According to police reports about 1,000 supporters gathered at FC Barcelona’s downtown hotel to see the team off for their pre-season encounter against the Finnish champions HJK Saturday afternoon.
Police kept the public abreast of developments on their Twitter account (in Finnish), saying that the crowd began to form from about 3.00 pm. The team arrived in Helsinki Friday ahead of the non-competitive encounter.
The Olympic stadium match represented a change of speed for the teams, both of which are at the top of their respective national leagues. Although playing without star forward Lionel Messi, Barca were expected to prevail over HJK’s home ground advantage.
HJK meanwhile went all-out to win in front of the home crowd, featuring the likes of former Chelsea striker and national player Mikael Forsell.
Yle broadcast the match live on TV2 on Radio Puhe and online on Yle Areena.