Political History Looms Large in Spanish Soccer War
Source: In These Times
Last year, the soccer team FC Barcelona achieved one of the greatest seasons in the history of sports by winning both the Spanish League title, the European Champions League and four other trophies, becoming the first team ever to win the sextuple.
But Barca (as it is popularly known) is more than just a formidable soccer team. By fighting humanitarian battles off the field, it is a rare example of a successful franchise that manages to keep sports in proper perspective.
For more than 100 years, Barca has conducted itself as a “defender of freedom and democratic rights,” as team president Joan Laporta puts it, “facing up to others in a time of governments without tolerance.” The team’s immense stadium is adorned with paintings by Joan Miro and Salvador Dali, and the club is owned by its fans-more than 150,000 of them.