President Bernard Guasch: This shows what Catalans brings to Super League

Catalans president Bernard Guasch hailed the achievement of their Nou Camp occasion and admitted that they “had to go for it”.

After parading the Challenge Cup trophy at the home of FC Barcelona, the sporting powerhouse invited the Dragons to play at the stadium and that dream was realised when Catalans defeated Wigan 33-16 on Saturday.

He even admitted that Super League and Wigan thought he was mad when he first proposed the occasion last year.

Guasch said: “We had to go for it. It’s the largest stadium in Europe. A giant. Many clubs have dreamt of it, the Catalans have done it.

“It’s true that during the long nights I thought to myself what are we doing, what are we committing to.

“But how can we refuse to be welcomed by the biggest football club in Europe and perhaps even the world?

“If some clubs are still wondering what the Catalans can bring to the competition, then this will silence the most contemptuous or most conservative.

“It’s true that Wigan and Super League took us for madmen when we submitted our project to them, I think nobody believed it at first, until Ian Lenagan and I went to Camp Nou to meet President Bartomeu.

“I am grateful for the efforts made by our fans who travelled to Barcelona. I am also impressed by the number of Wigan fans in attendance, with over 4,000 fans making the trip from the UK, once again highlighting the strength of Wigan Warriors as a major force in the sport.

“After our Challenge Cup success, taking a match to such an iconic stadium is such a great achievement for our club. It has also helped to grow the profile of the sport and introduce new audiences to rugby league.”

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