LAST Saturday’s International Champions Cup match between Celtic and Barcelona in Dublin saw the Catalan side emerge as 3-1 winners in a closely-contested encounter.
However, off the pitch, charity was the victor as Celtic FC Foundation linked up with counterparts from Fundació FC Barcelona, to deliver a unique project working with disadvantaged young people from nearby Ballybough Community Group.
This landmark collaboration between the two clubs saw coaches from both teams deliver football sessions derived from Barcelona’s Futbol Net programme, enshrining the values of respect, effort and teamwork.
In addition to an innovative football curriculum, sessions also featured an interactive workshop focusing on health and wellbeing, as well as practical education centred on fitness, diet and nutrition.
In a wonderful display of unity and friendship between the two Foundations, the kids from Ballybough took centre-stage at the Aviva Stadium, as they lined up beside the starting XIs of both teams.
Fittingly, this celebratory gesture was accompanied by a banner bearing the message ‘More than Football’, a worthy testament to the shared ethos, virtues and heritage of Celtic and Barcelona.
Speaking about this initiative, Celtic FC Foundation CEO, Tony Hamilton, said: “My sincere thanks to our friends at Fundació FC Barcelona and Ballybough Community Group for their help and dedication in delivering this excellent initiative.
“At Celtic FC Foundation, we are committed to creating opportunities at home and abroad, and this groundbreaking partnership in Ireland represents our determination to continue helping as many individuals as possible.”