32 days, 8 games and 7,818 kilometres later, Barça are back at Camp Nou. Yes, that’s eight games in January, and not one of them was played at home! Now, for the first time since December 29, a 1-1 draw with Eibar, the stadium is opening its doors again to welcome Athletic Club (Sunday 9.00pm CET).
Plenty has happened since the last game at Camp Nou! Here’s a reminder of ten of those events.
First female coach in the NBA
On 31 December 2020, Becky Hammon became the first woman to coach a team in the NBA. Against the LA Lakers, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was sent off and it meant his assistant and former player took charge of the team for the rest of the game.
The United Kingdom officially leaves the EU
On 1 January 2021, Brexit became a reality as the United Kingdom’s decision to opt out of the European Union finally became fully effective.
New coach at PSG
On 2 January 2021, Mauricio Pochettino replaced Thomas Tuchel as the boss of París-Saint Germain, the very team that Barça are scheduled to meet in the round of 16 of the Champions League at Camp Nou in just over a fortnight’s time. The Argentinian knows the city after previously being in charge of Espanyol, and has also sat on the bench at Southampton and Tottenham.
People who have passed away in the last month have included Gerry Marsden (lead singer of Gerry and the Pacemakers, who for many recorded the definitive version of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’), American music producer Phil Spector, American talk show host Larry King, and legendary Slovak football coach Jozef Vengloš.
Covid-19 continues to spread
The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 passed 100 million worldwide, and the global death toll passed 2 million, but hope has come as vaccines are being distributed increasingly more widely.
New US president
On 13 January 2021, following days on unrest across the US but particularly at the US Capitol in Washington, Joe Biden was officially invested as the new incumbent of the White House, thus ending the Donald Trump administration.
Elections in Palestine
On 15 January 2021, the president of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmud Abbas, announced the first state elections for 15 years. There were elections in Portugal on 24 January 2021, with Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa re-elected.
Rio de Janeiro cancels carnival
On 21 January 2021, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, announced that due to the pandemic there shall be no carnival celebrations in July, the first time the city has ever cancelled its emblematic event.
Curfew in the Netherlands
From 23 January 2021, the country has been under strict curfew to curb the spread of Covid-19. The implementation of such measures for the first time since World War II has sparked protests in the nation’s streets.
New date for FC Barcelona elections
On 26 January 2021, the FC Barcelona Managing Commission announced that the new date for the presidential elections will be March 7, after the January 24 date was cancelled due to the local government’s Covid-19 restrictions.
So here are Barça finally back at home, following eight road trips, to Huesca, Bilbao, Granada, Cordoba (to play Real Sociedad in the Super Cup), Seville (to play Athletic in the Super Cup), Cornellà (the shortest journey, a mere coach trip down the road), Elche and Madrid (Rayo Vallecano), a colossal 7,818 kilometres in total!