The official Barcelona motto is 'Mes Que Un Club'. Translated into English, that means "more than a club" – but it's not just an empty statement about the stature of the football team.
"‘Mes Que Un Club’ has been attached to Barcelona for a very long time and it’s somewhat lost its meaning," says Eduardo, a Barcelona fan who is a part of the official supporters club in London. The club all meet on a boat on the Thames to watch the matches.
"People attach their own meanings - the purity of sportsmanship and doing things perfectly. Yes, Barcelona strives to achieve being a big, well-run club and it’s hard when you’re competing against state-backed clubs - but ‘Mes Que Un Club’ is deeper than that.
"Barcelona has been very close to the Catalan people through the good and the bad times, especially in the last century. During General Franco’s rule, during the civil war, we had quite nasty periods. And the Catalan people are a nation within a nation – and that’s not always been well-respected in Spain. A lot of our liberties we have now, we didn’t have in the past.
"We couldn’t speak Catalan; we couldn’t have Catalan flags. That was punishable by prison and Barca was a means as Catalans to express our culture. FC Barcelona was a place to go to talk about this kind of thing without a fear of punishment. Barcelona has been the flagship of the Catalan struggle throughout the years – and for me, that is what ‘Mes Que Un Club’ means.
"It represents the struggle and the objectives of a nation."
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.