27 August 2019 saw the official opening of the first piece of the Espai Barça project, the Estadi Johan Cruyff, in an emotional ceremony that saw Jordi Cruyff take the honorary kick off alongside the Barça captains Messi, Busquets, Piqué and Sergi Roberto.The launch of the new facility took place in a festive, footballing atmosphere.
Cruyff, la Masia and the style of play were also to the forefront in a mural that welcomes fans to the Estadi Johan Cruyff, remembering legendary phrases which fill the collective conscious of the Barça fans. Following on, at the esplanade around Camp Nou a statue of Johan Cruyff was also unveiled as a permanent tribute to the man.
Cruyff leads the way
Before the inauguration ceremony on the pitch, president Bartomeu, Danny Cruffy and her children and the Mayor Antoni Poveda were given the task of placing a commemorative plaque in the Directors' Box at the Estadi Johan Cruyff. Following that, and before the first game at the new stadium between the U19 Barça and Ajax teams, music and dancing was the order of the day along with football, just as Johan would have liked it in an event in which his memory was always present.
His stadium, the one that bears his name, could not have been inaugurated any other way. Legendary phrases were heard over the PA at the ceremony for the first piece of the Espai Barça project as players from La Masia took part in a 'rondo', the very essence of the Barça footballing philosophy.
The most telling moment was reserved for his son, Jordi Cruyff, who came out on to the field to take the honorary kick off alongside his mother Danny, and Messi, Sergio, Piqué, Sergi Roberto, Ferran Sarsanedas (Barça B) and Marta Torrejón (Barça Women). A symbolic moment as it was taken with the ball used in the 1973/74 season, the year Johan began his Barça career.