Barcelona and sport: a love story
Love of sporting values and emotions. Love of teamwork and seeing sportsmen and women beat their personal best. Love of the open air, speed and cheering on your favourites. There are so many sports to enjoy in Barcelona, you'll be spoilt for choice. And throughout the year, the city is a thrilling showcase for countless world-class events and a wide range of sporting experiences.
Rackets and lifejackets
In April, get out your visor and enjoy the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell Conde de Godó Trophy ; Spain's oldest tennis tournament. In June, the fine weather brings us the Conde de Godó Yachting Trophy, one of the world's most exciting international regattas. And in July, the Barcelona Puig Vela Clàssica Regatta gives you the chance to see the most majestic vintage and classic boats in the world take part in a unique regatta. If more modern craft are your thing, head to the beach on 12th January 2019 to see the Barcelona World Race set sail. This non-stop round-the-world sailing competition begins and ends in the city and is a true sporting challenge and ocean adventure.
And football, football, football
You wouldn't expect anything else of a city where some of the world's best players pit their skills against each other. In August it's time for the Joan Gamper Cup, a friendly match that kicks off the football season and delights the fans. You'll see the new signings up close and visit the Camp Nou, Europe's biggest stadium. Throughout the year, La Liga, La Copa and the Champions League are unmissable opportunities to experience the spectacle of football and the magic of players like Messi, Luis Suárez and Coutinho. The players from the city's other great team, RCD Espanyol de Barcelona renew their enthusiasm every season and proudly compete at their home ground, the RCDE Stadium, which has been awarded 4-star status by UEFA. It attracts thousands of Espanyol fans, who go by the curious nickname of "periquitos", or budgies.
Beating their personal best at three world-class athletics events
Do you like running? Well you're bound to have heard of the Barcelona Zurich Marathon which takes place in March on a 42-km route through the city's iconic streets: you'll discover the Glòries Tower, the seafront, the bustling neighbourhood of Sants and the Passeig de Gràcia from a totally different angle. In October, the Barcelona Triathlon by Santander attracts the world's top triathletes who share the same dream: to cross the finishing line. In November, the carrera atlética Jean Bouin athletics race, the oldest competition of its kind in Spain, is a unique opportunity to meet new personal challenges. Not for nothing does it attract more than 11,000 runners, including athletes from every category.
Pirouetting motorbikes and supercars that roar as they accelerate
In May it's time for one of the most eagerly awaited motor-racing competitions: Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix. Fans come along to be captivated by the big names of Formula 1 and see them behind the wheels of their cars. Hear those engines roar! If you stay until June, you'll be able to see the Monster Energy MotoGP Grand Prix, where the world's top motorbike riders provide an adrenaline rush on every bend. In February, high-octane thrills are guaranteed at the Trial Indoor Barcelona where the world's top riders perform amazing balancing acts and impossible jumps and turns. If you're a fan of off-road racing, you can't afford to miss this amazing spectacle. And in April, the cars rev up their engines in an adrenaline-fuelled contest on tarmac and dirt tracks at the FIA Rally Cross Barcelona. More than 80 different races plus free admission to the paddock for spectators.
Hold on to your bridle
The horses and riders who take part in the International Polo Tournament in May are not quite as fast as their motor-racing counterparts but they're just as glamorous. The superb setting of the the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona plays host to one of the world's classic sports. Horse lovers can also come back in September to enjoy the Barcelona International Showjumping Competition when the city become the world's riding capital and the Real Club de Polo hosts nine world-class competitions, including the Grand Finale of the Nations Cup.
The most urban festival
In June, sport is transformed into a festival: ImaginExtreme Barcelona brings together action sports and top riders from Spain and abroad in some of the most extreme urban sports, including skateboarding, BMX, inline skating, longboarding, streetboarding and scooters. You can also join the tribe at the open practice area and see the experts "fly" as they show off their best tricks.
Hockey. More than 20 thrilling matches
Hockey fans can't miss the Torneo Internacional de Hoquei Reyes which is held at the end of the Christmas season. Taking advantage of the holiday break, teams from the European hockey leagues will pit their skills against their rivals at this three-day tournament featuring more than 20 thrilling matches.
Feeling tired? Well, it's only to be expected as every month of the year provides a new opportunity to see and experience sport in Barcelona. Ready, steady, go!
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