On this day in 2009 Espanyol moved into their new home – the Estadio Cornellà-El Prat.
The Periquiotos were forced to sell their former home, the Estadi de Sarrià, in 1997 because of financial problems and have been renting the Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc from Barcelona City Council ever since.
The Montjuïc wasn’t a very popular stadium with the majority of the Espanyolista for numerous reasons.
Many fans complained the stadium, which was originally built in 1927, was too cold in the winter months, others complained of poor transport connections, but most of all, Espanyol fans just didn’t consider it to be their home.
Perhaps it speaks volumes about Espanyol as a club that the most famous match played at the old Estadi de Sarrià comes, not from the 75 years of football in which the club played there, but from one of the three games played at the stadium during the 1982 World Cup.
Paolo Rossi bagged a hat-trick for Italy as they beat Brazil 3-2 sending Zico, Sócrates, Falcão and chums back home empty handed – the game is still known as the Disaster of Sarrià in Brazil.
It’s also fair to say that the Montjuïc is more famous for the exploits of Linford Christie and Sally Gunnell during the 1992 Sumer Olympics than for any match involving Espanyol.
But with the magnificent new stadium opening near Barcelona airport, Espanyol hope that they can create a bit of history for themselves and perhaps step out of the shadow of the other club who play in the city over at the Camp Nou!
Sgorio’s Nicky John went out to ask Espanyol fans about their new stadium as Real Madrid visit the Cornellà-El Prat for the first time.