SENATUS has chosen Futbol Club Barcelona (FCB) as Team of the Year, in recognition of the team's amazing gameplay in sweeping all major trophies it was in contention for.
In the football calendar season for 2008/2009, FCB beat Athletic Bilbao 4–1 at the Mestalla to win the Copa del Rey for a record 25th time and days later were crowned La Liga Champions when Real Madrid lost to Villarreal.
FCB then defeated the defending champions Manchester United 2–0 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on 27 May 2009, to earn their third UEFA Champions League title and achieve a treble of championship wins.
On December 16th 2009, FCB beat Mexican side Atlante 3-1 to book their place in the World Club Cup final. The club next faces Argentine side Estudiantes, who beat South Korea's Pohang Steelers 2-1 in Tuesday's semi-final, in Saturday's final.
Futbol Club Barcelona, UNICEF team up for children in global partnership
In addition, SENATUS applauds FCB for its partnership with UNICEF forged since September 7, 2006.
The legendary sporting club's jersey has featured the UNICEF logo on the front, the first time in the club’s 107 year history that a logo has been featured. The value of the signage on the jersey is estimated at €$20 million, for UNICEF it is a donation that will remind football fans everywhere of the importance of putting children first.
In addition to the UNICEF-branded jersey, FCB has been donating at least €1.5 million per year to UNICEF over the last three years (for a total of five years) to support UNICEF programmes for children all over the world.
The club has done this in order to set up international cooperation programmes for development, supports the UN Millennium Development Goals and has made a commitment to UNICEF’s humanitarian aid programs through the donation of one and a half million euro for the next five years.
"This partnership joining UNICEF and the Barcelona Futbol Club will help push open a door of hope to thousands of children," said Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF Executive Director, during the announcement of the new partnership at the United Nations. “Barcelona shows us that sports can be a powerful, positive force for children.”
The sporting club’s philanthropic history includes its foundation, Fundació Futbol Club Barcelona, which is committed to social, cultural, educational and humanitarian activities in Catalonia, and has expanded internationally during the last few years under its motto “More than a Club.”
“At FC Barcelona, we are aware of the global dimension of soccer. The increasing number of FC Barcelona supporters and fans around the world in the last few years has been spectacular. The club has an obligation to respond to this enormous positive wave. The best way to do so is by using soccer as a tool to bring hope to millions of vulnerable children in need around the world”, said Mr. Joan Laporta, President of Futbol Club Barcelona.
UNICEF is spearheading the Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS global campaign which aims to ensure that children affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic are an integral part of the global AIDS response.