Former FC Barcelona defender Carles Puyol and Jordi Cruyff in representation of the Cruyff Foundation were joined by Jordi Cardoner, first vice-president of FC Barcelona; Xavier Bertolín, director of the commercial and education department at the Fundació Bancària ”la Caixa”; Lluís Costa sales manager of CaixaBank for Catalonia and Lluís Bellera, the mayor of the town of Pobla de Segur for the inauguration on Tuesday of the Cruyff Court Carles Puyol in the former Barça player’s hometown.
The project has come out of a joint venture involving the Cruyff Foundation, Obra Social ”la Caixa” and the FC Barcelona Foundation and involves the construction, maintenance and promotion of fifteen Cruyff Courts around Vatalonia, and especially in underprivileged regions, to promote the social inclusion through sport of young people at risk.
Cruyff Court Carles Puyol is the second such facility to be opened, following on from another on May 27, the Cruyff Court Sergio Busquets in Badia del Vallès.
What are ‘Cruyff Courts’?
Cruyff Courts are small football pitches that are free to use and are designed to encourage sport and foster such values as responsibility, integration, self-improvement and teamwork and get young people active, as well as combatting obesity.
The three-way alliance is also working on two specific projects: s Cruyff Courts 6vs6, a competition for boys and girls aged 10 to 12 involving all Cruyff Courts, and the Community Program, whereby children in different neighbourhoods are encouraged to set up their own tournaments.
The three bodies are also collaborating with the Cruyff Foundation’s Pati 14 project, which is looking to regenerate ten playgrounds at different Catalan schools
Statement by Carles Puyol
“Johan left an immense legacy both as a coach and player. We’ll always be grateful to him. His face used to light up when he spoke about his foundation’s projects. That’s why I want to encourage everyone to carry on his good work. It is as honour to have my name associated to that of Johan”.
Statement by Jordi Cardoner
“Today is a great day for Barça because we are inaugurating a fantastic project sponsored by two legends of our club, Johan Cruyff and Carles Puyol. At this Cruyff Court, children will be able to put in practice Johan Cruyff’s fourteen rules; values represented to perfection by Carles Puyol throughout his career. Puyol means respect, teamwork and ambition. He’s surely the finest example for the children of Pobla de Segur and an unquestionable role model for the football world”.
Statement by Jordi Cruyff
“My father left a huge void, but everyone working with us is doing the best they can to press on with this project. Today is a very clear example of that with the inauguration of this pitch. My father was a man of principles and Carles has shown likewise throughout his career”.
Statement by Xavier Bertolín
“Johan wanted us to support his project through Obra Social "la Caixa". This project offers people a chance. I hope the children of Pobla de Segur het plenty of enjoyment out of this new facility”.