On Sunday, at Tokyo, FC Barcelona’s Under 12 team won the Junior Soccer World Challenge tournament by beating local team Omiya Ardija Junior. Normally this news would not even make to any blog or media space. FC Barcelona winning is not much news either. This tournament doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page!
What caught everyone buzzing today was not the football, not the 1-0 scoreline, not the celebrations, not any record! But the extreme humble conduct the blue and maroon winning jersey displayed. Barca’s official Twitter account retweeted this video and captioned ‘#FairPlay’ – after defeating their Japanese opponents, the Spanish giants’ youngsters stopped celebrations and personally comforted each member of the distraught Omiya team, many of whom were crying.
Watch this video of Barcelona Kids comforting the Japanese players, it will get tears in your eyes
Led by captain Adria Capdevila Puigmal, the way the young kids consoled, wiped tears, pat shoulders, ruffled hairs, cheered and shared motivational words with their vanquished opponents, has touched fans worldwide.
Not to forget this was after a tough final with the Catalan kids won 1-0 in tough rainy conditions. The post-match scenes reminded of Barca and football legend Xavi famously comforting a weeping Andrea Pirlo after Barcelona beat Juventus in Champions League final, in Berlin, in June 2015.
When Zlatan Ibrahimovic mocked being with Barcelona “was like going back to school”, he wasn’t wrong. Barcelona imbibes extreme sportsmanship qualities in their players and managers. You will never find a Barcelona manager whining about refereeing decisions immediately after a game or using that as an excuse for losing.
FC Barcelona are the only club in the world to sport a humanitarian charitable organization logo on their jersey and pay UNICEF for sporting the logo as well as marketing for them! Not for reason, I travelled all the way to Nou Camp, Barcelona to watch two games as part of my Football Pilgrimage 2016. I watched them again in 2017.
The above act also reminds of the German National team who were running riot over hosts Brazil in World Cup Semifinal 2014. At halftime, they were leading 6-0 but decided not to score much so as to add misery to the legendary football nation and supporters who were there. The match ended 7-1, which in effect means the second half was just 1-1.
Source & Credits: Dailymail.com was the only major site to publish this news, even till 36 hrs since it happened.