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Barca: A People's Passion Paperback – 1 Mar 2000
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From the English businessmen who founded the club, through Cruyff, Maradona, Lineker, Venables, Robson and Ronaldo, FC Barcelona, European football giant and quintessential embodiment of Catalonian pride, has been built on the efforts of foreign mercenaries.
In interview and analysis, Jimmy Burns uses the experiences of these outsiders as his own passport to the heart of the Camp Nou, returning with a hugely enjoyable history of the team and it's fanatically nationalistic support.
Unique among the world's biggest clubs, Barcelona has stayed true to its origins as a quasi-democratic institution. It is effectively a private members club, made up of the 120,000 supporters whose subscriptions bankroll the team, but a sense of ownership extends across Catalonia itself.
At the heart of the book is the struggle for this unique identity to survive the commercial colonisation of the sport.
Burns is a sensitive and intelligent interpreter of what is becoming, for better and worse, a forgotten language of regional tribalism in football. It may not be many years before his study of this enigmatic club is regarded as a definitive memorial to the last great love affair of what was once a people's passion. --Alex Hankin
'Excellent...A densely detailed account of the history of F. C. Barcelona ... Coincides with Barcelona's 100th anniversary but it is not in the least pious' DAILY TELEGRAPH 'Burns' examination of the club's fates and fortunes always goes well beyond the game itself...Burns is a brilliant journalist...Unmissable' TOTAL FOOTBALLSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
Barca - A People's Passion traces the club from its foundation by the English brothers Arthur and Ernest Witty and patriarch, Swiss businessman Joan Gampart and early games on waste ground to its current position as one of the biggest football clubs in the world. Along the way we are entertained by myriad fascinating tales involving some of the biggest names in football - Samitier, Kubala, Cruyff, Maradona, Michels, Lineker, Venables, Van Gaal, Robson, Rivaldo, Figo, the list of alumni is impressive to say the least, and collectively they produce a plethora of tales from both on and off the pitch. Burns has compiled an impressive list of interviewees to give their own perspective of Barca, giving the book real insight into life at the Camp Nou.
Despite this, the most absorbing part of Barca's history comes from its prominent role in Catalonian life and the consequently chequered relationship it enjoys with both its own fan base and the rest of Spain. This is most evident during the Spanish Civil War and Franco years, when despite a pro-regime board, the Camp Nou became the focal point for resistance to Franco and a rallying point for Catalan identity and national pride. It was also the time that spawned paranoia and conspiracy theories from di Stefano's transfer saga to claims of official bias and outright match-fixing. It is also intriguing to see the dilemma of fans and board members, maintaining the identity of the club while competing on a European stage.
Barca - A People's Passion works from several perspectives, as a history of a football club and also of a wider social and political history. The book is also an intriguing glimpse into the running and machinations behind the transfers, the team and the finances of a 'big club'. More than that though, as the title of the book suggests it's a study of what drives fans to support their team despite the cost in time and money, in the face of mistreatment by their own club and outside forces. Also, what makes a football team uniquely owned and defined by its supporters - come what may. Anyone interested in any of these themes will definitely find Barca - A People's Passion an engrossing read.
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The book focuses on the club as a football team, as well as a symbol...Read more
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