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The meaning of Més que un club

Javier Giorgetti

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Barça is one of the few teams that has a slogan so recognized and used throughout the world. A simple phrase but with many meanings and an exciting story behind. The meaning of Més que un club.


Més que un club, more than a club, más que un club, plus qu’un club. As you prefer to use it. Barcelona is a sporting and economic titan throughout the world that its famous slogan has globalized like no other. It doesn’t matter if you are in Spain or Argentina, if you are a Barça fan or a Madrid fan, if you like football or not. We all know the phrase Més que un club. From a logical point of view, we can think that the Catalan club is more than a football team in the way that it’s a big community. The club has teams in many sports and they are always constantly supporting non-governmental organizations. But the truth is that Més que un club has a unique historical context that gives great value to this phrase. It has a meaning that really makes Barcelona more than a club.

The beginning of Més que un club

Since its foundation in 1899, but especially since the Spanish Civil War and the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, the Blaugranas became one of the most visible symbols of the Catalan nationalist cause and anti-Francoism. The first time that this motto was used was when the former club president Narcís de Carreras said for the first time that Barcelona was “Més que un club” during his inauguration in 1968. The phrase soon became the main and distinctive motto of the institution.

The historians of the club affirm that in 1925, during the dictatorship of Primo Rivera in Spain, the government sent to close the Blaugrana stadium for six months. The reason was that the culés fans had booed the Marcha Real that was played by the band before starting the matches. The then president of the club, Hans Gamper, had to resign for the incident and had to be exiled in Switzerland. A few years later, when the Civil War broke out in 1936, the situation went from bad to worse. The Barca’s president at that time, Josep Sunyol, who was a leader of the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, was shot by Franco’s troops.

However, during the almost four decades of the Franco government, when all the political institutions that defended Catalan nationalism were closed, Barça became a bulwark of the anti-Franco battle. Barcelona’s fans took advantage of football matches in their stadium to chant anti-Franco slogans, something they couldn’t do in any other public space. Partly because of the political identification of the Blaugranas, El Clásico between Barcelona and Real Madrid has gone on to have a political background of left ideology against right ideology, or independence against centralism, for many of their respective followers.

Barcelona is the club with more identity in the world

Long after the Franco regime, the club remains one of the most visible symbols of the Catalan cause. Except during the toughest years of Franco’s intervention, the club has always kept its official records and internal documents in the Catalan language, its fans sing the club’s anthem in Catalan, the team captains have always carried the Catalan flag on his bracelet. Moreover, in recent years, all players have worn the Catalan flag on the back of the jersey, at the top of the neck. An entity more identified than any other and that, there is no storm that can take away the Catalan identity from Barcelona.

Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

In 1932, 1979 and 2006, Barcelona signed manifests supporting Catalonia’s autonomy. It is clear that FC Barcelona is much bigger than a football club, it is a social and sports phenomenon that has very well established values.

The Azulgranas doing the world a better and peaceful place

In recent years, in addition to supporting the Catalan cause, Barça managed to increase its mystical “Més que un club” by identifying with several solidarity causes. In the 80s and 90s, the team played matches for the benefit of UNICEF and the Drug Aid Foundation, against a team formed by the best players in the world. Moreover, in 2005 they organized a friendly match against a national team of Isreal and Palestinian soccer players, who for the first time played together.

A couple of years later, the club in 2006 offered a donation of two million dollars annually for poor children around the world in exchange for the team players could wear the logo of the United Nations institution on the front of their shirts. In 2013, in part to counteract criticism for having agreed to put on the Qatar Foundation’s shirt, Barcelona offered to play another peace match against an Israeli-Palestinian team in Tel Aviv, but the project was canceled due to the refusal of the Palestinian team to participate.

The accession of the club to the National Pact by the Right to Decide or the cession of Camp Nou to pass the Via Catalana and allow to organize the 2013 Concert for Freedom are examples of the initiatives that the club has in humanitarian aid. At the same time, the repeated screams for independence that have been heard since 2012 in the 17:14 minute of each match (and the recently added clamor for the freedom of political prisoners) illustrate the partners’ commitment to the cause.

Barça is a titan in the majority of the sports

Barcelona is also more than a club in sports. There is no doubt that the football club is one of the most prestigious in the world. Such as its many championships, dominance in the era of Cruyff and Guardiola. Always being a candidate to win the majority of titles. Leaving aside the team we all know, one of the main characteristics of this club is its versatility. Integrating professional and amateur sections, male and female, from different sports disciplines.

Basketball, handball, roller hockey and futsal teams in different ways. The field hockey team, athletics, skating, ice hockey, volleyball, rugby, beach football, indoor football, wheelchair football, handball. All these sports with youth categories, men’s teams, and women’s teams. Succeeding in almost all of these teams. Like the 152 titles of the handball team, the 89 titles in basketball and the recent women’s success in football. In addition, to create an ideology in young people to later be professionals in the same club. The famous La Masia.

Més que un club in today’s era

To this day, Barcelona continues to be a clear example of “Més que un club“. Despite the fact that in this last period with Bartomeu things have gone to a more economical side, the rest of the community continues to have these values. The fans, players, Catalans, some partners, continue to be clear that just as Barça is more than a club, the phrase “Més que un club” is more than a phrase. It is a lifestyle. It is a unique and unmatched philosophy that continues to keep this club at its highest year after year.

Without Catalonia, there is no FC Barcelona. Without FC Barcelona there is no Catalonia. It is an eternal and mutual love that needs to be balanced to survive. Without being Catalans, fans around the globe have the feeling of having grown up all their lives in the city of Barcelona.

“I think, for Catalonia, FC Barcelona means a lot because it is one of the top clubs in the world, and that means that it’s a way to show what Catalonia is in the world.”

GERARD PIQUÉ

The Azulgranas continues to dominate in all the sports categories it has. It continues to develop young promises by injecting the same chip into their heads. The Barça DNA. Keeping supporting non-governmental organizations, keeping supporting Catalans not to take away their cultures. This shows that the most insignificant thing that the culés has achieved is its soccer championships. This team is still that Barcelona that everyone has wanted to tear down, but no one has been able to do it. For this and more, Barcelona is the best club in the world, for being more than a club.

The love I feel for this club is as great as the desire to share my admiration for it. Being a fan of Barcelona since when I was 8 years old and growing up watching games week after week. It makes no sense to feel so much love for this club. Being able to transmit all that love with more lovers of this sport is priceless.

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