From Russia to Barcelona: The intrepid road trip of the PB Sant Petersburg

REPORTS 13 Dec 2018 - CMP

10 countries and 10.000 kilometres of trip to attend the 39th Supporters Club World Congress

Docens of FC Barcelona penyistes from all around travelled to Russia, on the occasion of the last World Cup. This mobilization was the result of an initiative that, rather than being the simple mobilisation of blaugrana pride, this journey formed a bridged between Catalan penyistes and the Penya Blaugrana de San Petersburg. A bridge which culminated, in the middle of summer, in an intrepid road trip that brought the Russian penyistes to Barcelona to attend the 39th Supporters Club World Congress.

“Our journey is proof that no distance, political differences or racial prejudice can get in the way of a friendship,” stated George Nemykin, president of the PB de San Petersburg, still emotional after returning to Russia following the unforgettable experience.

A car journey that covered over 10,000 kilometres with the unique and exclusive goal of following the team of their dreams and getting better acquainted with national and international supporters. According to Nemykin, the Barça hymn contains a clear message that became the motto of their trip: “Si del sud o del nord, ara estem d’acord” [“Whether from the south or north, now we all agree”].

A unique trip full of comradeship

Eight people took part in the adventure that commenced in Saint Petersburg at the beginning of August. With two cars decorated with Barça motifs especially for the occasion, the Russian culers set off on a 10-day journey to the Catalan capital, determined to arrive on time for the Supporters Club World Congress.

During the trip, the Saint Petersburg culers set themselves a challenge: to meet the blaugrana supporters clubs they came across en route to share their experiences and passion for football that unites them. To do this, the supporters club contacted 10 international entities from Poland, Belgium, France and Catalonia, all of whom welcomed the Russian fans with open arms.

After the long trip, the supporters club president feels deeply proud of the enthusiasm and perseverance shown by the entity he represents, but above all he is grateful to all the penyistes who pulled together to make this a unique experience, and to the Supporters Club World Confederation of for their assistance during the trip.

A young Russian supporters club highly regarded in Catalonia

Russia currently has three Barça supporters clubs, of which the PB San Petersburg is the oldest. Founded in 2016, just two years later it now boasts some 200 members.

While the main goal of the Saint Petersburg entity was to attend the Supporters Club World Congress this wasn’t their only stop.

The fans also made an eagerly awaited final stopover at the Penya Blaugrana Móra d'Ebre, whom they consider as family. “They are our Catalan brothers, and we visit them every year,” says Nemykin. This is because in 2016 the Town Hall of Móra d'Ebre signed an official fellowship agreement with the PB Sant Petersburg, who from then on they’ve always visited prior to the Congress. The Russian president concludes: “This fraternity is something extraordinary, one of those things that happens once in a lifetime and is a clear example of friendship without borders.”

As well as the supporters club from Móra d'Ebre, the PB Sant Petersburg is also highly regarded by the PB Marc Bartra de Sant Jaume dels Domenys. Some time ago, the members of the Catalan supporters club travelled to Saint Petersburg, while this year the Russian penyistes visited the Catalan town and supporters club for the first time.