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The Barça players will be going onto the pitch for today's game with Alavés wearing the home kit with their names printed in Chinese in celebration of Chinese New year. This is the eighth year in a row that the team has stood by its Chinese fans on the occasion that is also known as the Spring Festival. There will also be a canvas across the North Goal terrace bearing a Happy New year message in Chinese and English, with a combination of illustrations of emblematic Chinese monuments, such as the Great Wall and the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai, with famous sights in Barcelona like the Camp Nou and Sagrada Familia.
The team photo before the game will also include a nod to Chinese fans by including a banner in the same design as the canvas and a message welcoming in what this year is to be the Year of the Ox.
FC Barcelona has always had a close sporting, social and financial relationship with China and since 2013 has had an office in Hong Kong, its first ever permanent office abroad. The club has therefore been making an effort to celebrate Chinese New Year through different actions, starting in early 2021 with the launch of a limited edition series of transport cards featuring the images of Leo Messi, Frenkie De Jong, Sergi Roberto, Gerard Piqué and Marc ter Stegen per to accompany Culers on their journeys home for the festive season.
It was a huge success, with the version that includes all five cards in a collectors’ case selling out in just two hours. Barça is the first European football club to forge a deal with Shanghai City Tour Card Development Co, Ltd to launch a Chinese New Year series that can be used to travel all around mainland China.
The club also sent its best wishes to Chinese fans in the form of a video starring the players Frenkie De Jong, Marc-André ter Stegen, Pedri and Philippe Coutinho. Presented on Wednesday 10 February, the video is titled ‘All Journeys Lead Home’ and stresses the idea that ‘home’ is much more than a mere destination, and that wherever fans go to celebrate the Spring Festival this year, the Barça family will always be by their side.
The video follows a Barça fan on a trip around the main sights of Shanghai. Before each of them, the youngster is shown playing jianzi, a traditional game in China where the idea is to keep a kind of shuttlecock in the air with the feet or other parts of the body, but never the hands. After visiting all the places, the boy sends the jianzi to the players to see how they get on. And each of them accepts the challenge and shows their skill before sending their new year wishes.
As part of the actions being arranged for the Spring Festival, Barça have also announced details of their forthcoming collaboration with Chinese artist Aisin Gioro Hengin, which will be officially presented on the club’s channels on February 11. The painter has produced a piece called ‘East meets West’ to celebrate the ties between China and Barcelona. The work combines the traditional style of the Chinese Imperial Court with modern sport-related elements.
Barça and China
FC Barcelona is one of the best known and supported teams in China. The club is always looking for new ways to serve its fans and connect with them across its digital channels. This commitment has made it the leading club on digital media, with more than 12 million followers of its social networks, winning such accolades as the Red Card award for the best online club in China and being named the most popular football club of 2020 on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.
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