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Issue 116 - On the ball

Whisky Magazine Issue 116
December 2013


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On the ball

An article about whisky labels and football has to start undisputedly with a Spanish club, since Spain is the reigning world champion. FC Barcelona was founded in 1899 by Mr Joan Gamper, together with a group of young foreigners working and living in the eponymous city. It will come as no surprise that today the club still consists of players from different countries and cultural backgrounds. It's the trademark of the FC. The founding was a direct consequence of the increasing popularity of British sports throughout Europe. At the turn of the 19th century people became more interested in sports as a way to enjoy time off from work. Around 1919 FC Barcelona had grown into a tight unit, mainly by Gamper's doing, not only concentrating on the game, but also on character building and sportsmanlike behaviour. Although the history of the club is chequered, the FC managed to survive the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War, albeit it not without loss of players and members. For me as a Dutchman, Barcelona is forever tied to Johan Cruyff, who played for the team and later coached them very successfully.

One of his disciples, Pep Guardiola, has shown in recent years that the inimitable JC (some argue that these initials are not coincidental) cemented an indestructible platform. As of today friend and foe agree that Barça is perhaps the best football team in the world with probably the best education for young players. Lionel Messi presents a perfect example.

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