Tuesday, 15th of January saw the Barça Players Association team play a friendly on Pitch 3 at the Miniestadi against a team made up of employees from Tabuk Pharmaceuticals, a company from Dubai. The blaugrana side, coached by Josep "Cuca" Palau and José Ramírez "Lico", ran out 11-2 winners. Palau highlighted the fact that despite the result, “the opposition players were very grateful”.
In what has become a pre-match tradition, the Association presented the opposition team with an blaugrana shirt, as well as a dictionary of the Club’s ex-players, before kicking off the game. With friendlies such as this Tuesday’s match, the Association offers companies the chance to play a match against former FC Barcelona players. Cristino López, a former Barça player and Association member, spoke of the value of this type of experience, because it makes it possible to “share football with people of different cultures”. He added that this is a way for “the Association to become better known in other walks of life, not just in the world of sport.”
López had already played in the Christmas games at the Miniestadi, but this friendly was his first official appearance for the Association team, and he highlighted “the great atmosphere in the dressing room with all my teammates”.
The BPA team was made up of: Xavi Guzmán, Sergi Pérez, Cristino López, Òscar Lausín, Jordi Rebollo, Álvaro Gómez, Javi Delgado, Jordi Martínez, Javi Vilches, Juanjo Ruiz, Dani Martínez, Carles Rexach, Samuel Okunowo, Marcos Zamora, Jofre Mateu, Xavi M. Villena and Joan Blanquera.