Champions League fever sweeps Barcelona

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Giant screens have been set up in the city; club’s jerseys hang proudly from stores and apartment balconies as Barcelona readies for Wednesday's Champions League final against Manchester United in Rome.

Barcelona – With a giant screen set up near the sea and another at the Camp Nou stadium, and balconies and windows decked out in the club's colours, Barcelona is braced for Wednesday's Champions League final against Manchester United in Rome.

"It will be different from all the festivities we have been used to lately," said Pere, a security guard at a shop opposite the Canaletes fountain on the Ramblas, the traditional place where Barca victories are celebrated.

The club's dark red and blue flags and jerseys are proudly hung from apartment balconies and displayed in shop windows across the Catalan capital.

Barcelona has also decided to open the doors of Miniestadi, the small stage located next to the enormous Camp Nou, to enable club members and their relatives to follow the final on a giant screen.

Another giant 60 metres square screen has been installed outdoors on the square Odisea del Maremagnum that just prolongs the Ramblas opposite the port of Barcelona.

Most Barcelona supporters did not expect anything but a victory.

Only some fans of Barcelona's cross-town rivals Espanyol express indifference or even a preference for United.

Barcelona have already won the Primera Liga and Spanish Cup. If they take the Champions League, they will be the first Spanish side to achieve the treble.

Meanwhile, Spain's King Juan Carlos and Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will attend the Champions League final, said their offices.

King Juan Carlos will meet with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano before the match at the Stadio Olimpico, the royal palace said in a statement.

The king and Zapatero were both in Paris in May 2006 when Barcelona won its last Champions League title with a 2-1 defeat over Arsenal.

AFP / Expatica

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