Football will take a back seat at the Nou Camp on Sunday as Barcelona pay tribute to the victims of the terror attack in the city.
The club’s first LaLiga game of the season against Real Betis promises to be a highly emotional occasion as players, staff and spectators remember the 14 people who died and dozens who were injured on Thursday.
The players will take to the pitch wearing unique shirts for the match to pay respect after vehicles ploughed into pedestrians in the busy tourist area of Las Ramblas and the nearby seaside town of Cambrils.
Names will be dropped from the back of the tops, replaced by ‘Barcelona’, with the hashtag ‘£TotsSomBarcelona’ (‘We Are All Barcelona’) on the front.
The players will also wear black armbands, while a minute’s silence will be held – a tribute to be made at all matches across Spain.
Players posted their own messages of support on social media in the aftermath of the attack, while they also held a minute’s silence before training on Friday.
Head coach Ernesto Valverde said at a press conference on Saturday: “They are very unfortunate circumstances and from our club we give our full support to the victims. It was a very tough day for everyone and it gives you reasons to think.”
Betis held their own minute’s silence and new coach Quique Setien, who moved to the club from Las Palmas in the summer, knows Sunday’s match will be anything but a normal encounter.
“We are all affected by situations like these,” he said at a press conference.
“When you see the images it affects you to a greater or lesser extent. Maybe I would have preferred to go to Barcelona another time.”
While Barcelona’s focus has been away from footballing matters, they go into the match in far from ideal shape on the pitch.
They lost both legs of the Supercopa to Real Madrid, going down 5-1 on aggregate, but Setien does not buy into the theory they are a club in crisis.
He said: “When you win matches as comprehensively as Madrid did, one tends to think about crises, but I think they are situations that build up over time and are not limited to one or two games.
“I do not see us taking on a Barcelona in crisis.”
The match will be Barcelona’s first league game since the world-record departure of Neymar to Paris St Germain and the club have so far been unsuccessful in their pursuit of a replacement, having had another bid for Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho knocked back.
And Setien believes the loss of one of their stars has affected the atmosphere at the Nou Camp.
“The departure of Neymar is a shock that has affected the mood of everyone,” he said.
Barcelona are also struggling with injuries to key players.
Luis Suarez is out with a knee problem, while captain Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique are both doubts.
Iniesta did not train on Saturday, while Pique did take part and Valverde will assess how he reacts before finalising his team.
“Luis Suarez’s absence is an important one for us, but we have players who can come in and do the job,” said Valverde.