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Reasons to be cheerful

Ask anyone what the significance of September 11 is and their likely answer will be that it is the day that terrorists launched a shocking attack on America.

But they might not know it is also a day of commemoration for a different reason in Spain.

On September 11 every year, the Spanish region of Catalonia celebrates 'La Diada' - to commemorate the 1714 defeat in the Siege of Barcelona during the War of the Spanish Succession.

La Diada, the National Day of Catalonia, always brings a party atmosphere to Barcelona. The Catalonian flags are on display on many balconies of the houses and streets of the villages, towns and cities.

In the run up to La Diada this year, the Catalonian Parliament honoured Barca's manager Pep Guardiola for his contribution to FC Barcelona. This is another example of the historical connection and deep bond between Barca and the Catalonian people.

Guardiola is an example for Catalonia, for his passion in his work, and he is someone for young Catalonians to look up to and aspire to. He is a winner, a champion, and the Catalonian people love him.

Well, he is usually a winner, but not always.

On the evening before La Diada at the Anoeta Stadium in San Sebastian, Real Sociedad made sure it wasn’t going to be a winning weekend for Guardiola as they held Barca to a 2-2 draw.

Then it was the turn of Champions League rivals AC Milan to deny Barca a win in Catalonia, as a stoppage time equaliser from Thiago Silva made it a 2-2 double for Guardiola’s men.

The Barcelona fans enjoyed a peaceful La Diada, and two games without a win is no problem for them. They know Pep, they know his mentality, they know the players, they know that Catalonia has a team to be proud of. AC Milan may have been celebrating their own Siege of Barcelona, but all Catalonians know that their general and his soldiers are well equipped to last the course and win the war.

By David González Ametller

David González Ametller is a FC Barcelona fan and attends Barca home matches on a regular basis. He works for FIFA agent Keita Uematsu's Movement Global Football organisation, working with young Japanese players in Barcelona.

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