More Than a Team
A Father, a Son, and Barça
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The modern-day odyssey of a father and son who are held together by a single thread: Football Club Barcelona
“Why have you come back?” Fifteen-year-old Albert calmly faces his father, Jaume, who left his family four years ago. Back in his son’s bedroom, surrounded by the blue and scarlet colors of Barcelona’s soccer team, Jaume offers to take Albert to the 2006 Champions League final in Paris, where FC Barcelona will face the fearsome Arsenal team. On the train journey they share a compartment with a group of Barça fans in their twenties, whose presence complicates Jaume’s efforts to reconnect with his son. Although amazed by one supporter’s encyclopedic knowledge of past matches, Albert is particularly fascinated by another fan’s stories of hooliganism: joining a gang at away games and getting into fights. Once they get to the stadium, Jaume finds out that his father, whose health has been declining, is near death. As tension builds on the pitch and in the stands, it provokes different emotions in those witnessing the match live in the stadium and those watching it on TV, including Jaume’s ex-wife, his estranged daughter in Dublin, and his mother nursing his father at home. A masterful exploration of soccer fandom and the sense of belonging to a tribe, More Than a Team tells the moving story of a family navigating the passing of time, personal sacrifices, and the complexities of communication with those we love most.
“[An] absolutely remarkable novel . . . More Than a Team is, indeed, a novel about Barça because the particular blue and scarlet emotional geography, the way of living and feeling the club like a terrestrial force, profoundly symbolic, pervades and reinforces all the characters and the dramatic tension in the book . . . the value and the essential theme of the novel . . . is the reunion, reconciliation and, extending it a little further, the continuity, permanence, the eternal thread of blood itself.” —Avui +
Vicenç Villatoro (b. 1957) is a novelist, journalist, and politician. After earning a degree in information science, he worked in newspapers, television, and radio. His writing covers many genres, spanning fiction, poetry, song lyrics, memoir, children’s fiction, political essays, and film and documentary scripts. His work has been translated into several languages and has won several literary prizes, among them the 2010 Ramon Llull prize for Tenim un nom (More Than a Team, 2013). A former member of the Catalan parliament and director general for the promotion of culture, Villatoro is currently president of the Institut Ramon Llull, which promotes Catalan language and culture internationally.
- Category: Fiction & Literature
- Published: Jan 15, 2013
- Publisher: Barcelona Digital Editions
- Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC
- Print Length: 258 Pages
- Language: English