More Than A Club: A Study of FC Barcelona's Impact on Catalan Nationalism

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CONFERENCE: University of North Georgia Annual Research Conference

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lecture / presentation description
In September of 2017, Catalonia, one of the seventeen autonomous regions in Spain, will hold an independence referendum. Catalonia is Spain’s wealthiest and most industrialized region, and Spain has continuously prevented any discussion of Catalan independence in the Spanish parliament, however, the regional government of Catalonia is attempting to pursue the independence referendum with or without the approval of Spain’s central authorities. A key component to Catalan nationalism is the Futbol Club Barcelona, as the club in many ways acts as the nation’s ambassador to the world. On social media, FC Barcelona has more followers than all the teams in the National Football League, however to the people of Catalonia, FC Barcelona is something more. The motto of FC Barcelona is més que un club, “more than a club”. FC Barcelona and Catalan nationalism are intrinsically linked, and this paper will analyze how this relationship evolved over time, explaining how FC Barcelona is more than a club, as it is Catalonia’s only ambassador to the world.