Barcelona Futbal Diplomacy

Sports, Social Responsibility Movies

Barcelona Futbal Diplomacy

Football/soccer stars David Villa and Thiago Alcantara from FC Barcelona greeted young fans on Friday (5 August) at an event hosted by UNICEF in Dallas.

The children were allowed to ask the world-renowned soccer players anything they wanted. The questions ranged from the very simple, to the more serious.

SOUNDBITE (English) Girl from Audience:
“How old were you when you started to playing for Barcelona?”

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Thiago Alcantara, Football Player:
“I began when I was 15, at that level, but I actually began playing much earlier - as soon as I could kick a football.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Boy from Audience:
“What was your work ethic when you guys were young, like, my age, 12?”

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) David Villa, Football Player:
21. “Working at soccer was important, and soccer was important for teaching companionship. It taught us values that were important to our sporting lives and our ordinary lives, more than just having fun it gave us life lessons.”

The event celebrated the agreement by UNICEF and FC Barcelona to continue to work together to promote children’s rights through sports. Starting in 2006, FC Barcelona and UNICEF have collaborated in efforts to fight HIV and AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The partnership is also crucial toward bringing attention to crises, such as the current famine in Somalia, says UNICEF’s Lawrence Picard.

SOUNDBITE (English) Lawrence Picard, UNICEF Deputy Director, Operations and Finance:
“The partnership with Barcelona is giving UNICEF tremendous visibility on the challenges that we face in the horn of Africa, Lionel Messi and David Villa, two of the marquis stars of FCB have been promoting the issue on their Facebook sites. There are many hundreds of thousands of followers of both players who are learning about the tragedy in the Horn of Africa, and Barça themselves on their own website are also publicizing the challenges that we face in the Horn of Africa and promoting the work that UNICEF is doing there.”

David Villa says he thinks all top athletes have an obligation to help the less fortunate.

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) David Villa, Football Player:
“It’s very important to use the public image of elite athletes to support these kinds of organizations. And the truth is that honestly, it doesn’t require a big effort from us to help these organizations. Not only that, but at least for me, it’s an honor to work with an organization like this one and to try from a long distance to help children that are in great need.”

FC Barcelona will continue to wear the UNICEF logo on their jerseys, another small way the world of sport is contributing to a greater awareness of children in need.


Language: Spanish

Year of Production: 2011

Length: 1:45 mins

Country: United States


  • Muhamed Sacirbey (UNTV-UNICEF)


  • Susan Sacirbey (UNTV-UNICEF)