There are many Catalan athletes who are known worldwide for their achievements in competitions, leagues, tournaments and races wherever they go. In fact, many of them represent the pride of Spain in a time of financial crisis when politics is not the best example of the country. From ShBarcelona we want to mention some of these great sportswomen and sportsmen who have expanded the borders of Catalonia and Spain to all countries and wear the “Catalan brand” with pride to the whole world. If you travel abroad, the first thing that the inhabitants of the country you are visiting will probably mention is football players, basketball players, F1 racers or tennis players who have won in their respective disciplines obtaining memorable victories.
For sure you all remember the Spanish football team victory in the World Cup held in Africa, with players like Xavi Hernandez, Carles Puyol, Gerard Piqué, Cesc Fàbregas, Victor Valdes and Sergio Busquets among the players who won the title. This historic team that won such an incredible prize had many Catalan footballers among its players, and many of the most celebrated players of Barcelona team, Barça. This demonstrates the quality of Spanish football teams and raises the prestige of its players, known everywhere for this sporting landmark. Surely the name of Pep Guardiola sounds familiar to you. He is the former Barça team coach and he scored 13 very important national and international titles between 2008 and 2012.
If you look at basketball, we find names of Catalan players currently making history in the NBA, the league of the United States and the most famous in the world. Pau Gasol has fulfilled his dream of playing for the Lakers basketball team, and currently plays for the Chicago Bulls. He has also become the first Spanish player to debut in the All Stars team, made up of the best players in the NBA. His brother Marc Gasol is not far behind and currently plays on the same team in which his brother started in the NBA, the Memphis Grizzlies.
There is another discipline where we also find a lot of Catalan sportsmen, this is the racing world. Jaume Alguersuari is a racing car driver and was the youngest player to compete in Formula 1. We have to mention Màrquez Marc, who has won four titles of Grand Prix motorcycle racing in all three categories that exists.
In water we have to include sportswomen, at synchronized swimming Gemma Mengual and Gisela Pulido have multiple Olympic medals and the swimmer Mireia Belmonte, jumped on the podium lots of times during the last world swimming tournament held in Barcelona.