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Ronaldinho, Gazpacho, and a Midnight Party: Barca’s Kickoff

The article details an iconic football game held at Camp Nou in September 2003 when Barcelona faced Sevilla in LaLiga. The match, also known as “The Night of Gazpacho,” is renowned for its unusual kickoff time of 12:05 a.m. on a Wednesday, making it the latest known start for a professional football game. To ensure Ronaldinho could play for Barcelona rather than join Brazil for international games, the club sought an equally unconventional solution to schedule the match right after midnight.

The match attracted a crowd of over 80,000 people who enjoyed a celebratory atmosphere. Free KitKats, cups of gazpacho and live music from three tenors entertained the spectators. Despite the initial skepticism from some, the unique experience energized both the players and the fans, creating a thrilling game that ended in a 1-1 draw.

The inclusion of quotes and memories from involved players, managers, and fans effectively brings the atmosphere of that night to life in the article, underscoring the significance of this historical event in football. This fascinating and entertaining piece on football history adds cultural value and helps readers appreciate the traditions, innovation, and passion of the sport.
Barcelona correspondent Sam Marsden writes about the history-making events of September 2003, when Barcelona took on Sevilla in LaLiga at the Camp Nou. The game started at 12.05 a.m. on a Wednesday, setting a record for the earliest kickoff in professional football history. This unique schedule was the result of scheduling conflicts between the two teams, with other dates interfering with national tournaments. Barça made the unique decision to schedule the game at this unusual time, emphasizing their need for the game against their opponents. Despite the confusion, the “Night of Gazpacho,” as it has been named locally, was a successful event, drawing over 80,000 fans to the stadium. Ronaldinho, an upcoming star, made the most of this unusual event by scoring his first-ever goal for Barça at 01:30 a.m., ensuring the game’s place in history. Although unique, the historic match showcased the sport’s ability to draw fans, despite the unusual schedule.