The big news out of Barcelona on Wednesday was confirmation of Raphinha's $58.5 million transfer from Leeds United, but the team also opened its preseason campaign 60 miles north of home against fourth-tier side UE Olot at the club's modest Estadi Municipal in Catalonia.
There was a standing-room only crowd at the 3,000-seat ground as partisan locals got a look at a Barça starting XI that included Marc-André ter Stegen, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sergiño Dest, new signing Franck Kessié and a collection of the club's young talent.
It was two of the veterans who combined for Barcelona's first goal of preseason 30 minutes into the match. Ter Stegen spotted the opening and released Aubameyang with a punt, and the 33-year-old lobbed the keeper with his first touch.
Olot wasn't prepared for this sort of quality.
GOAL BARÇA! 0-1! @mterstegen1 assists @Auba to open the scoring! pic.twitter.com/i0LVJ23dv8
Things were looking sloppy with the temperature hovering in the upper-90s, and that carelessness was exemplified by 21-year-old Barça center back Mika Mámol before halftime when conceding a penalty that 37-year-old midfielder Eloi Amagat (who played briefly for NYCFC) converted.
GOOOOOOOOOOOL D'ELOI AMAGAAAAAAT!!! GOOOOOOOOOOOL DE L'OLOT DE PENAAAAL!!!— Unió Esportiva Olot (@UEO1921) July 13, 2022
Barcelona's brightest youngster in the first-half was 19-year-old midfielder Pablo Torre. The young phenom was signed from Racing Santander for $5.5 million when the transfer window opened, and Xavi's already a big fan of the teenager.
Check out this Pablo Torre nutmeg + through ball pic.twitter.com/noP3WBgphd
The entire team pretty much changed for the second half, including the introductions of Pedri, Miralem Pjanić and Ansu Fati (wearing the captain's armband).
Aye, Aye, Captain! pic.twitter.com/HuNvW82sNs
Twenty-three-year-old Álex Collado, who spent last season on loan with Granada, provided a couple moments of danger, but Barça generally struggled in the attacking third.
Pedri had a one-on-one chance in the 80th minute but failed to round the keeper with an undercooked drag. Olot almost found a winner in the 88th minute, but Iñaki Peña tipped a long-range effort onto the post to keep Barça level.
Barcelona now heads to the United States and arrives Saturday before playing Inter Miami (July 19 in Miami, Florida), Real Madrid (July 23 in Las Vegas), Juventus (July 26 in Dallas) and the New York Red Bulls (July 30 in Harrison, New Jersey).