FC Barcelona + Gates Foundation = Eradicate Polio

Rosell, Pep, Keita, Iniesta, and the Gateses on hand to end polio

Today it has been announced that FC Barcelona has entered into a 3-year partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundationin an attempt to eradicate polio. According to the facts presented, polio, though it is almost unheard of in the advanced “western” world, is still a problem for many children in poorer countries and still kills man people every year. The goal is to completely eradicate the awful disease once and for all by raising awareness, money, and support through a mutual partnership with the club and the Foundation.

In my opinion, this is a win for both groups, not that it even needs to be thought of in such terms, because ending a horrible disease that kills people is enough, in and of itself, but still, you get my point. The Gates Foundation gets an international brand and the world’s most successful club in recent memory to promote their ideals (which are completely laudable by the way) and FC Barcelona gets a PR win and does actual good to try and live up to the motto of the club. Best of all: hopefully people still dealing with polio (its 99% eradicated) are given life-saving medicines and information is spread around the globe.

The ins and outs of the deal are pretty simple, but here is what Bill Gates had to say on the Foundation’s blog:

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t spend a whole lot of time following soccer. But as I have travelled around the world to better understand global development and health, I’ve learned that soccer is truly universal. No matter where I go, that’s what kids are playing. That’s what people are talking about.

That’s why I’m so excited to announce a partnership our foundation is creating with FC Barcelona, one of the greatest clubs in the world. We hope that together we can bring more global attention to the promise of life-saving vaccines and the fight to end polio. FC Barcelona has a long history of being involved in social causes and an enormous global network of fans. We hope that once they learn more about the fight against polio, they’ll be just as fanatical about finishing it as they are about Leo Messi.

The facts are simple:

Thanks to a 13 cent vaccine and a phenomenal effort led by Rotary International to reach all children with that vaccine, cases of this devastating disease have fallen by 99 percent in the past 20 years.

Stopping the fight now is simply not an option. If we don’t do the really hard work to eradicate polio now, the disease will come back with a vengeance. Polio anywhere is a threat everywhere.

I can’t wait to learn a little more about soccer – or fútbol – by spending time with the team at Barça. And I can’t wait for them (and there are millions of them) to celebrate with us when the world reaches this global health milestone.

A video featuring great players and moments in FC Barcelona history was also produced to tout the goals of the campaign:

All in all, this feels like a win-win-win-win all around for all parties involved. It’s for a wonderful cause, with a wonderful foundation, to help save the lives of children. We as fans cannot ask for much more from the club. For more information or to show your support, please visit More Than A Goal’s official Facebook page.

Also, as usual, BarcaStuff has all the good quotes on Twitter, also follow the writers here who are on Twitter for more coverage and arguing amongst ourselves: Isaiah- @fcbfootballblog Kevin- @kevvwill Linda- @blackwhitengrey Luke- @lukeisamazing

By Luke

We calls 'em likes we sees 'em.


  1. An excellent cause to be aiding in… I’m glad that we keep dedicating time and effort to these causes, even if the front of the shirt doesn’t say it anymore.

  2. I keep on reading ‘Chamber of Gifts’ on the other side of the airport as ‘Chamber of Secrets’ every time I look up

    1. LOL, I just noticed the woman wearing a helmet to ride a Segway! Americans are funny. 😛

    2. Whenever I see someone in one of those I can’t help but think of Arrested Development. 😛

    3. USA v Canada?

      Xavi is somewhere in my country’s capital as I type this. Yes, a 2 hour drive away from me, Pique and Captain Caveman are plotting their next prank again Cesc while Pep listens to Cold Play and Pinto buys hats(according to barcastuff) at an American store. For no other reason than these, USA wins this time, folks! ;D

      Blitzen and Kari can lobby RoSELL and start the “bring Barca to Canada campaign”.

    4. Written lovingly, jokingly, and without arrogance towards my friends from the north. Hope you could tell that. Need a sarcasm font!

