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Radio and football: A perfect match?

Barcelona is the home of one of the most famous football clubs in the world: FC Barcelona.  Barcas story and its impact on Catalan radio stations will be told in this session

In the session that we called  “Radio and football – a perfect match?” you will meet two local radio sports profiles: Eduard Pujol, content manager at RAC1, and Joaqium Puyal from Catalunya Radio.

Joaqium Puyal is a veteran and has been reporting from 2500 football matches. He is on air every time Barca is playing and know how to make a great live broadcast. In 1976 he was at the microphone to make the first Catalan language football broadcast on FM since the second republic, before the Franco era.
Eduard Pujol has been on midnight sports shows and he also worked for the football club itself as content manager for “FC Barcelona Media” between 2005 and 2011. In addition he is also professor of “FC Barcelona, team, club and institution” at UIC University.
We had a talk with him.
What makes FC Barcelona so successful? The Team? The Coach? The Fans?

 Pujol: - It is a bit of everything. Football is made of emotion in competition and it is also about memories, the facts that will remain. The success of Barça is not only today’s victories, because when it was at a local level with no so many won matches, it was also an enormous force. Today’s victories have a more global impact, but at the end, we always find a symbolic dimension, which arises a lot of curiosity and it helps to keep the audience’s faithfulness.
What is special about football on the radio in Spain and Catalonia?

 Pujol: - Radio is transversal like football. Radio can explain football from FC Barcelona and Real Madrid’s perspective, the biggest rivals in Spanish football. And from these opposite views, radio transmit football matches better than any other media: creating great adrenaline moments at night time.

- In Spain, the most important format of football has been the carousel, a big radio show with all stadiums link-ups. In Catalonia, more focused on Barça, the sports broadcasting has been different; more of the restful pitch, more willing to mark the big moments.
What have you found in your University research about FC Barcelona?

 Pujol: - I found it is impossible to explain radio´s leading position in Catalonia without Barça. After the Franco period, Catalan language came back to radio hand-to-hand with FC Barcelona. If we also add that this ended up being a first quality product, we can understand that those first broadcastings were the reference for later regulations of the radio dial. With few exceptions, in 1976 there was no radio in Catalan, whereas today, the Catalan radio stations are having the bigger share.

What has, for you personally, been the most important moment in your work with Barca?

Pujol: - Outside of the club, in radio, the most intense moment was when the Brazilian soccer player Ronaldo announced that he was leaving FC Barcelona. And five hours later, during a press conference, the contrary was announced. Why was it intense? Just for the news itself? No, it was intense for it highlighted the importance of night radio sports relevance. And inside the club, all the work focused to open visibility of the institutional dimension of the club. And do you know why? Because part of the Barça greatness is above game fields and reaches an intangible level that is very exciting: to see that Barça can make people happy.