Beavers In Europe: Taking In A Sporting Event Like No Other
Aug. 25, 2012
MADRID, Spain - With a full schedule in Europe that has included museums, historic landmarks, beaches and basketball games, of course, the highlight of the trip thus far for the Oregon State hoops team was attending the 2012 Spanish Super Cup that had the Beavers literally sitting on the edge of their seats.
Some of the players like Daniel Gomis and Roberto Nelson knew how special - and lucky - they were to have a ticket to the FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid soccer match. Others had no clue, but once they stepped off the bus at Camp Nou Stadium and saw the energy and passion of the fans, it quickly hit them that they were at a sporting event like no other.
The lines to get into the stadium were hundreds deep with nearly 92,000 people attending, and when the gates finally opened, a large cheer arose that made you think a game-winning goal had been scored even though it was an hour until the start of the match.
The coaches, student-athletes, support staff and boosters made their way through the crowd and climbed several steps to the fourth level of the stadium to take their seats. The crowd was electric, camera and cell phone light bulbs flashed and everyone stood up when the teams took the field with music blaring.
After a scoreless first half, the match went to another level after the intermission as the teams combined for five goals with two of them coming from superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. FC Barcelona won 3-2 and the home crowd sang, blew horns and celebrated in a way that made you realize it meant more to them than just winning a soccer match.
There was still a buzz on the bus when everyone made their way back as the group talked about what an experience they had just witnessed. People got texts, tweets and retweets from their friends, family and Oregon State coaches and student-athletes about how lucky they were to attend the Super Cup.
The following day was free for people to explore Ramblas Street, the Boqueria Market, the Picasso Museum or the beach. Some people took advantage of that, while others chose to stay in their room and catch up on their sleep. The Beavers improved to 2-0 on their Europe trip later Friday night with an impressive 81-63 win over CB Santfeliuenc.
The travel party woke up Saturday, ate breakfast and jumped on a "fast train" to Madrid, their final destination of the trip. After checking into the hotel, some people went to Plaza Mayor and did sightseeing before eating a team dinner at Café Las Chinitas, which featured a spectacular Flamenco dancing show. Daniel Jones was even called on stage and did a pretty darn good job for a "footer".
There are more tours of Madrid scheduled the next two days, including a stop at El Rastro Flea Market, the largest flea market in Europe, and games on back-to-back nights before the Beavers return to Corvallis on Tuesday.
For updates during the trip, including blogs, photos and videos, check out osubeavers.com and click on the following social media pages:
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