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Barcelona: Martin Tyler shares his favourite memories of the Nou Camp

Around the grounds with Martin Tyler
Image: Martin Tyler almost walked in front of a tram on his way to a match at the Nou Camp

At a time when football grounds have closed their doors, we've asked Martin Tyler to share some of his favourite facts and memories of the homes of clubs around the world.

This week, Sky Sports' Voice of Football is looking at some grounds in Scotland, Wales and Spain. Today, he takes us on a trip to Barcelona's Nou Camp.

Keep an eye on The Football Show on Sky Sports News and @SkySportsPL for some special Tyler's Teasers from Martin.

How I travel there

The usual media hotel in Barcelona is a pleasant walk from the ground, but beware the trams! Alan Smith once probably saved my life when I was sauntering along enjoying the scenery and did not see one coming!

What it's like to commentate there

It is a very high position in a very busy gantry. Commentary positions are crammed in and it can be a squeeze to get in and out.

Did you know?

Barcelona moved there in 1957 and by 1982, when it was one of the main venues for the World Cup finals, the capacity was 120,000. It has a chapel close to the dressing rooms.

My memories of the ground

Barcelona's Lionel Messi, right, scores his second goal past Bayern's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer
Image: Lionel Messi scores past Manuel Neuer in the 2015 Champions League semi-final

Football is most importantly a team game, but so many of my memories in this footballing cathedral surround Lionel Messi. He has twisted, turned, teased and tortured so many opponents there.

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I will highlight Barca's 3-0 win in 2015 in the Champions League semi-final first leg against Bayern Munich whose then manager Pep Guardiola was returning to the scene of so many past triumphs.

It was the time of the MSN three-pronged attack-Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar - and the fascination was to see how Pep would try to stymie his former club and particularly Messi. Bayern started with a back three but that ploy was hastily revamped. Barcelona swarmed all over their German rivals but failed to turn the domination into goals.

The game was gripping but goalless going into its last 15 minutes. Then Messi made his mark, a low shot which caught out the great Manuel Neuer at his near post, but the power and precision of the Argentine's strike fully exploited what might otherwise just have been a minor weakness.

Then came the Messi masterpiece, a jinking run, the ball glued to his feet, space where there seemed to be none and the finish of a footballing assassin. Gary Neville alongside me said with customary perception we were blessed to be there. I blurted: "Only football can make you feel like this!" It was truly magical. The genius developed by Pep was now destroying his team.

To be fair to Guardiola, Bayern went searching for an away goal in the few remaining minutes to take back to the Allianz Arena but only succeeded in conceding again to Neymar; Messi of course with the assist. Barcelona went on to win the Champions League, though they have not lifted the trophy since.

I was also in the Nou Camp for a unforgettable semi-final second leg in the European Cup almost 20 years earlier when Barcelona were under the English management of Terry Venables.

Barca started the night 3-0 down to Gothenburg from Sweden and were short of their usual strikeforce, including the former Spurs forward Steve Archibald. Venables was pressed into playing a striker well down his pecking order, Pichi Alonso, who responded with the hat-trick which took the tie to extra time and a successful shoot-out.

There were some memorable television pictures of the jubilant players carrying Terry off on their shoulders at the end.

What I like about this ground

When you are at the Nou Camp you know you are at the scene of something significant. At times the ground has looked in need of a dust down, but it will be forever associated with football played with a sense of adventure.

It is huge - and so has been the impact of the way the game has been played there. Johan Cruyff left a massive imprint; Diego Maradona had a spell in Barca's colours; Guardiola guided the club to greatness; and it has been the long-time home of Lionel Messi. In a way that says it all.

On Friday: Martin brings us his guide to Real Madrid's Bernabeu

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