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FC Barcelona plays Manchester City and refugee children are the winners


When FC Barcelona took to the field for the 44th Joan Gamper Trophy, what mattered to 25 million refugees and others helped by UNHCR around the world was not the outcome – Barcelona lost 1-0 to Manchester City – but the distinctive jerseys the Spanish side were wearing.

In front of more than 94,000 fans who turned out for the annual pre-season competition that carries the name of the FC Barcelona founder, the players sported new MÉS campaign jerseys specially designed for the occasion by Nike.

MÉS is an alliance between FC Barcelona, Nike and UNHCR launched in 2008 with the slogan “More than a Club” to raise money for sports and education projects for young and vulnerable refugees, by selling specially-designed sweatshirts, T-shirts and caps.

By wearing the latest jerseys, the FC Barcelona players intended to draw attention to the plight of the 42 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, nearly 25 million of whom were receiving protection or assistance from UNHCR at the end of 2008.