The 'show' of Neymar, the glasses of Alves and the emptiness of the city

Soccer stars for the Barcelona paddock, full of guests in a grand prize wanted by teams but invisible in Barcelona.


The race finished and hurried away Dembelé, who although injured is forced to go to the stadium when Barça plays at home. It would have been a good claim on the grid of the Circuit if it were not because a mid-morning appeared Neymar through the paddock with a can of Red Bull in his hand surrounded by photographers and VIP. He went to hospitality with Dani Alves, probably the active footballer with more top-notch titles, and his glasses. Patiently awaited the multiple requests for photos of his Brazilian teammate who, everything is said, accepted without a single bad face, quite the opposite.

Also passed through Barcelona Álvaro Arbeloa, right lateral champion of the world, of Europe and of the Champions, to wish luck to Carlos Sainz in the 'motorhome' of McLaren. On the grid they coincided, for example, with the former French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, of Catalan descent and who is running as a candidate within two weeks of the local elections in Barcelona. O Jean Todt, with special greetings to 'Ney'. In short, Parisian atmosphere.

The fans responded by populating the majority of Circuit grandstands, filling the most economical ones (there were no tickets in the Sainz Stall), the pelouse or the end of the line. There were 87,500 people who went to Montmeló this Sunday and more than 160,000 adding up all weekend, with a fall of only about 12,000 compared to 2018 without the great Spanish champion of recent times, Fernando Alonso.

In the offices Chase Carey and Quim Torra, president of the Generalitat owner of the route, met to continue negotiations to renew this race, which for now has an uncertain future: " We face them with the hope and confidence that they will end well , and this means that we will continue to have F1 in the country, and this is our wish ". It generates some 3,000 jobs and has a return for the region of 340 million. The teams, by the way, love the weekend: all premiered facilities and held special parties to inaugurate them, flamenco tablao included in Mercedes.

The fans responded, therefore, despite the media emptiness, or advertising, in Barcelona city . Whoever visited during the grand prizes the cities of Melbourne (Australia), Manama (Bahrain), Jiading (China) or Baku (Azerbaijan) will have found large murals with single-seaters and pilots in the same exit of the plane, posters at each stop tram, souvenirs and 'merchandising' in all the stores, volunteers distributing programs for 'autograph hunts' ...

For example, in Bahrain each of the streetlights of the highway that goes from the capital to the circuit, a distance of about 30 kilometers , hangs a flag of the country next to another checkered flag. In Barcelona there are flags of the Russian Ballet, the Motor Show, several plays and, in recent days, electoral propaganda. But there was not a single memory for an event of worldwide interest that was held only 20 minutes from Plaza Catalunya. It did not matter: the Circuit vibrated once more with the fastest cars on the planet. That is not the last.



Photos from as.com

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