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The season ends with the enormous satisfaction of having achieved the seventh double in Barça’s history. As well as the league and the Copa del Rey, the list of honours for the season 2015/16 will also say that we won the European Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. Four great trophies, something no other team has achieved this year. In a few years’ time, when the history books are revisited, the statistics will show that this has been a great season. Trophies are important, that is true, but they are not everything; we have seen once again that Barça is a different club, unique and the best in the world.
We have shown that we are a team, made up of players and coaches who never renounce a way of playing that is admired all around the world. Players and coaches who are give everything and never know when they are beaten, whatever the competition.
We have shown that all together, members and fans, we are a club who at difficult moments know how to pay tribute to their own, from the most famous such as Johan Cruyff, down to those who have worked quietly in the background for decades such as Manel Vich.
We have shown that, regardless of events surrounding FC Barcelona: the FIFA sanction, attacks that come from people and sectors of society not connected to sport, Barça looks only forward, competing and winning.
And we have shown that Barça, the only global club that continues to be owned by its own members, has fantastic fans. I want to thank all the fans, especially the members, for their support for the team and, above all, for not caving in to provocation at difficult moments.
With regards to the sad episode involving the prohibition of the ‘estelada’ flags, I would like to share a passage from what I said to the Sevilla directors and the Spanish Football Federation at the dinner prior to the Copa del Rey final.
“I don’t know about you, but to me it appears anachronistic and pathetic that a universal right that many of us here defended when we were younger has to be invoked today in the 21st century: the right to freedom of expression.
Faced with this great festival of football, we have seen how people unconnected to the world of sport have preferred to create conflict where none exists, wanting to create a battle over flags instead of promoting the spirit of sport.
Allow me to talk about our fans and to remind those who have shown a lack of respect to Barça followers, that for many years now we have enjoyed waving the ‘senyera’ and ‘estelada’ flags alongside blaugrana ones. There are many Barça fans who have adopted them as a symbol of identity or defence. In the same way that many Barça fans who do not wave them because they do not share all or some of what they represent. They do so during every game, at home and away, without ever having confronted any kind incidence of violence or confrontation.”
We have shown that, once more, the players, coaches, members and fans are models of committed, respectful and good natured behaviour, yet another demonstration of the democratic and sporting value that make FC Barcelona, beyond its successes on the field, a reference point around the world.
Thank you once again and we will enjoy all together the celebrations for the successes achieved.
Visca Barça and visca Catalunya
Josep Maria Bartomeu
President of FC Barcelona
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