This Wednesday, FC Barcelona was honoured by the visit of Filipino boxing legend Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Dapidran Pacquiao, who was received by president Joan Laporta and vice-president Rafa Yuste. One of the greatest fighters of all time, Pacquiao is on a private visit to Barcelona with his family, but wanted to see the Camp Nou and take a look around the museum, dressing room and other facilities, which he did in the company of Laporta, who has been a personal acquaintance for some time.
‘Pac-Man’ is the only winner of nine world titles in eight different categories, and was named boxer of the 2000s by the World Boxing Council (WBC). Having retired for good in 2021 after 25 years in the ring, he is also famed for his many others talents, which range from singing and acting to currently being the president of the PDP-Laban political party and having a seat in his country’s congress from 2010 to 2016 and is now a senator. He is also passionate about basketball and coached the Kia Motors team in the Philippines.
Pacquiao enjoyed meeting fans who recognised him as he took the tour, and also took a selfie with the Champions League trophy. Naturally he was especially interested in learning about Paulino Alcántara, a Filipino like himself and regarded as the first Barça superstar, scoring 369 goals in 357 games from 1912 to 1927.
Laporta presented the boxer with personalised home and away shirts in the brand new design, to which Pacquiao responded by saying “it is an honour to be here and to visit this big stadium in Barcelona, to meet the president and the club members, and I am very grateful for the welcome I have received.”