Barcelona's martin Braithwaite celebrate after scoring his side's 3rd goal throughout a Spanish La Liga football match in between Barcelona and Real Sociedad at Camp Nou stadion in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.AP

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The post-Lionel Messi era started for Barcelona through fans chanting his surname in the stands and players overcoming his absence on the field.

Barcelona’s first season without Messi in 17 years began with a 4-2 win over genuine Sociedad in the Spanish league on Sunday, with many in the group of an ext than 20,000 at the Camp Nou stadion paying tribute come the Argentine star and protesting versus the club for letting him go.

The bulk of pan loudly chanted Messi’s name in the 10th minute, a referral to the No. 10 jersey he supplied to wear in ~ the club. Plenty of fans were wearing or delivering Messi’s jersey, and several banners honored the playmaker.

There were likewise some jeers versus Messi, though, who was currently in France with Paris Saint-Germain after ~ Barcelona fail to provide him a brand-new contract since of its jae won struggles. Some fans wanted to hymn “Barça, Barça” rather of his name.

“We all know what Messi represented. He to be the most important player in this club’s history,” Barcelona’s Gerard Piqué said. “But yes an finish to everything and also we have to move on. There is a the majority of quality in this team. We will certainly be very competitive and I’m persuaded that we will certainly be contending for every the titles till the end.”

Club president Joan Laporta was among those target by part fans that protested in and outside the Camp Nou, through banners accusing the of not doing sufficient to save its best player. Some additionally complained around former chairman Josep Bartomeu, blaming him for the club’s financial obstacles that resulted in Messi’s departure.

On the field, Barcelona opened the scoring in the 19th through a header by Piqué, who likewise was loudly cheered by pan after agreeing to alleviate his value so the club can register other players in time for the opener.

Martin Braithwaite included to the command with purposes in first-half stoppage time and in the 59th. He also assisted in Sergi Roberto’s final goal in second-half ibrickandmortarphilly.comury time. Memphis Depay, the club’s top offseason signing, helped collection up 2 goals.

Sociedad, coming off a fifth-place finish last season, traction closer through a goal from Julen Lobete in the 82nd and also with a superb totally free kick — i m sorry Messi would have actually been proud of — bring away by Mikel Oyarzabal three minutes later.

The last time there to be fans in ~ the Camp Nou was on in march 7, likewise in a match versus Real Sociedad. Spanish health and wellness authorities permitted the organization to restart through crowds of up to 40% of the venues’ capacity.

“On one side ns feel really bad due to the fact that Messi is gone. I had a really hard time v all this,” 23-year-old college student Marta Gonzalez said. “But top top the other side ns am an extremely happy to see a new Barça and to it is in here.”

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