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Barça Rewind: Sergi Barjuan’s great sporting lesson

Respect, effort, ambition, teamwork and humility are the five main values ​​that describe the spirit of FC Barcelona and are instilled in the children of La Masia. They need not be great empty concepts, they must be expressed in practice. That is why Barça is also ‘more than a club’ and has the obligation to honour the motto.

On April 3, 2011, the side coached by Sergi Barjuan demonstrated that the values of fair play and good sportsmanship are above any sporting success at the club.

Two points lost, but a valuable lesson learnt

Sergi’s young players came into the 28th week eight points ahead of Espanyol at the top of their league and were looking for a win against Castelldefels to take them a little closer to the title. With the game coming to an end and still goalless, Barça’s Carlos Julio Martínez fired home without realising that the hosts’ keeper was lying injured on the ground. The goal was given as valid, but under instructions from their coach the team allowed Castelldefels through to score a goal themselves to make up for it.

It was a gesture that lost the team two points and with Espanyol winning, it allowed their rivals to close in on them. The incident was widely covered in the Spanish media since it isn’t often that good sportsmanship outdoes the desire to win in Spain’s number one sport.

However, this wasn’t the first time a Barça team had shown such an exemplary attitude. In 2007, the team trained by Albert Puig caught the media’s attention with a similar action. During a game against Espanyol, Barça’s opponents kicked the ball out so that a player could receive treatment, but they didn’t give possession back from the resulting free-kick and indeed went on to score. Puig then insisted that his charges allow Espanyol through to score in reply.

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