Barcelona makes peace with the tree that tells the story of Barça

BarcelonaFor many years, the Pi de les Corts was one of the meeting points for Barça fans. Now, this pine tree looks sad, near the confluence of the Travessera de les Corts and Carrer Vilamur, protected by old iron fences. To this day. After months of asking for it, the Penya Blaugrana de les Corts has managed to inaugurate a plaque to remember the importance of this tree that has survived over the years. “We need to remember the places that are part of Barça’s history,” said Toni Planchart, the club’s president. Yes, the Pi de les Corts, located at the northern goal of the old stadium of Les Corts, was for decades a place as well known as the Canaletes fountain, for Barça fans. But history has cornered him. Time does not forgive, although with initiatives like this you can fight to prevent oblivion from succeeding.

The inauguration of the plaque this Friday will be a special moment just now that the 100th anniversary of Barça’s arrival in the Les Corts district is being celebrated, when land was bought where potatoes were still planted, when the Barça board stepped on it. for the first time the lands. A century ago, a stadium was inaugurated that has become part of Barça’s collective imagination, a name that grandparents have told their grandchildren, amid truths and some exaggerations, such as the legend that says that Les Corts stayed small thanks to Kubala. The stadium was already full before the Hungarian, in fact. And precisely Kubala was one of the players who also waited under the Pi de les Corts after training. Many Barça members remember the players at the foot of the pine tree waiting for their teammates before doing their thing for the locals in the city center. Then everyone knew where they were going, Kubala and company, when the sun went down.

Planchart takes heart, after years of struggle with district authorities to get this plaque, showing his gratitude to ARA for echoing in two articles about the importance of this pine: the first of the in 2015 by Toni Vall, who already remembered how the Pi de les Corts was “a meeting point and reference for the old Barça fans and especially for the supporters clubs when they went to the field”. a recurring phrase to meet before or after the game to go make post-match coffee, and it was a place for discussions and gatherings between fans, “recalls Planchart. “It was where people were arguing about the players when things weren’t going well. crossing of Les Corts between Vallespir and Numancia. At the time, it was one of the pines on Gerard Piera Street, which had pines on either side. The growth of the Les Corts stadium changed the layout of this street, previously very long and now hidden near the Gran Via de Carlos III, although some pines survived at its ends. In the eastern part, only this pine tree remains, where the children climbed in search of pine nuts for decades, while the Barça fans made it crack at their feet once the stadium was built.

Barça had arrived on the grounds of Can Guerra, as they were known, when Joan Gamper signed in February 1922 the contracts for an operation in which Barça paid the owner, Mercè Déu i Majó, a total of 928,500 pesetas. debt vouchers bought by members who already followed the club faithfully. The first stone of the old field of Les Corts was laid on February 19, 1922. “That day we all stepped on potatoes, as it was a field of potatoes ready for harvest,” Joan Gamper’s son would recall. On May 20, 1922, the stadium opened with Barça defeating the Scottish Saint Mirren 2-1, with visiting defender Bob Birrell scoring the first goal of the new venue, when the habit of finding -se al pi.

A neighborhood linked to the history of the club

The Pi de les Corts is still in place, cataloged and declared a space of local interest. The plaque, in fact, will serve to continue marking the historical scenes of Barcelona football, as a stadium as magical as Les Corts right now only has an old plaque on the facade of a bar, very hidden, in the corner with Numancia street. You can pass by without seeing it, without knowing that where these buildings were built for decades were called goals, from 1922 to 1957. Not far away is the street dedicated to the founder of Barça, Joan Gamper, who went witness the inauguration of the street in person on June 24, 1934 with the assistance of the President of the Generalitat, Lluís Companys. With the Franco regime, the street regained its previous name, Chrysanthemum, although in the late 1940s the name dedicated to Gamper was restored. Thanks to the plaque, some young fans and many tourists who parade along the Travessera de les Corts on their way to the Camp Nou will discover the history of the Pi de les Corts. And the stadium. And maybe they’ll stop for a while. And that “We are in the pine” will come back to life.



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