Champion’s Parade – From Barcelona to Bengaluru – A personal experience

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Bengaluru FC team members As Bengaluru FC won this season’s I-League, captain Sunil Chhetri,  defenders Gurtej Singh and Manpreet Singh became three players to win back to back I-Leagues as they were a part of the defending champions Churchill Brothers’ squad last season. With Bengaluru’s win I also was able  to experience a distinct achievement – witnessing open bus parade for the second year in a row. How? I was in Barcelona for a year and witnessed Barca’s open bus parade after their La Liga victory and this year Bengaluru showed the way in India.

Barcelona fans open bus parade
A street in Barcelona few minutes before the celebrations

So, how do I compare the two bus parades? Firstly, comparing Barca’s celebration with Bengaluru FC’s celebration would be unfair and I won’t even attempt that. I enjoyed both the events and felt the connection made by the club with the local community. Barca is more than a century old and its efforts to connect with Barcelona has a long history. Unlike Barca, Bengaluru FC is a year old club and it doesn’t have the luxury of playing in a football crazy country or in a popular league, yet BFC has done a commendable job in connecting with the Bangalore youth and that reflects in their home matches and in this open bus parade. Here, I would like to share my experience in a series of photographs from both the events. Bengaluru FC with ILeague trophy Barca celebrating Barca Celebrations Fans in Bengaluru FC open parade

Tito Vilanova Barca Celebrations
Tito Vilanova
BFC players dancing at the top of the bus
BFC players dancing at the top of the bus

Young BARCELONA SUPPORTERSBarca Baby Barcalona kidsDavid Villa Barcelona Bengaluru FC fans BFC players Barcelona Catalan Police Sunil Chhetri fan

 

Let’s hope that other Indian clubs take a cue from Bengaluru FC and connect with the local community. Creating a fan base is not easy but at-least one can start. Bengaluru FC has started that work and all Indian football fans will hope that they continue that even when success dries up temporarily.

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