· FC Barcelona and the ABJ hold the Kubala Memorial / PHOTO: GERMÁN PARGA - FCB

One of the leaders of the Barça of the Five Cups, who was too big for the old Les Corts ground and was one of the reasons for to the need to build the Camp Nou, Ladislau Kubala, was honoured at midday this Tuesday. Calling the occasion the ‘Memorial Kubala’, FC Barcelona and theAgrupació Barça Jugadors organised in the Auditori 1899 this special tribute to the Hungarian star. The room was packed in honour of “the man and the legend and to honour his memory and his legacy”, as succinctly put by Manel Vich, who was there to present the event.

Excellent footballer and person

The vice-president of the Social Area, Jordi Cardoner, spoke about how “it has been an honour to take part in a day full of memories. A look back into our club’s heritage, which were the people who made it”. Cardoner not only praised the man for his football skills, “but also for being such a wonderful person”.

Everyone present agreed that it is impossible to do enough justice to Kubala’s memory. Director Silvio Elías, representative of the Board in the ABJ, commented that “this is a very emotional day. It is the least we could do for a person who made such a mark on the history of our Club”. Along similar lines, Ramon Alfonseda, president of the ABJ, commented that “Kubala is someone who made our club big and made Les Corts small. He made his team-mates big and restored faith among Barça supporters”.

Deserving of constant tributes

The next man to speak was journalist Frederic Porta, author of the book ‘Kubala’, and who looked back at the Hungarian’s life. “His person and personality deserve constant tributes”, he insisted. He spoke of the ‘Kubala revolution’ and how, among other things, “he was a real mass phenomenon in very different times to our own … He started the modern era at this club.” He added that he only knows of two players that only needed to have a ball at their feet in order to feel happy: “Kubala and Messi”.

Discussion to end

The Memorial Kubala ended with a round table discussion of the player’s legacy featuring ex-players Ferran Olivella, Justo Tejada, Luis Suárez, journalist Enric Bañeres, and Laçi Kubala, Ladislao’s son. They all had anecdotes and stories to tell, including his famously think thighs, which his son claimed measured 74 centimetres.

Kubala exhibition

Until June 23, the Auditori 1899 will be hosting an exhibition titled 'Memorial Kubala', featuring items related to the legendary player taken from the FCB Museum’s archives and from the private collections of Daniel Crespo, Joan Caimel and Dr. Fornés. The opening hours are from Tuesday to Saturday from 9.30 to 19.00 and Sundays from 9.30 to 14.30.

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