Shakira: “the combination of football and education is unbeatable”

The FC Barcelona and Pies Descalzos Foundations will work together to promote education amongst the most vulnerable of the world’s children. Shakira, the founder of the Fundació Pies Descalzos explains how football will help.

‘The value of holding values’ was the slogan used to describe Barça’s great double wining success last season and it has become more and more relevant as the Club’s USA Tour continues. Alongside the football, Barça have been striking deals to strengthen their social commitment with a number of important events of recent days.

Thursday saw the signing of the agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and this Monday, La Fundació del FC Barcelona presented the collaboration agreement with la Fundación Pies Descalzos founded by the international singing star Shakira at the University of Miami.

Sport as a tool for education

The event was attended by a large number of children and widely covered by the media –with 30 TV channels present – as Shakira, the Barça players Piqué, Puyol and Busquets, the Vice-president of La Fundació del FC Barcelona, Ramon Pont and the ex-player and Club ambassador in the US, Mia Hamm all showed their support. The Club Vice-presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Jordi Cardoner, as well as Director Josep Ramon Vidal-Abarca, Dídac Lee and Ramon Cierco were also present.

The aim of the event was to present the deal which stresses the importance of football in the education of the most vulnerable youngsters. As Shakira explained: “education is important and if it goes along with football that’s even better as it is a good tool for integration”.

Barça a good example to follow

Shakira admitted that with Piqué, “I have learnt what sport means. The respect for the rules of the game, having dreams and achieving them”, as well as seeing that at Barça: “many different nationalities, beliefs and individual traits exist, but they all united by the same shirt. I dream that humanity could all wear the same shirt and all children could have the right to education. The combination of football and education is unbeatable  - let every child have a ball and a book!”

“Extraordinary opportunity”

The event is a first step in the campaign to ensure that Barça’s continuing social commitment bears fruit, as the Fundació Vice- President Ramon Pont explained to the audience at the University: “it’s an extraordinary opportunity to collaborate with Shakira. Barça is more than just a club because we have heart, energy and sentiments”.