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FC Barcelona held a welcome dinner for special guests from Los Angeles and its Californian environs this Thursday evening at the Agua Viva restaurant by José Andrés, located at the Hotel Conrad. President Joan Laporta and his fellow members played hosts to around 200 diners.
LA is the first stop on a tour that will also take in Santa Clara, Dallas and Las Vegas, with games to come against Juventus, Arsenal, Real Madrid and AC Milan.
Most of the guests were from the business and social fields, including a number of major multinationals and club sponsors, as well as organisations such as the Catalan Tourism Board and the Casal Català de Califòrnia, and members of the two official supporters clubs in the city. Former Barça player now of LA Galaxy, Oriol Rossell, also attended.
In his welcome speech Laporta spoke about the club's famous values, including its focus on so many other sports, and not just football. This season, all six of the club's pro sports teams won their national league championships. The president particularly highlighted the strength of the European title winning women's team, which is sending an extraordinary 18 different players to the World Cup that has just got under way in Australia and New Zealand.
He concluded his talk by saying “winning is a universal motivation, and Barça is no exception. But we are also famous around the world for the way we win. We believe the way you win is just as important as winning itself."