Barcelona fans turn down tickets for their first game back in front of a crowd in 17 months, after Lionel Messi’s move to PSG

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After Lionel Messi’s sensational free transfer to PSG last week, Barcelona fans are so disinterested in the new campaign that only 15,820 fans applied for tickets for Sunday’s first home game of the LaLiga season against Real Sociedad, which is about half of the 30,000 seats made available.

The low ticket sales are shocking considering this will be fans’ first chance to return to the Nou Camp in 17 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Barca’s last competitive game in front of fans was also against Real Sociedad, on March 7, 2020, when Messi scored a late penalty in a 1-0 win.

On Thursday August 12, striking images splashed on social media showing Messi’s picture being removed from the front of the Nou Camp.

With the low ticket sales it appears many fans are not yet ready for the new era without the club’s all-time top scorer and most decorated player.

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According to Spanish newspaper AS, only 15.820 of the club’s 83,500 season ticket holders applied for a ticket for the game against Real Sociedad, meaning the club will not have to hold a ballot to determine who gets a ticket as they first thought.

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