Tears and applause as Juan Carlos Navarro gives farewell conference
The greatest basketball player in FC Barcelona history discusses his retirement from active duty, and describes his new role as manager of the section
As was only to be expected, Juan Carlos Navarro’s number 11 jersey is to be withdrawn and hung for eternity at the Palau Blaugrana.
Josep Maria Bartomeu announced at today’s tribute to ‘La Bomba’ that this will be done prior to the Liga Endesa game with Real Madrid on November 25.
“We are talking about a real legend” he told a packed Auditori 1899. “The best player in the history of Barça basketball. We can never be grateful enough for all that he has done.”
The president also confirmed that Navarro will now be working as manager of the club’s basketball section, serving both institutional and sporting roles, and with a particular focus on developing young talent.
For September 25, the club is arranging a special ceremony at the Palau Blaugrana in the player’s honour and is producing a 50-minute documentary about his life through Barça TV, for which a teaser was screened at today’s conference.
There was resounding applause, and not a dry eye in the house, as the man himself took to the microphone to say a few words.
“I shall continue doing all that I can for this club” he said. “This club has been my life. I have played out of my skin for this club from my days at the academy right through to my very last game.”
“I’m stepping down as a player with the memories of all the trophies we’ve won and especially the two Euroleagues. But also with memories of the respect and friendship shown by everyone, opponents too.”
“I shall now be helping young players to adjust to the first team. It’s a job I’m looking forward to a lot.”