Catalan culture took centre stage in Glasgow hours before this evening's Champions League match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC. Thanks to the agreement to promote Catalan culture beyond the borders of Catalonia between the Club and the Ramon Llull Institute, vice-president Carles Vilarrubí led a conference in Glasgow named “Barça: sports, culture and education” at Glasgow University’s Randolph Hall. Vilarrubí explained that Barça is a platform that exports Catalan identity and an instrument of integration for visitors to Catalonia.
FC Barcelona’s distinguishing features
The Club vice-president started his lecture by defining what FC Barcelona is and what it represents from a historic point of view. The Club’s history, said Vilarrubí, helps explain why Barça is ‘More than a Club” and why the Club has become a recognizable icon around the world without losing its identity. Vilarrubí noted that beyond its athletic successes that FC Barcelona “is identified for being a Catalan and pro-Catalan club, and it’s because its history and roots are intrinsically linked with Catalonia and the Catalan society.”
Vilarrubí went on to say that “history is essential” to understand why Barça is “More than a Club,” and that the now famous slogan can be used to “explain key identifying Club characteristics, like the fact that the Club is owned by its members, that it’s a Club that supports multiple sports, it’s a Club that defends a set of values that guide the organisation’s every action and that it's a Club known for educating its athletes” and that Barça has a “spirit of solidarity that’s manifest through the FC Barcelona Foundation.”
The importance of developing athletes and people
Villarubí went on to say that the Club’s “inalienable style of play” has brought the unprecedented athletic success that has made FC Barcelona a world renowned icon. One of the major contributing factors, said Villarubí, is that the Club’s youth team players are “given an athletic and personal education that’s based on the values that make up the essence of the Club.” He added: “La Masia has become a symbol for the Club’s DNA. It’s the Club’s philosophy to invest in its youth programme.”
Lastly, the vice-president said that the Club’s Catalan roots show that Barça's identiy goes well beyond sports. Aberti, Dalí, Miró, Tàpies, Sagarra, Vázquez Montalbán, José Carreras, Ferran Adrià ... are a few of the artists that FC Barcelona has maintained close ties to over its history. Villarubí concluded his discussion on the work done by the FC Barcelona Foundation, noting that the Foundation is avenue by which Barça shows its social solidarity and its responsibility to Catalonia.