Barcelona boss Valverde - Biggleswade United are more than a club

PUBLISHED: 14:19 05 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:19 05 March 2018

Guillem Balague at the Nou Camp, home of Barcelona FC. Credit: Guillem Balague.

Guillem Balague at the Nou Camp, home of Barcelona FC. Credit: Guillem Balague.

Archant

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde showed ‘respect and understanding’ for Biggleswade United in conversation with Guillem Balague.

United director of football Balague was in his native Catalonia this week for Barcelona’s La Liga match with Atletico Madrid and spoke with Valverde whose side earned a 1-0 win at the Nou Camp, saying he ‘gets it – he understands [the club].’

As it did with legends of the game like Maradona, Pep Guardiola and Thierry Henry, Biggleswade United came up in conversation, and Valverde was just as interested in the progress at Second Meadow as all the famous faces who’ve been added to the club’s hall of fame after posing with the red and blue shirt.

In his blog this month, Balague wrote: “Ernesto may well be manager of arguably the biggest club in the world but he spoke to me with the same attention, respect, commitment and understanding about our little club as he did about the international giant that is Barcelona FC, because he gets it, he understands.

“He’s a footballing man who knows that it isn’t about the level, it’s about the love of the game.

“He told me that when everything is stripped to the bone, other than the level at which the game is played there was no difference between Barcelona and those involved at Biggleswade United. The same things apply.

“It was, he said, about helping to build something special and then feeling part of it, about spirit, togetherness and working together.”

The discussion took place after Leo Messi was whirling a masterful free-kick into the top-right corner on the Spanish east coast in 16-degrees.

Balague added: “It’s about building an environment where people feel like they are a vital and integral part because they were instrumental in its creation and development and long term achievements always taste sweeter than short term successes.”

One thing that wasn’t the same at the weekend in Biggleswade as in Barcelona was the weather – as all Spartan South Midlands League games were called off due to snow.

United will host Tring Athletic on Saturday, who sit eight places below Biggleswade in the league table, with a 14-point margin.

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