The World Confederation of Penyes, which is the supreme body of the global FC Barcelona supporters movement, celebrated its Pan-American Meeting on July 21 and 22 to tie in with the US Tour and attended by more than ten different international supporters clubs.
“The penyes represent Barça’s homes around the world”, said the Confederation’s president Antoni Guil. “This meeting is our way of opening the doors to our New York office, to share two event-packed days and support our first team with its preparations”.
All of the guests were able to attend the open-doors training session at the Red Bull Stadium the day before the match with Juventus.
That afternoon, Official NYC FC Barcelona Penya invited its fellow clubs to a buffet dinner at its headquarters, led by Jordi Getman, president of the host club and attended by FCB first vice-president Jordi Cardoner and directors Jordi Moix, Josep Ramon Vidal-Abarca, Enric Tombas and Silvio Elias.
But the biggest attraction was the presence of two of the Barça Legends, Juliano Belletti and Thierry Henry, who posed for pictures with the guests after supper.
The day after the Confederation and FC Barcelona gave a conference before a day of work at the New York office at 250 Park Avenue. Josep Maria Barnils, director in chief of the FCB Social Commission, was among those involved in setting up the ideal scenario for discussing issues of importance to American fans with Antoni Guil and the Board member and responsible for North and Central America and the Caribbean of the World Federation, Jose Manuel Vargas.
The next stop was Bryant Park, Manhattan where almost 4,000 Barça created a human mosaic of the famous blaugrana jersey, even including the logo of new sponsor Rakuten and that of UNICEF. The president and members of his board, plus the Barça Legends, were there to see.
The CEO’s of Barçá, Òscar Grau, and Rakuten, Hiroshi Mikitani, were also at an event that also featured children from local FCBEscola soccer schools.
In true US tradition, the Official NYC FC Barcelona Penya also arranged a splendid tailgate outside MetLife Stadium in the build-up to the game with Juventus – and the first ever for the team under new head coach Ernesto Valverde.