Insight & Analysis

The goal that shook the earth

Published: Mar 2017

FC Barcelona fans caused a mini earthquake last week.

In the dying embers of their last-16 Champions League fixture last week, FC Barcelona needed just one goal to qualify for the next round, having come back from 4-0 down to level the tie at five all.

As the minutes ticked away, it looked improbable. But then, with seconds to go, Barcelona forward Neymar played a speculative ball into the box that was met by Barca’s Sergi Roberto.

As his shot crossed the line, wild celebrations ensued around the world to signal the end of a game that has been dubbed one of the greatest of all time.

But nowhere were the celebrations bigger than in the ground itself, as 90,000 Catalonians erupted with joy.

In fact, their celebrations were so raucous that it was recorded on the Richter scale – a measurement used to record earthquakes – at the Jaume Almera Institute of Earth Sciences (ICTJA-CSIC), which is 500 metres away from the stadium.

Although the tremors were unlikely to be felt by those in or around the ground, the goal, scientifically speaking, caused a mini earthquake.

Speaking to, researcher Jordi Diaz said it was the greatest earthquake of its type recorded at ICTJA-CSIC.

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