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31.07.2009 12:02

Solidarity at The Montalban Theatre

David Saura (enviat especial)

The FC Barcelona players have taken to the stage at The Montalban Theatre. And it was all for a good cause: to take part in the inauguration of a small football pitch … on the theatre’s terrace.

The Montalban Theatre is in Vine Street, close to Hollywood Boulevard and the famous Kodak Theatre. It is a place with strong links to the showbiz world, but this time the stars were footballers. The whole FC Barcelona squad was involved in the inauguration of the pitch, which thanks to a collaboration between Nike, the LA84 Foundation and MÉS, will enable children in the district to play for free on a pitch in the heart of the city.

3x3 to start

The Montalban Theatre was built in 1926 and has a terrace with an area for doing sport. The first players to use it were Carles Puyol, Rafa Márquez, Gerard Piqué and Bojan Krkic, along with Mia Hamm, the famous ex-women’s international for the USA and Gilles Marini, who plays Dante in the movie ‘Sex and the City’. The latter two added some glamour to a 3x3 game that was watched with enthusiasm by the rest of the Barça squad.

Captain makes his mark

2009-07-30_NIKE_PUYOL_01.jpgBefore starting, Carles Puyol left his footprint in the cement in typically American fashion, just like so many showbiz stars have done in nearby Hollywood Boulevard. Then all of the players left their signatures for posterity alongside the Barça crest.

Curtain raiser

Meanwhile, down in the theatre, a crowd of young Barça fans watched everything on a series of screens as they awaited the arrival of the heroes. Shortly after, the curtain went up and the Barça players, along with Pep Guardiola and Tito Vilanova, appeared onstage and the cameras started flashing.

A season to remember

2009-07-30_NIKE_EQUIPO_01.jpgA Barça TV video then showed some highlights of last season, with Messi’s goals greeted with huge cheers, while the response to the images of Cristiano Ronaldo in Rome suggested that he is not the most popular man among FCB supporters. Then the players were introduced to the fans one by one, with Márquez, Ibrahimovic, Henry, Puyol, Iniesta and Xavi being particularly well received.

The players then handed out Barça balls to the crowd and posed for further photos, before the curtain went down to the tune of ‘Viva la vida’.
Solidarity at The Montalban Theatre
Laporta: “We feel at home”
Joan Laporta gave a speech just before the pitch was opened, and thanked everybody for the wonderful reception for the team in the USA. He also thanked Nike for all they had done to promote the club’s image in the country.

Joan Laporta, who was joined by a number of fellow members of his board, said he was proud of the initiative to create the new pitch, saying “we are more than a club, because we promote values and believe in young people, and especially children … We feel at home, we feel like North Americans.”

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