar’), dating back to the all-conquering 2009 side, to ‘LaLiga is ours, so it the future’ (‘La Lliga es nostra, el futur tambè'), which has become this season’s slogan.
Of course, it wasn’t just the men’s team who were feted for ending their three-year trophy draught. Barcelona Femení were there too, a couple of weeks after clinching the Liga F title with a perfect record and less than three before competing in their fourth Champions League final against Wolfsburg in Eindhoven, the Netherlands on 3 June. They’ve won two of their previous three.
The day after the night before for Barcelona
The fun and games began at 6:00 p.m. local time (12:00 p.m. ET), with pizzas the food of choice as the Barça stars tried to make sure they had enough energy to make it through the next few hours, as well as recover from the festivities of the night before. The bus slowly kicked off its journey through huge crowds of fans in Les Corts, a financial and business district which is home to Camp Nou. Things started to heat up rather more as the parade made its way towards the city centre, with flares, confetti and pure joy filling the air as the bus reached Canaletas in the upper part of La Rambla. The players, both male and female, were on their best behaviour, although that didn’t stop them from having a whole lot of fun.
Lewandowski the star man once again
“I’m so happy. I’ve never experienced anything like this. It’s a tremendous experience and I look forward to many more. Come on, Barça!” said Ronald Araújo. Marc-André ter Stegen was delighted to “be close” to the fans, while Lewandowski was never too far from the action. Having arrived last summer as a marquee signing, there can be little doubt the Pole has stepped up to the plate. Midfield man Frenkie de Jong lapped up the fans’ adoration, while captain Sergio Busquets must have gone through a rollercoaster of emotions knowing it’s almost all over for him at Barça; he’ll still have one more big party at Camp Nou before he’s on his way: “I know it’s the last one and I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been very special”.
Head coach Xavi grinned from ear to ear, spending much of the evening alongside brother Òscar and Sergio Alegre, his assistant managers. He did, though, make his way up to the front of the bus, the perfect vantage point to see just how many jubilant fans were both waiting for and following him and his men.
Champions League final to come for Barcelona Femení
On the women’s side, Alexia Putellas took centre stage. “We are very grateful. We still have Eindhoven to go and we’ll do everything we can to win the Champions League”, said the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner, who will hope to play some part against Wolfsburg having only just returned to action after a lengthy absence due to an ACL tear. “This is unforgettable. We’re absolutely amazed. We hope we don’t let anyone down in the final this year”, said Putellas’ midfield sidekick Aitana Bonmatí.
Barcelona look to the future
Little by little, the bus made its way to its final stop at the Arc del Triomf, which crosses over the wide central promenade of the Passeig de Lluís Companys. After three long years, Barcelona fans finally had something to celebrate, no longer taking it for granted as many would have done during the ‘glory years’.
You’ll no doubt continue to see those old jerseys when you walk through the streets of the Catalan capital, but those wearing them will be looking forward rather than back from now on.