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From left to right, Carles Vilarrubí, John Hoffman, Josep Maria Bartomeu, Hiroshi Mikitani and Manel Arroyo. | GERMÁN PARGA-FCB

The Mobile World Congress (MWC) has revolutionised Barcelona this week, as well-known figures from the world of technology and the internet, taking advantage of being in the city, did not want to miss the chance to watch a game of football at the Camp Nou. Among those were Hiroshi Mikitani, president of Rakuten, the technology company who will be the main sponsor of the Club from next season, and John Hoffman, the director of the most important congress in the mobile communications industry, who were both present at the presidential box of the stadium along with president Josep Maria Bartomeu and vice-presidents of the area of International and Institutional Relations, Carles Vilarrubí, and of Marketing and Communcations, Manel Arroyo.

Bartomeu had the chance to greet Hoffman on Monday, when he visited the Mobile World Congress to make a speech in the main auditorium to announce the outlines of the strategic project, the Barça Innovation Hub, which will be presented on 22 March as well as to greet Club sponsors Oppo and Etisalat who were present in the hall. Vice-presidents of the Chinese mobile firm, Sky Li and Alen Wu, returned the visit on Wednesday and were greeted by Bartomeu and Arroyo in the presidential box.

The Barça president has also received the delegation of NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone), the Japanese telecommunications company, composed of its president Natsuo Minamikawa and vici-presidents Hiroshi Hojo and Morten Illum, and the president of the Discovery Networks, JB Perrette.

Gronkowski, a leading figure of the NFL

A huge sporting figure in North America, Rob Gronkowski, was also present at the Camp Nou. The New England Patriots star from the NFL, who has won two Super Bowls, did not go unnoticed as he arrived donning a Barça jersey. Gronkowski is on vacation in Barcelona visiting his friends from the ISL and took advantage of his first visit to the city to watch a football match and live the Barça experience at the Camp Nou live. Tomorrow, Gronkowski will visit the Ciutat Esportiva and fulfil his dream of spending time with the Barça players and personally get to meet Leo Messi, who he is a great admirer of.

Quini returns

A well-known former Barça player. Enrique Castro ‘Quini’, was also present at the presidential box, as the current delegate of Sporting Gijón, as he met with former friends. It so happened that the day of the game, 1 March, marked 36 years since Quini was kidnapped, an action that convulsed Spanish football. Quini was abducted after a league match against Hércules in which he scored three goals, and was held for 25 days, an experience that the Asturian was able to overcome but can never forget.

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