Barcelona’s Under-13 Infantil B team won the Junior Soccer World Challenge but that’s not the only thing that has endeared them to viewers.
Along with FC Barcelona taking home the trophy by beating Japan’s Omiya Ardija Junior on Sunday, the boys showed excellent sportsmanship and humility in the face of victory.
The 12- and 13-year-olds from La Masia in Barcelona, Spain, have been participating in the World Challenge Cup in Japan. The Infantil B, managed by Sergi Mila, won with a 1-0, thanks to a single goal by Xavi Planas — and their ensuing triumph delivered a powerful blow to Omiya’s team, which left them utterly devastated.
However, in a heartwarming video, tweeted by Barca’s official Twitter account and captioned #FairPlay, the victorious team is recorded, instead of raucously celebrating their win, comforting the inconsolable Japanese players.
After the whistle sounded to signal the end of the game, the Spanish players offered hugs, pats on the head and words of comfort to their opponents, led by the team’s young captain Adria Capdevila Puigmal.
The touching scene was soon being compared with the one enacted by Xavi, when he comforted a sobbing Andrea Pirlo, an Italian soccer player, after Spain’s La Liga emerged the victor against Juventus in Berlin in 2015.
Apparently, Spanish athletes have great sportsmanship running through their blood.
The gesture was a far cry from the behavior of older, professional athletes witnessed at the Rio Olympics. Soccer player Hope Solo called the Swedish team “cowards” after her team’s defeat at their hands and Egypt’s Islam El Shehaby declined to shake hands with his Israeli opponent after a judo match.
Photo Credit: Twitter/FCBMasia