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01.03.2010 14:25

Heroes also have heroes

Vanessa Forns

Before FC Barcelona's 2-1 home win over MÓlaga last Saturday Blaugrana manager Josep Guardiola showed his players part of a TV report from the Canal + programme Informe Robinson (The Robinson Report).

This relates the heroic but failed attempt to rescue Spanish mountaineer I˝aki Ochoa, who died just short of the summit of the 8091 metre-high Annapurna in the Hymalayas in May 2008.

I˝aki’s brother Pablo expressed his wholehearted approval when he learned that the report, which chronicles how 14 people put their lives at risk in the rescue attempt, was used by Guardiola to transmit values of comradeship and commitment. Only last month Pablo and his two brothers met Barša players and staff at the club’s training comlex in a visit that was instigated by Guardiola himself after he had seen the report. In an exclusive statement for www.fcbarcelona.cat Pablo said, “We’re delighted that the Barša coach thinks this story can be an example. Heroes also have heroes, and people who are examples find examples to follow, too.”

Guardiola’s talent

SOS-04.jpgHe went on to suggest that Guardiola’s decison to show the report to the players was no more than “another demonstration of his intelligence” as the Blaugrana manager recognised the parallels between a group of people risking their lives with the requirements of a football team. “It’s a matter of commitment to your team mates. Pep’s talent was in seeing this link. Any coach could have seen it, but he was the one who did.”

Everyone in his position

2010-02-27_PARTIDO_01.JPGDeveloping this theme, Pablo saw a connection between the team of people who tried to save his brother’s life and a team of footballers. In an emotional statement he said, “In the video you can see perfectly how in the rescue team everyone has his position. The doctor is where he should be, the best climber was on the front line going at top speed, just like a full-back or forward in football. In one case you’re playng for three points in La Liga or the Champions League ... and in the other they were tryng to save the life of my brother, an extraordinary man who admired people from the world of sport and who followed Barša.”

Pablo finished by expressing the wish that the publicity afforded to this story will help the SOS Hymala Foundation, a charitable organisation that was set up by his late brother.
Pablo Ochoa, with Messi, at the Ciudad Deportiva Joan Gamper in February. Image: Fundaciˇn SOS Himalaya
Pablo Ochoa, with Messi, at the Ciudad Deportiva Joan Gamper in February. Image: Fundaciˇn SOS Himalaya

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