Over one and a half thousand Barça supporters from all over the world come to Barcelona for the 40th Penyes World Congress
Once again, Barcelona is hosting the emblematic Penyes World Congress, an event that brings together Barça supporters from all over the world, and is organized by the World Confederation of Penyes, the organization that groups all official FC Barcelona supporters clubs. The event, which this year celebrates its 40th edition, is the largest gathering of Penyes worldwide and is being held at the Camp Nou and at the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya with an agenda packed full of 'penyistic' activities.
The event got under way yesterday morning with the start of the XIV International 7-a-side Soccer Tournament on the fields annexed to the Miniestadi. Featuring teams from FC Barcelona supporters clubs, the competition ended with wins for PB Totana in the U10 age group and for PB Navàs in the U12 category, in two great finals where effort and passion for the club and sport in general have been the real protagonists. A total of 500 participants, including players and coaches, have competed in the tournament, which brought together 28 Penya teams, 16 in the U10 category and 12 in the U12 category.
The awards ceremony was held on the Miniestadi pitch, with the trophies and medals presented by FC Barcelona director Pau Vilanova. L’Antoni Guil, president of the World Confederation of Penyes, and Paco Clos also made sure of being present.
As a new feature for this year, the weekend also included the Master Finals of the Penyes Paddle Tour, the culmination of an event set up by the World Confederation a few months ago. The competition, held at Club Esportiu Laietà and divided into men’s and women’s categories, was played throughout the morning with a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm, with the pairs Alberto Sesé-Jordi López and Ariadna Berdala-Lídia Nicolás winning the men’s and women’s crowns, respectively.
As is now tradition, card enthusiasts also got their moment as they enjoyed one of the most awaited events of the year, the VIII Cards Tournament in which 70 pairs competed at the traditional Catalan game of “La Botifarra”.
This year’s winning partnership was Josep Maria Bonvehí and Lluis Rodríguez from PB Figaró-Montmany; while the couples PB Calaf i Comarca and PB Puigcerdà came second and third. The champions’ diplomas were handed out by Jordi Cardoner i Casaus, first vice-president of FC Barcelona, Pau Vilanova and Toni Guil.
Today’s day at Congress ended with the traditional open-air dinner, attended by over 900 people in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, where 'penyistes' were able to exchange opinions and feelings for the coming season, as well as getting more than one surprise. The dinner also included the awards ceremony for the 8th Cards Tournament.
Finally, and as a novelty for this year, the FC Botiga store stayed open especially for the guests, where they were able to enjoy exclusive gifts and discounts. A wonderful end to a wonderful day loaded with Congress activities.
Tomorrow is the turn of the 40th World Penyes Congress, including presentation of the road map for the Confederation and the main achievements by the organisation and its members. This is to be followed by the gala lunch, which will include a tribute to different clubs celebrating their 25th anniversaries, and then a very special surprise for all the attendees: the exclusive premiere of the documentary Wonder, all about Lionel Messi and his outstanding role in the world of sports in general and football in particular.
But the activities don’t end there, for there is still the final of the eSports Penyes Futbol Games Tournament, featuring Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer 2019.