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FC Barcelona and Rakuten present Matchday, a new documentary series in which viewers will get to enjoy exclusive never-seen-before footage of Ernesto Valverde’s squad. For the first time ever, TV cameras were allowed to film the everyday lives of players such as Leo Messi, Gerard Piqué, Marc-André ter Stegen and Luis Suárez, offering a more intimate portrait of them both during competition and in their personal lives.
The new series consists of eight 45-minute episodes based around eight key games that the team played in the 2018/19 season. Premiering this November on Rakuten TV in Europe, the series is narrated by actor John Malkovich and each instalment will allow viewers to experience ‘from inside’ how players faced all those important matches, from their arrival to the dressing room to their stepping out onto the pitch. Matchday also presents fly-on-the-wall footage of the excitement of victory and how the players deal with defeats.
Among the key events of the past season covered throughout the different episodes is El Clásico, the subject of two episodes showing how players prepare for the match, how they handle the pressure of this important event and their experience of the 90 minutes on the field of play. Specifically, the series covers the game at the Camp Nou won 5-1 by Barça, as well as the Copa del Rey match at the Santiago Bernabéu that ended 0-3. However, the other side of the game is reflected in another episode, showing the disappointment after the Champions League game against Liverpool at Anfield and Barça's elimination from the competition.
In addition to football, the new series will also portray insights into players’ daily lives off the pitch, such as a barbecue at Luis Suárez's house with Leo Messi and Jordi Alba; Piqué enjoying his free time together with his family; Ter Stegen designing his new house, or Ivan Rakitic cooking.
Matchday will also feature contributions from different people who, through personal experiences, have become part of Barça. Examples of these are Rafa, the firefighter who, despite having lost his sight in an explosion, continues to attend the Camp Nou when the club plays, and Andrey, a fan from Russia who follows FC Barcelona wherever they go.
A Barça Studios production
Matchday is a Barça Studios production. The studio centralises the creation, production and commercialisation of all FC Barcelona audio-visual content. In this case, Matchday has been produced in collaboration with Rakuten in association with Rakuten H Collective Studio, Kosmos Studios and Producciones del Barrio.
The new series will premiere in Europe in November, to be followed by release through Rakuten TV or in partnership with other operators in the APAC region and the United States. FC Barcelona have reserved the rights in Africa, Latin America, MENA and Canada.
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