  3. Hadn’t read the release by Bill Gates loved the Messi mention there, thanks Luke. Glad despite what is on the shirts, the club contributes to a few more great things.

    1. I am impressed by his honesty and level-headedness, really. I don’t follow the EPL, so I don’t know where all the hate for SAF comes from. I honestly don’t know where all the hate from other EPL fans toward the entire Manchester United club comes from, aside from the fact that they’re successful. If anyone can give a better explanation, I’d be grateful.

      On both encounters with ManU in the last three years, SAF was gracious in defeat. I give him plenty of credit for that… as we know, it’s much easier to deflect your own incompetence and instead cry injustice when your gameplan failed to produce a single attempt on goal or an your aggressively physically strategy produced a red card for your most thick-headed defender.

  4. Apparently Chicharito suffered a concussion, so I imagine he’s been ruled out of the friendly tomorrow.

    1. What time is the game?

      I hope Berbatov plays, I want to see him strolling languidly around while the boys pass rings around him.

    2. The game’s at 7pm.

      It sure would be weird seeing Berbatov playing, seeing as he couldn’t get even a spot on the bench vs. us in the CL final.

  5. World Cup qualifying draw is tomorrow (Saturday) at 2pm EST. This is where we’ll have a better idea of how the qualifiers over the next two years and a half years will shape up. Many of the more populous countries have already been eliminated in Asia, such as India, Bangladesh, Malaysia and the Philippines.

    For UEFA, this means we’ll know all 9 qualifying groups, including which 1st seeds got France, Russia, Turkey or Serbia in their groups. This sets up interesting possibilities, for example where a hopefully resurgent France competes with a vulnerable first seed (i.e. not Spain, Germany or the Netherlands) for automatic qualification.

    In Africa, we’ll see what the 10 qualifying groups will look like as we march toward the inevitably loaded five home-and-away ties between Africa’s top teams to determine who goes to Brazil 2014. Although all of the major teams are 1st seeds, Pot 2 has Morocco, which I see as the most likely to unseat one of the big African teams.

    In CONCACAF, we’ll learn the groups that teams like Canada and Panama have to win (only first place moves on) to continue into qualification. We’ll also know which countries the US/Mexico/Honduras will have to beat to reach the Final Round, including who got saddled with Costa Rica.

    1. The money the club is spending on this court case could be better used elsewhere. Paying down the debt? Topping up the Free Cesc Fund? Making colour copies?

      This is madness.

    2. Yes – and this is announced while Rosell is in the USA. The man is spineless. He never fronts up to answer the hard questions. Instead, he leaves that to his board members to deliver the bad news when there is some.

    3. Well, the Rosell approval ratings were getting too high, so he needed to do something to bring things back to normal.

  6. Alejandro Sabella becomes the new coach of Argentina. Is he the same guy who was coach when Barca played Estudiantes for the CWC? Could anyone elaborate on how good/bad this guy is?

  7. Arsenal chairman Hill-Wood on Fabregas:

    “If they want to buy the player they are going to have to pay the right price – and when you look at what is being paid elsewhere I don’t think what we are asking is at all unreasonable.”

    Hill-Wood on Jagielka:

    “We are trying to buy a few players but it isn’t going to happen overnight. We have made a bid for him but they didn’t think it was enough.”

    Hypocrite much?

    1. Arsenal are in a bad situation, everyone knows Cesc wants to leave and only to one place, that drives the price down. So they are trying to squeeze as much cash as they can out of Barça by adopting a stance of righteous indignation, but at this point it’s nothing but a pose.

      Barcelona have made several bids. If Arsenal thinks they’re too low, they can ignore them; that’s business. Their whining about how we won’t meet his “true value” (which is meaningless) shows the desperate situation they are in; they think it’s virtually impossible for him not to go at this point, and they are hoping we dump all the cash they could dream of in their lap.

