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FC Barcelona has presented its new strip for the 2021/22 season today in an event at the Camp Nou attended by president Joan Laporta, players Marta Torrejón, Caroline Graham Hansen, Riqui Puig and Ansu Fati, and other representatives that all showcase why Barça is considered ‘More Than a Club’. The event particularly stressed the close bond between the club, the city of Barcelona and Catalonia, an idea that also features in the design of the new shirt, which is inspired by the club crest, such an evocative symbol of the club and its famous values.
The presentation forms part of a new campaign titled ‘MORE THAN’, which will run throughout the coming season and draws on everything that makes Barça such a unique club on a global scale. Different screens placed on the pitch depicted these fundamental values: the unique style of play, the multi-sport vocation, support for women’s sport, a particular ownership system, La Masia, social commitment channelled through the Barça Foundation, the quest for innovation via the Barça Innovation Hub, and the pride and values associated with the club’s roots.
Renowned figures in the Barça world such as Pau Gasol, Alèxia Putellas and Ferran Adrià appear in the promo, as well as Hmad Menzou, a 16-year-old beneficiary of the Barça Foundation who came to Catalonia from Morocco without his parents. The Barça playing style was represented by boys and girls from Barça Escola doing a ‘rondo’ on the pitch, while the event also featured rappers Lil Russia and Idmaele, showing what the shirt means to younger fans.
Compered by Albert Om, the highlight of the event was a 220-strong choir made up of Catalan ‘corals’, gospel singers, fans, members and supporters clubs, and others, performing the special song written for the campaign. They were all dressed in tunics, and when the performance was done, they took them off to officially reveal the new shirt design beneath.
The event ended with Marta Torrejón, Caroline Hansen, Riqui Puig and Ansu Fati leaving the pitch kitted out in the new strip, and with some words from president Joan Laporta, who said:
"I want to thank everyone for their assistance. Players, managers, choir singers, the media... thank you all.
"We are very proud of what our Club, our city and our country represents. 122 years ago Joan Gamper, with 11 friends, founded our Club. Half were Catalans and half foreigners, and they decided to name the club after the city. Subsequently, they made the decision that the city that had welcomed them appeared on the crest, and adopted the Saint George Cross and senyera. This has lasted until today because this shirt reflects everything that refers to our crest.
"The pride of being from Barça and from being from the city of Barcelona and Catalonia, a country of caring and welcoming people, who believe in the importance of giving value to our culture, the fact of being a democracy. This makes us grow as a Club and as a society, and although sometimes this has caused us some criticism, we Catalans want to feel different. In addition, the model of democratic ownership, where all important decisions are in the hands of the members, such as the elections that I had the pleasure of winning recently.
"We also have our own style that is a reference in the world, where we like to win by attacking, with control of the ball, combinations, positional play, the pressure when we lose the ball ... we are nonconformists and we try improve on that, we are constantly evolving a style that Johan taught us. A style that we want for the first team is non-negotiable, and you precisely (referring to Riqui and Ansu, present at the event) are two references because you come from grassroots football and it is important to internalise it. We also want this style for Barça Women and for all the youth teams.
"We always think that we can do better, and that's good because it makes us grow as people, as a Club, as a society. It can generate criticism and we admit that. I like the shirt a lot, and I wanted to thank the whole team. Those who have worked with the people at Nike in this effort that is made every year so that we can put on a shirt that gives us pleasure. Thanks to all those at the Club who work so that we are better and better.
"The shirt is inspired by the crest and also that we are more than a Club, and everything that makes us one. I am looking forward to all Barça fans wearing the shirt when they come here at the Camp Nou, the Johan Cruyff Stadium or the Palau Blaugrana, where tonight we have an important appointment, I also wish that the fans from all over the world put on this shirt and know the meaning and what it represents. "
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