Barca players arrive in Israel

Celebrated Catalan soccer team lands at Ben-Gurion Airport for two-day visit in Israel, PA. Trip begins with special event in Hebron, to be followed Sunday by visit to Western Wall, happening with Jewish and Arab children at Bloomfield Stadium

VIDEO - After long expectations and planning, celebrated Catalan soccer team FC Barcelona landed at Ben-Gurion Airport on Saturday afternoon for a two-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.


Flight No. K7625 arrived at Israel's international airport, carrying some 140 people who will escort Barca members throughout their visit.


Video courtesy of 


The delegation is led by the football club's president, Sandro Rossell, who will return to Spain immediately after the visit and won’t continue with the rest of the team to its planned matches in Thailand and Malaysia.


Listen to Barca being greeted in Israel (courtesy of Israel Airports Authority)

Barca players get off plane (photo courtesy of Debby Communications)

צילום: באדיבות דבי תקשורת

Messi adapts to Israeli humidity (Photo: Daniel Bar-On)

צילום: באדיבות דבי תקשורת

Barca President Sandro Rossell (Photo: Daniel Bar-On)


Immediately after landing, Barca players left the airport to the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem, where they will spend the night. From there they headed to the West Bank city of Hebron, where a special event was held at the Dura Stadium in front of 25,000 viewers, mostly children.


"We are the No. 1 team in Israel and Palestine," said Barca's Deputy President Javier Faus, before arriving in the PA. "We are very satisfied with this visit because it's about community service. It's very important for Barca's fans."


Jibril Rajoub, chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, said during a press conference: "I thank Barcelona for coming here and I hope they come here in the future as well."

צילום: AFP

Gerard Piqué waves to fans in Bethlehem (Photo: AFP)


Barca, which funded the trip itself, giving up on a friendly match in India which would have yielded the club €3 million (about $4 million), visited churches in Bethlehem and Hebron before the press conference.


On Sunday, the players are scheduled to visit the Western Wall and meet with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


The visit will conclude with a special happening at the Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, together with Jewish and Arab children invited by the Peres Center for Peace.

צילום: מוטי קמחי

Bus taking Barca players on their Israel tour (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

צילום: מוטי קמחי

Barca fan waiting for his idols at Ben-Gurion Airport (Photo: Motti Kimchi)


The team includes quite a few stars: Lionel Messi, Neymar, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández and Gerard Piqué. Veteran captain Carles Puyol did not arrive in Israel due to an injury.

צילום: מוטי קמחי

They're already here, and so is the bus (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

צילום: באדיבות דבי תקשורת

Some get to see them up close (Photo: Daniel Bar-On)

צילום: באדיבות דבי תקשורת

Messi and Pinto (photo courtesy of Debby Communications)

צילום: חיים צח

Israeli fans (Photo: Haim Zach)



פרסום ראשון: 08.03.13, 20:44
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