University joins forces with FC Barcelona and Sheffield United

Sr Pont and Dr Louise JohnsonThe University of Sheffield’s Department of Hispanic Studies are joining forces with FC Barcelona and Sheffield United Football Club to promote the local and international educational possibilities of sport.

A public lecture at the University of Sheffield entitled Barça, Sport, Culture and Education recently attracted over 100 people to the University to listen to and debate with Sr. Ramon Pont Amenós, Vice-President of the FC Barcelona Foundation and member of the FC Barcelona Board of Directors.

Sr Pont said: “We have a strong responsibility to the young players, towards their families who have allowed us to educate them both in football and in life, and towards their future. We are their family, and therefore we have a responsibility towards everything that they do now, and towards what they will be able to do in their future.”

Sr Pont answered questions from the audience, particularly on an inspirational example of the educational potential of sport, the Masia.

Dr Louise Johnson from the Department of Hispanic Studies explained: “The Masia is what we might understand as the Academy, but it's much more than that. It's where young sporting talents from outside the city of Barcelona and from all over the world, live and eat together, train at the nearby facilities, and do their additional schoolwork. It’s an intellectual and sporting home from home. Guardiola, Xavi, Iniesta and Messi himself were ‘formed’ in the Masia.

“From Sr Pont we learnt about FC Barcelona’s policy of fair play or joc net, in Catalan. The youth teams have specific classes and training exercises which get the youngsters refereeing, reviewing and commenting on their own on-field behaviour and practices, to instil in them a sense of what it is to play the game fairly and with a sense of humility.”

Patrick Piearcey, Community Health Officer for the Blades, attended and spoke to Sr Pont and University staff. Sheffield United is currently re-launching their community initiatives and Patrick had the chance to ask Sr Pont for valuable advice. Patrick said: “The Barcelona approach to sport, education, social inclusion and community responsibility is both inspirational and aspirational. It was a pleasure to meet Sr Pont and hear firsthand how Barcelona operate as a focal point in the community. I am grateful to the Faculty and the University for providing this opportunity and look forward to forging strong links between ourselves.”

The University was presented with an FC Barcelona shirt with University of Sheffield printed on the back and is forging further links with FCB and Sheffield United following the success of this event, which was organised by the University of Sheffield’s Department of Hispanic Studies and the Institut Ramon Llull, in conjunction with the Anglo-Catalan Society.

Additional information

To find out more about Hispanic Studies at the University of Sheffield visit:
The Department of Hispanic Studies

The University of Sheffield
With nearly 25,000 students from 125 countries, the University of Sheffield is one of the UK´s leading and largest universities. A member of the Russell Group, it has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

The University of Sheffield has been named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards for its exceptional performance in research, teaching, access and business performance. In addition, the University has won four Queen´s Anniversary Prizes (1998, 2000, 2002, 2007). These prestigious awards recognise outstanding contributions by universities and colleges to the United Kingdom´s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life. Sheffield also boasts five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and many of its alumni have gone on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence around the world.

The University´s research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, Boots, AstraZeneca, GSK, ICI, Slazenger, and many more household names, as well as UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

The University has well-established partnerships with a number of universities and major corporations, both in the UK and abroad. Its partnership with Leeds and York Universities in the White Rose Consortium has a combined research power greater than that of either Oxford or Cambridge.


For further information please contact:
Amy Stone
Media Relations Officer
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 1046