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Feb 13, 2009

Joan Laporta touched down in Bangalore on the early hours of Thursday, en route to Ananthapur. Mr.Laporta has arrived in India to formally inaugurate the FC Barcelona Academy, at Bathlapalli - the first in Asia which has been operational for more than a year. He also will be laying foundation stone for a branch of the academy in Atmakur on Friday. The Bathlapalli centre is operational with about 100 kids, all aged between 6 to 16 years. Laporta said that "It's our contribution to the social integration of some of the most disadvantaged children. We aim to provide education in computer science, English and mathematics. We also provide sports training and nutrition. We're using football as a tool to better the lives of the less fortunate." The branch at Atmakur is expected to be operational from January, 2010. Both ventures are partnered by the Rural Development Trust (RDT), an Anantapur-based NGO.

There hasn't been too much hype about his arrival. I was also pleasantly surprised to see his interview in two of the elading newspapers - The Hindu and The Times of India. The lack of interest is pretty normal in India where football is not as popular as Cricket. But the new generation with the access to Cable Television, are very much interested in Football. But the interest is more towards EPL, because of that only Lampard was voted as the most creative midfielder bu Indian fans. Lampard is a great midfielder who can score but I don't think that creating scoring chances is not one attribute that you associate with him. FC Barcelona has been avoiding India for long, and it is really heartening to see Barca taking interest in India. I would seriously love to see the FC Barcelona team tour the sub-continent in near future. To take the sport to the people we need to have more involvement from the higgest clubs in Europe at the highest level. What I mean by the highest level is that we need the stars to come to India to wake up the interest. In India, Football is popular in Kerala, West Bengal, Goa, Sikkim and in the Urban centres. Hope the visit of Laporta brings more attention to the game in India and more attention to India in FC Barcelona.

All About FC Barcelona is a Blog dedicated to the Most prestigous Club in the world, FC Barcelona by an ardent fan. Here I discuss about the Latest happening surrounding our Club and present my Views about the same.

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