      I know Rosell and Co are not always popular around here, but I think they’re handling the Cesc dealings right, just like they did with Alexis. When you are the only possible true bidder, you don’t bid against yourself.

  8. From UEFA:

    UEFA’s Appeals Body today partially upheld the decision taken by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body against Real Madrid CF and their head coach José Mourinho.

    The original judgement related to Mourinho’s dismissal from the bench and the inappropriate statement made at the post-match press conference of the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona in the Spanish capital on 27 April.

    After hearing the parties and looking at various pieces of evidence, the Appeals Body decided to modify the sanction. The five-match ban, with the fifth game suspended for a probationary period of three years, is changed to a five-match ban, with the fourth and fifth fixtures suspended for a probationary period of three years. The €50,000 fine imposed on Mourinho stays.

    In addition, the Appeals Body rejected the appeal relating to the €20,000 fine imposed on Real Madrid for the improper conduct of their supporters during the same match.

    Appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) may be lodged within ten days of the dispatch of the reasoned decisions.

    1. So he still has to serve a 2-match ban and pay the fine. And keep his nose clean for 3 years. HA! 😛

    2. And a big Por Que to you, Mr. Mourinho!

      He misses a good chunk of the group stage now. Zidane as interim coach? 🙂

    1. Klinnsman was great for Germany, catastrophical for Bayern. Apparently he loves and lives in the U.S. so I would venture a guess that he knows his MLS and American players…

    2. This is the coach that most “hardcore” USMNT fans have been clamoring for for the last five years. He did great with Germany in 2006, though it has come out that Lowe was the actual tactical master behind it.

      Klinsmann is a step up, and he has been handed more control over youth development than Bradley ever was.

    1. Just tuned in in time to see that last goal. Terrific! What happened to Morata’s head?

    2. Dunno, he was like that when I tuned in. But apparently head injuries cause goal scoring superpowers in Morata. I think they said he had 6 goals in the tourn. so far. M*drid might actually have someone in Castilla that they will hold onto. Nah…’twill never happen 😀

    3. Credit where it’s due, Morata has been excellent in this tournament. I just hope people recognize how many of his goals were put on a plate for him by the absolutely terrific Deulofeu.

    4. Hah, that is like still believing in Santa Clause. Of course it is all due to Madrid, no need to even mention the impact of Barca players.

  9. Barca 1 Man Utd 0. Obama meets Barca squad at White House day after being too busy to meet Utd players.

    via @MarkOgden

    1. Thanks – that was beautiful.

      I became an Henry fan a long time back when watching EPL in the wee small hours from New Zealand.

      The first time that we went to Camp Nou in 2009 after moving to Barcelona, I got very choked up watching him live for the first time. It was magic.

      You can see how his play has influenced some of the Barca players – particularly Pedro with how he strikes the ball straight into the goal from directly in front of it, like he did at Wembley. It’s become a trademark shot for Pedro.

      During the 08/09 and 09/10 seasons, we often commented how Pedro would play like Henry, and Bojan would play like Messi. 🙂

  10. Was Pastore really bought by PSG for 45M?
    45M, Really?
    PSG, Really?
    PSG has 45M, Really?

  11. Hu hu hu….

    I have tickets to tomorrow’s game. Just before I was about to board the bus to DC earlier, I got an email for urgent work during the weekend.


    I can’t believe I’m not watching the game. I was so close to seeing my wonderful players in person. And here I’m stuck in New York cause I have work. So many weekends I spent gallivanting. It had to be this weekend.


    1. I am so incredibly pumped for the game tomorrow, so I can understand your frustration. You sure you aren’t coming up with a nasty fever though? *cough cough*

    2. I had to sell my tickets after an unavoidable commitment came up, so I know how you feel. 🙁 At least I had a few weeks warning to prepare for disappointment, I suppose. Learning at the last minute like that is totally sucky, I’m so sorry.

