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Play football in Barcelona


Barcelona is a city of football fanatics, and is full of sports grounds. Each district has its own local team. The Barcelona International Football League is especially popular with expats. This was created 12 years ago by a group of English teachers who weren’t satisfied with just watching the sport and wanted to have a regular game themselves at the weekends. It has since developed into a highly competitive tournament with a proper rulebook and 18 teams (11 a side), attracting a thoroughly mixed bag of international amateur players. Many teams carry the names of a sponsor, with the majority being the Irish/ English pubs in Barcelona. However, if you want to join a team there’s not much point going down to that pub hoping to buy the right person a drink and wangle a place on the squad, since they probably won’t be there.


For those interested in joining, the best thing to do is to post a message on the “new players” section of their website, regularly checked by the team captains . If you’re any good don’t sell yourself short, word from the top is that nobody is likely to take much interest if you “want to have the occasional kick about to work off that beer belly”. It may be an amateur league, but it’s taken seriously enough to have a rigorous selection process and each team has its hopes of bring the Cup home at the end of the season. Even those who are currently at the bottom of the league, as a spokesperson from the Flaherty team confided, “We may not appear the best team on paper but it’s at the critical part of the game that the team comes good.” And after all, it’s not just about winning the cup. “Certainly when it comes to the social aspect Flaherty’s is top of the league!” Ah yes, the social aspect…this must surely be a contributing factor to what makes football the most popular sport on the planet, both for those playing for and those following a team.

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