The Barça Players Association (BPA) participated in the 23rd annual Aspanoa charity match. The friendly, which took place on Sunday, 19th of November, saw Zaragoza face the ABJ, with the game ending 2-0 to the Zaragocistas. More importantly than the result, the players and the 18,000 fans at the Romareda saw that there was only one loser this time; cancer.
Both the Association and Zaragoza put out top sides for the game, with illustrious names such as Lobo Carrasco, Xavier Sánchez Jara and Goiko turning out for the culés, and Xavi Aguado, Rubén Gracia "Cani" and Diogo for the Aragonese team. Josep ‘Cuca’ Palau, the Association coach, highlighted the great atmosphere on the pitch and in the stands. “We enjoyed a great game. The result didn’t go our way, although we had our chances, but we were up against a top team. Playing in front of 18,000 fans was magnificent.”
Both Pau Garcia Castany, an ex-player for both clubs, and Francisco Romea, a former Barça player who lives in Zaragoza, were in attendance at the event against cancer. Neither got into their playing kits but they wanted to be there to give their full support to a cause as important as child cancer. The collaborative spirit was there for all to see in the success of the numbers for Aspanoa. With the new initiative named “Row Zero”, those who were unable to attend the game were also able to contribute. 25,000 match tickets were sold, an extra 7000 on top of those in attendance at the Romareda.