Blaugrana Library: Team Spirit and La Masia

Blaugrana Library: Team Spirit and La Masia

Welcome to the next part of our Blaugrana Library series, where we will continue sharing with you good books about FC Barcelona and its players, coaches, and tactics. Today we will get to know the secrets of FC Barcelona, its unique atmosphere created by the players of the first team and the philosophy of La Masia.

Paraula de vestidor, Catalan (2011)

[Words of the dressing room]

by Xavier Torres and Santi Padró, pictures by Jordi Cotrina

 Other languages: Palabra de Barça (Spanish), Głos z szatni (Polish)

This book is a collection of first team players’ quotes from TV3’s Hat Trick Barça program. Puyol, Bojan, Iniesta, Piqué, Messi, Alves, Milito, Xavi, Valdés, Pedro, Pinto, Villa, Busquets, Mascherano, Abidal, Maxwell, Adriano, Jeffren and Keita share the philosophy of the best team in the world: effort, solidarity, simplicity, responsibility, respect, joy, excellence, commitment, team spirit. Their words try to describe the values of the unique group of young athletes that became a model in the football world. A special chapter describes secrets and behind the scenes stories from the television program.

It’s a very special book, full of high quality pictures from games, training sessions, press conferences and informal meetings. Short quotes from all the players (from Winter 2011) provide inspiration and each one could be a Quote of the Day. It’s not a book that you read once from the first page to the last one. It’s more like an inspiring collection of ideas and thoughts that you want to have nearby everyday. It’s also a great way to learn about the philosophy of the Pep Team in short, condensed form. Another important feature are the brilliant pictures by Jordi Cotrina, a pure pleasure! The behind the scenes chapter is very interesting as well. In it, Hat Trick Barça hosts share familiar stories like Xavi’s madness about mushrooms or the meeting between the real Puyol and Puyi from Crackovia. Also revealed are some others, like how Bojan behaves at the airport, who is the favorite actress of Dani Alves, why Pinto doesn’t want to speak about his recording studio, or how Leo Messi admitted for the first time that he is in a relationship. All these stories and remarkable quotes about the squad’s values makes this read a handbook of the Pep Team.

 Educats per guanyar (2011)

[Educated (or raised, trained) for winning] 

by Sique Rodríguez Gairí

Other languages: Educados para ganar (Spanish)

Have you ever wondered what the parents of FC Barcelona players think about their own children? This book is  collection of personal memories and anecdotes, sometimes very surprising, shared by the parents of Messi, Iniesta, Xavi, Pique, Cesc, Pedro, Thiago, and Fontàs. We start with a moving prologue by Carles Floguea, director of La Masia, who underlines the value of family and the support it gives to any child and player. In the book, we learn the details of Cesc’s move to London and the difficulties he faced before his move back to Barcelona. We share the uncertainty of Gerard Pique’s parents, who were scared when their little boy was in a coma for 3 days. Iniesta’s family describes the difficult years and tears of little Andres who felt lonely at La Masia. Some anecdotes makes you smile, others are very touching.

This book presents a unique and privileged portrait of first team players and their intimate environment. It’s full of insights and anecdotes. From the parents and siblings of the players, this book gives us an opportunity to know the top players a little more closely. It’s not just about football, it’s about effort, support, hard work, friendship and family values. It would be a valuable addition to any library of parents or coaches.