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27.07.2009 22:30

Camp Nou gives Ibrahimovic a hero’s welcome


Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been welcomed by a rapturous Camp Nou. The Swedish striker was stunned by such a grand introduction to the club, saying that the only moments of his life to compare with this were the births of his children.

No fewer than 60,000 people assembled in the Camp Nou on Monday evening to get their first glimpse of the new Barça centre forward. The Swede was given an enthusiastic welcome by a generally young crowd that enjoyed every second of the presentation.

Great expectations

2009-07-27_PRESENTACION_IBRAHIMOVIC_09.jpgHours before the Camp Nou opened, there were already several fans gathered on the forecourt outside the stadium, all waiting to attend the presentation of the club’s latest acquisition, Ibrahimovic. In fact, the gates had to be opened half an hour before the event commenced in order to avoid a crush as the crowds made their way to the terraces.

The event actually got under way a little later than originally planned, but it was clearly worth the wait when around nine o’clock, the striker finally made his way out onto the pitch for the first time.

Nine on his back

2009-07-27_PRESENTACION_IBRAHIMOVIC_05.jpgAfter an intense day, with two medical revisions and the signing of his contract, Zlatan appeared before the media donning the number nine shirt that is to be his own. With the cameras flashing in the stands and the club anthem playing over the tannoy, the former Inter man impressed onlookers with his juggling skills and returned the applause from the crowd. He also kissed the crest on numerous occasions.

Words of thanks

The Swede then took the mike into his own hands and even said a few words in Catalan: “Gràcies a tots. Visca el Barça!” That worked the crowd up into absolute frenzy, and they immediately responded by chanting his name, with Ibrahimovic responding to such a warm reception by running the whole lap of the pitch, with several fans taking the opportunity to invade the pitch.

I’m the happiest man in the world

After he had left the field, the Swede spoke to Barça TV and www.fcbarcelona.cat in the player’s tunnel to express his thoughts: “There have been two unforgettable moments in my life – the births of my children. Now, this is the third.” Visibly contented and emotional, Ibrahimovic added: “I didn’t expect this. It’s a fantastic feeling. I am the happiest man in the world”.
Camp Nou gives Ibrahimovic a hero’s welcome
More than Ronaldinho or Henry
This was a traditional presentation, with no additional gimmicks, comparable to what happened when Ronaldinho Gaúcho and Thierry Henry joined the club. However, there were 20,000 people in the Camp Nou to welcome the Brazilian, and 30,000 for the Frenchman’s presentation. Ibra managed to attract more than both those players put together – it has certainly been an impressive start to his time in Catalonia.

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