“Tots som Joan Casals”


“Avui tots som Joan Casals”, (now we are all Joan Casals). With these words, the vice president of the World Penyes Confederation of FC Barcelona, ​​​​​​Salva Torres, ended the speech in which he the figure of Joan Casals, ‘Avi Barça’, He died on Wednesday, February 14, at the age of 90 and the mass funeral was held on Saturday, February 17, at the Sala Polivalent de Guardiola in Berguedà, his hometown, his home, and where he came from. its most famous citizenin the words of the mayor himself, Ferran Sayes, one of those in charge of remembering ‘Avi’ in his final farewell.

The date of the ceremony couldn’t be more appropriate: on Saturday, 17 were fulfilled 50 years of the legendary 0-5 at the Bernabéu, one of those games that any Barcelona fan will never forget. And, of course, Joan Casals never forgot it. Two of its key players, Mora and Asensi, were present at the funeral, representing Agrupació Barça Players along with ‘Torito’ Zuviría and Paco Gómez. All of them, like many former Barça players, knew Joan Casals and admired him for his humble, sincere and, above all, selfless Barcelona fandom.


FC Barcelona is a representative of the institution by Maria Elena Fort, institutional vice president, who announced in her parliament that in the next match at Montjuïc there will be a memorial for Joan Casals. As he explained himselfat Gamper in 1984, where he attended wearing a ‘vintage’ Barça t-shirt and a barretina, people began to identify him with the image of ‘Avi Barça’, the symbol of the Barcelona club designed in 1924 by cartoonist Valentí Castanys.

Years later, Castanys can be said He drew ‘Avi Barça’ inspired by a premonition. He created the character so that sixty years later, in 1984, Joan Casals would bring him to life. And fate wanted the death of Casals to take place only 100 years after the appearance of ‘Avi Barça’ in the magazine ‘Xut!’.

In Guardiola’s Multipurpose Room Almost 500 people gathered, many of them members of the Penyes group of Barcelona and another large part, residents of Guardiola, where Joan Casals and her husband opened the restaurant a few years ago. ‘El Racó de l’Avi’. The mayor referred to Joan Casals as ‘Joan de Cal Guardiola’, as she was born in the farmhouse that gave the town its name. And he announced that in the next plenary session of the municipality he will be called the favorite son of the population.

In addition to Elena Fort, Ferran Sayes and Salva Torres, They also spoke Miriam Jirauta, a supporter from the Navarrese Peña de Monteagudo who wanted to dedicate a few words to him; Joan Casals son; and his grandchildren. One of them, Natàlia, performed with guitar accompaniment, a version of the song ‘Boig per Tu’ with a Barcelona adaptation.

Other managers, such as the vice president Eduard Romeu and Josep Ignasi Macia (he traveled to Vigo for the Celta-Barça match in the afternoon of the same day on the 17th), responsible for the social area, went to the Sala de Vetlla, in Bagà, the day before. And former manager Antoni Rovira, former head of Penyes during Joan Laporta’s first term, paid tribute to ‘Avi’.


Many supporters They came to say their last goodbyes to someone dearly loved. I can’t miss it, so affected, Ramon Burniol, who accompanied him over the years for countless events in all of Penyes’ federations. attend Jordi Monturiolwho has just finished the definitive biography of ‘Avi’, which is still in print. How would you like to present it? including ‘Avi’ himself. I will present it on March 9 at Penya Els Tamarells, in Felanitx (Mallorca), where Joan Casals is an Honorary Member. An expedition from the Tamarells came to visit him on the occasion of his 90th birthday, last October. The club’s Penyes Department also did this.

Referring to World Penyes Confederationwill honor him on April 13, during the II Trobada de Penyes dels Païs Catalans, in Santpedor. Accompanied by Salva Torresin their parliament, by several presidents of the Penyes Federations present at the event, such as Claudi Bosch, Toni Valverde or Joan Giménez.

Save Torres he met Joan Casals in 1992 at Wembley, in extra time, they were both outside the stands, nervous, when the roar of their own fans announced Koeman’s goal, which they had never seen live. But yes they shared the moment and there was born an unbreakable friendship that Salva Torres recalled on Saturday at Guardiola. This is how he ended his speech: “Avui when the person leaves and the arrival begins“, a legacy that we have passed on from generation to generation and I can explain: I will be a friend of the Barça team and I will be with everything with Joan Casals.”

Source: La Verdad


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