There were big cheers for Barcelona's president as supporters returned to Camp Nou on Sunday for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic started.
Not the incumbent Joan Laporta, who instead took flack for his handling of the Lionel Messi affair and is currently trying to find a path to safety for a club pinned down by €1.35 billion debt (£1.1bn/$1.6bn).
Certainly, not his predecessor Josep Maria Bartomeu, whose desperation to keep the club at the peak of world football led to him bending and breaking the club's finance restrictions time and again, creating this dark situation for Barcelona.
No; they were for defender Gerard Pique, a future Barcelona president.
He is a man born for the role and has stated it is a long-term ambition. From a super-rich Catalan family, even before accumulating his own wealth and adding it to that of his pop-star partner Shakira (who is significantly wealthier), Pique comes from the type of background that has always found themselves in charge of the club.
"He has the genes for it," wrote Simon Kuper in new book The Barcelona Complex. "(His family is) a typical specimen of the burgesia (the Catalan merchant class)."
Pique's grandfather, Amador Bernabeu, was a Barcelona director for 23 years and the player himself was registered as a club member from birth, just as he has done for his sons, Milan and Sasha.
Over the years, Pique has made several important contributions to Barcelona on and off the field, but perhaps his most poignant came on Saturday.
The club's second captain, behind Sergio Busquets, took a pay cut to allow Laporta to register new signings Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia. Barcelona's dire financial state meant they were in grave danger of starting the season without their new arrivals, on top of being unable to renew Messi's contract, even on half his salary.
Pique stepped up and delivered, just as he did in the 19th-minute on Sunday when he headed home Memphis Depay's free-kick to send Barcelona on their way to a 4-2 win over Real Sociedad in the first game of the season.
If it was a script, people would complain the narrative was too heavy-handed, with Memphis only allowed to play thanks to Pique's selflessness. This season, he will play for close to nothing, by the standards of modern football's wages.
"I was born here, I grew up here, I've lived almost all my life here. This action was what needed to happen," Pique explained after the game, before announcing the other captains, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto, would follow suit.
"I had to be the first (to register the players), but this is a family and we move as one. All the captains intend to adjust to what the club needs."
Barcelona's dire finances require it, with the club battling to survive after a season-and-a-half without matchday revenue. Other players may then be inspired to make sacrifices too, once the captains lead by example.
"They spent the €220m (£189m/$261m) from the Neymar transfer disproportionately and at lighting speed," Laporta told the media on Monday, revealing the club had a negative net worth of €451m (£384m/$531m).
"That is when the salaries shot up. We'll have to change the model and invest in La Masia, making more proportionate investments with more sporting logic."
It will take Laporta and his board years to get the club back to a strong financial position if they can, and regardless of what happens, there is no getting away from the fact he is the president that lost Messi, even if blame can and should be pointed at Bartomeu.
It is important for a president to be able to show strong leadership, not just in the good times but in the bad. Pique led the way in admitting culpability after Barcelona's 8-2 humiliation by Bayern Munich in August 2020, offering to leave if the club considered it right.
"The club needs change," he said. "I am the first to say that I will go if new blood has to come in."
That painful defeat shook Barcelona to its core and set the wheels in motion for Messi's departure, too, as he tried to escape last summer.
"I'm certain that we need people at the head of Barca who have grown up loving our colors," wrote former Barcelona striker Bojan Krkic in Sport a couple of months later.
"We cannot afford to have neutral leaders, instead those who are committed to defending the badge.
"I admire Pique for his values, for his character, for his commitment and for the assuredness he transmits in everything he does. Pique, president!"
By the time he does eventually run for the post, which might not be for years yet, he will have amassed sufficient experience in the business world. Pique is an entrepreneur already.
He is president and founder of Kosmos, a company 'merging technology, media and sports innovation', through which he bought FC Andorra. The defender has also revamped the Davis Cup as part of a $3 billion dollar partnership between Kosmos and the International Tennis Federation.
Pique set up a meeting between Bartomeu and Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani in San Francisco in 2015, which led to the company becoming Barcelona's main sponsor.
From dinners with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to a growing relationship with internet celebrity Ibai Lanos, Pique has his fingers in many pies, as well as still holding down a starting spot at Barcelona. While some have criticized his extracurricular activities, others see them as the first steps towards the presidency.
His latest gesture won't be forgotten by the socios, when his name eventually appears on their ballot sheets.