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Juan Carlos Navarro has become one of the greatest players in the history of FC Barcelona’s basketball section, with over 1000 games and numerous personal and team records under his belt that made him become a legend. We talked to him about his career, right after Barça Lassa had been proclaimed champion of the King's Cup, overcoming Real Madrid by 90-92, and obtaining a title that two weeks earlier seemed quite difficult to achieve.
Playing for a club such as FC Barcelona can be demanding due to its ambitious goals. What are the team’s objectives for this season?
The goal of a team like Barça is always to fight for everything. This said, the most important thing is to be competitive and never let down your guard. If we do this, we will always have the opportunity to win titles.
A clear example of this fighting spirit has been winning the Copa del Rey even though weeks earlier many had already lost faith. What has been the key to success?
The Copa del Rey is a different competition. This makes it unique and unpredictable. Sometimes, a team other than the favorite ends up winning. It has been our case. I will not say that we did not stand a chance, because we are Barça and we have the obligation to go all out for a win in every game, but it is clear that there were other teams that seemed to have a better chance. The change of coach helped us make the most of our mindset. All in all, our desire to win again and give our all during three full days without stopping has been the key to this important victory for the Club and for the section.
As a player you’ve amassed a great number of personal records with the Club. How do you view these achievements?
I think they are extremely positive. Personally, it’s a clear sign that I’ve done things well. It’s always satisfying to know you’re still doing your best after so many years.
A Club such as Barça has a massive social following: thousands of members, penyistes, and fans throughout the world. How do you rate all this support you receive?
It’s incredible. Everywhere we go, there’s always a supporters club or fan group to encourage us. It’s always rewarding to know you form part of a Club that has such a huge social following around the world.
At the Palau Blaugrana especially, but also at many away-games, you’re accompanied by supporters groups to give you the encouragement you need. Do you remember any particular moment in which this sector has helped you the most?
The supporters groups at the Palau are essential. The passion of the fans as a whole too, obviously, but it’s the supporterss groups who always go one step further. It would be extremely difficult to create what’s become known as “the Palau magic” without them, and I can give many examples of how they’ve proven their importance as fans. They never give up, and they’re essential, at difficult times during a match above all, which always occur at some point.
With a career that spans over 20 years, have the supporters groups of the Palau evolved in any way?
The spirit is the same. They want us to give it our all, and if we win titles then much better, but they have a mentality of unconditional support, and that’s why we want to reward them and make them happy again. They have certainly evolved. For example, Els Dracs, is an extremely large group, and when they’re all at a game the noise they make is incredible. Obviously, I also have to emphasise the importance of supporters groups that are also FC Barcelona penyes, such as la Meritxell, Sang Culé and el Racó...who always follow us to our games and play a very important role in creating the great atmosphere of the Palau.
If you could send a message of appreciation to this social following, what would you say?
Thank you for always being there. The social following of a club as big as ours is what makes us so big. Knowing you’ve got fans from all around is something that’s hard to put into words. Just...thank you!
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