PB Turin: A culé stronghold in 'bianconero' territory
REPORTS 27 Oct 2020 - World Confederation of Supporters' Clubs
The penya has 80 members who never miss a thing whenever FC Barcelona are playing
Turin is a football mad city. Its biggest team, Juventus, is one of Europe’s heavyweights and is the most supported in all of Italy, but is also one that so many clubs and supporters up and down the country view as its biggest rival, and none more so than the city’s other big club: Torino. But in the midst of this ‘bianconero’ domain, there is also room for the blaugrana colours. And much of the merit falls upon the Penya Barcelonista de Turin, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year.
As its president Vittorio Pegone explains, social networks had a lot to do with the creation of the club: “The five founders all met on Facebook, where we shared our views about Barça. United by the same passion, and keen to share it with other Culers in the city, we decided to take things a step further and form the PB Turin”. From those five pioneers in 2010, the club now has over 80 members.
Identified with the Barça values
The last decade has seen the PB Turin achieve its goal of bringing in more and more fans from Piedmont, many of whom have admired the club since much longer back, and not only for sporting reasons. Pegone is one such example: “I fell in love with the Dream Team of the early 1990s, but also with the kind of club it is and the culture and values that it represents. I didn’t only become a Barça fan because they won things, I felt identified with the way they see the world.”
Several of the members share these views with their president, but also admit that it can be difficult to live so far away from the team they love, especially in a city that already has such an important team and such a strong local rivalry. Hence PB Turin must be congratulated for the tremendous work they have done to bring together Barça fans in their city and inspire them into action. They often work in unison with the other five penyas in Italy, with which they share excellent relations, making Italy one of the most potent regions of the World Federation.
Guaranteed support in Italy
The Champions League gives the Penya Barcelonista de Turin their best chance to see their team in action. A number of them went to the final in Berlin in 2015, and have been on other trips too, but it’s when Barça come to Italy that they get their best opportunity. And they have been lucky in this regard, with teams from Serie A regularly crossing paths with the Catalans. Says Pegone: “We went to Napoli for the second round game in 2019/20, and to Milan in 2018 and 2019 for the games with Internazionale in the group stage, and to Rome for the quarter final in 2017/18.”
But their fondest memories were when FC Barcelona played at Juventus in the Champions League quarter final in April 2017: “We organised the pre-game events for Barça fans that came to Turin, including a dinner attended by the president of the World Confederation of Penyas, Antoni Guil, as well as representatives from the other Italian clubs.” They also organised a visit to Superga, the hill where the whole Torino team was killed in an air crash 70 years ago. “We wanted to pay homage to them”, says Pegone. “And show something of the tragic story that had such an impact on our city.”
During the season, the meeting point for the PB Turin is a bar near the centre that has become a veritable blaugrana sanctuary, especially on the days of such grand occasions as El Clásico, big European matches or finals. From there, the penya does all it can to keep attracting and expanding the Culer community in Turin.