      I hope everyone who gets to go has a blast!

    3. Thats too bad. I am pretty sure that Barca will be coming back to the US during the next 3 or 4 years, mainly because of the Bill Gates foundation, and also they have a big market in the US.

  12. PSG is owned by the Qataris. Truckloads of money. Though as I understand its not done yet.

    And I don’t quite get the “despite what is on the shirts” idea. Qatar Foundation is one of the best sponsors in all of football by their line of business. Specially considering others are in betting alcohol etc.

    And secondly we gave up the shirts a long time ago to Unicef, we didn’t get money for it sure but it was a good marketing and PR deal. This is a good (not great) finance deal with much better effect on marketing and PR than most other sponsors atleast.

    IMO as long as we’re putting something on the shirts we should get money for it. Right now Barca doesn’t need the Unicef publicity, it did back then. I’d rather we remove sponsors all together if we can afford it else get much more money for it.

  13. Hi all, not sure if this is the best place to ask but, I’ll be in Barcelona from the 23rd of August and really want to go to Barcelona V Villareal. What’s the best way to obtain tickets? And what kind of seats should I book?

    1. You can get them from the FCB website, although tickets to this game are not yet available for some reason – maybe because the date and time has yet to be confirmed.


      If you do buy them from this link, they’ll send you an email with PDFs of the tickets. You’ll need to print them out and bring them with you. The whole ticket needs to be printed (and folded as per directions), but the most important part is the barcode on each ticket, as that’s what gets scanned at the turnstiles to gain access to the stadium.

      Make sure that you enter the stadium grounds through the correct gate as stated on the tickets. This will better help you to easily find the right turnstile # through which to enter the stadium, as well as the right stairwell to gain access to your seats.

      The seating set-up is confusing. We see a lot of first-time visitors to the stadium getting horribly lost when trying to find their seats. The rows are marked alphabetically, but then all the even number seats are together on one side of the aisle, and all the odd number seats are on the other side of the aisle. If you get all even or odd-numbered seats, don’t worry – you will be sitting together! People are more than willing to swap places for friends and family to sit together, provided it’s within the same row.

      In truth, there are no bad seats at Camp Nou. 🙂 We’ve sat close to the sidelines, in the middle tier and with the gods in the upper tiers. We actually prefer being a bit elevated so that we can see the whole pitch, and if you can get a seat close to the halfway line, it’s slightly more advantageous than sitting closer to one side of the pitch as you can clearly see the action during both halves. Having said that, we did sit behind the north goal for both R. Sociedad and Villareal games last season, and we didn’t feel that we missed out on anything by being down one end of the pitch.

      The seat prices obviously depend on proximity to the pitch. We’ve found that the middle and top tiers hold the real cules – those who can’t afford the season tickets, but want to be there for the matches. They are the ones who cheer and chant along with the band that sets up behind the south goal.

      The warm-up time on the pitch for the teams prior to the game is a cool thing to watch, so get there at least 45-60 mins earlier than gametime. Once the warm-up has finished, Barca goes into a huddle on the pitch, and this is the time for the crowd to show their appreciation for the team with applause and cheering. Then of course, you need to sing El Cant del Barca when the team comes onto the pitch for the game!

      Also – do the museum tour on a different day to match day. On match day, the stadium tour (through the dressing rooms, press areas and walking on the pitch) is not available.


    2. I will probably be there too. You can buy your tickets from the official club site, ticketmaster.es or directly at the stadium although it could be sold out (potentially).
      As for the kind of tickets it will depend on your budget.

    1. It’s on Saturday at 7pm EDT in Washington DC, but 1am CET Sunday for us in Central Europe.

  14. the Henry video was posted but not the Ronaldinho 93 goals in 5 minutes? BLASPHEMY

    btw if you need a match watch Santos-Flamengo from a few nights ago. Best Brazilian match i’ve ever seen.

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