After five friendlies, four of them in the United States, the newly renamed Spotify Camp Nou is all set to welcome the team for its first home game of 2022/23. The Joan Gamper Trophy has been the curtain-raiser to the FC Barcelona season in every one of the last 56 years, and on Sunday 7 August at 8.00pm CEST it’s happening all over again.
One of the biggest attractions of the Gamper has always been the chance for the team’s new summer recruits to play in front of the home crowd for the first time.
Polish striker Robert Lewandowski (who arrives from Bayern Munich), Danish defender Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), French defender Jules Koundé (Sevilla), Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessié (AC Milan) and Brazilian striker Raphinha (Leeds United) will all be playing at Spotify Camp Nou for the first time since joining the club, while for Koundé, who wasn’t on the US tour, this will be his very first game in the blaugrana jersey.
In total, that’s 266 international caps of experience that has been added to a Barça squad that promises some very big things in the season to come.
There may also be chances for some of the younger players that are not officially part of the senior squad, including 19-year-old Pablo Torre who recently arrived from Racing Santander.
🚨 SQUAD LIST FOR THE TROFEU JOAN GAMPER! pic.twitter.com/vWyag4VV6x
As always, the Gamper is no ordinary football match. The build-up to the game involves a host of different activities and entertainments in the immediate environs of the stadium, including the annual gathering of official supporters clubs.
And once inside, at around 7.15pm CEST, the whole Barça squad, old and new, plus all the coaching staff will be introduced to the fans. Captain Sergio Busquets and coach Xavi Hernández are sure to use the occasion to say a few words, and there may be other surprises too!
The game is being broadcast live on the club's own Barça TV+, and all around the world, except in countries where a local broadcaster holds exclusive rights. Check our TV Guide for full information.
There will be a Mexican flavour to this year’s Gamper, with the opposition hailing from that country. UNAM, widely known by their nickname Pumas, are appearing at Spotify Camp Nou for the first time ever. But they have played Barça before. That was way back in 1963 when the Catalans were visiting their country, and the tourists won handsomely, 6-1.
There is a large community of Mexicans in the city of Barcelona, and plenty of them are sure to come along to add to the atmosphere, Pumas supporters or not.
And for the home fans, it also gives them the chance to bid one last farewell to one of its most beloved players. Dani Alves (see video below). The Brazilian who returned to Barça for one final season in 2021/22, is now playing for the Liga MX club, which is already six matches into its league season (and unbeaten, although five of those games have been draws).
Pumas are extremely excited to be here for this game. Indeed, one of the club’s proudest achievements was beating Real Madrid to win the Trofeo Santiago Bernabéu in 2004. How they would love to complete the collection by winning the Gamper as well, a unique double that no club has ever managed before.
Barça are looking to match their record run of ten consecutive victories in their ‘own’ tournament, set between 1995 and 2004. The Catalans have been victorious every year since losing 1-0 to Sampdoria in 2012.
This is only the second time that a Mexican team has been a guest at the Gamper. Rafael Márquez (now manager of Barça B), was here with Club León in 2014.
Although Barça have played 31 games against Mexican teams over the years, the only other one of those to have been played in Barcelona was a friendly against Puebla in 1981.
This is the first time Barça fans have been able to enjoy the Gamper at Spotify Camp Nou since 2019. In 2020, the game with Elche was played behind closed doors due to the pandemic, and last season’s edition against Juventus was played in front of a limited crowd at the Estadi Johan Cruyff.
2003 Barça 0-2 America (Friendly in Mexico City) 2006 Barça 3-0 Tigres UANL (Friendly in Monterrey) 2006 Barça 1-1 Chivas Guadalajara (Friendly in Los Angeles) 2006 Barça 4-4 America (Friendly in Houston) 2006 Barça 4-0 America (Club World Cup in Yokohama) 2008 Barça 5-2 Chivas Guadalajara (Friendly in Chicago) 2009 Barça 1-1 Chivas Guadalajara (Friendly in San Francisco) 2009 Barça 3-1 Atlante (Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi) 2011 Barça 1-4 Chivas Guadalajara (Friendly in Miami) 2011 Barça 2-0 America (Friendly in Arlington) 2014 Barça 6-0 Leon (Gamper Trophy in Barcelona)