Mumbai: Discovery Plus, India’s first aggregated real-life entertainment streaming app, is launching an 8 episodic docuseries “Matchday – Inside FC Barcelona” through which viewers can enjoy exclusive never-seen-before footage of FC Barcelona squad during the 2018/19 season. For the first time in India, football fans can witness the everyday lives of players such as Leo Messi, Philippe Coutinho, Gerard Piqué and Marc-André ter Stegen among others, offering an intimate portrait of them both during competition and in their personal lives.
The Matchday series produced by Barça Studios -the hub for creation, production and commercialisation of FC Barcelona’s audio-visual content products- with the collaboration of Rakuten, is streaming on Discovery Plus starting October 12, and is narrated by Academy Award Nominee John Malkovich. The series captures the excitement and thrill of following one of the most loved clubs in the world and brings to the fore numerous touching stories of the team and its superstars from the pivotal 2018/2019 season.
Each chapter of Matchday will focus on a crucial game of the 2018/19 season, which becomes the common background for a number of stories about protagonists from the club that players, managers, staff etc. Each episode will allow viewers to experience ‘from inside’ how players faced all those important matches, from their arrival to the dressing room to their stepping out onto the pitch. Matchday also presents fly-on-the-wall footage of the highs of victory and how the players deal with defeats.
Dídac Lee, Board Member responsible for the Digital Area at FC Barcelona said, “We are very proud to release Matchday in India. A lot of passion has gone into this project, in which TV cameras were given unprecedented access to the everyday lives of the first team players, both on and off the pitch, showing Barça as never seen before. The narrative structure is completely different to other sports docuseries, it’s much more about telling stories around the players and showing they have lives, kids, interests and feelings. He also added, “Matchday is also a clear example of FC Barcelona’s strategy to evolve into a Global Entertainment Brand, at the crossing point between entertainment and sport, and leading the way in terms of sportainment. Our ambition is to create entertainment-focused content, with the goal of connecting to new audiences worldwide, and spreading the Club’s values and philosophy to fans around the world”.
Juliano Belletti, FC Barcelona Ambassador and the man who scored the winning goal in Paris on 17 May 2006 to earn Barça its second Champions League trophy said, “I am delighted to know that the inside story of FC Barcelona is reaching our huge fan base in India. ‘Matchday’ offers a unique view of moments and situations that the public does not usually get to see. It shows how the best footballers in the world deal with each of these situations, both happy and bitter times, through such values as effort, respect and teamwork. For me, the blaugrana colours are synonymous with a very special stage in my career and I especially appreciate the fact that this docuseries truly shows what it means to be a part of the Barca family. I am sure ‘Matchday’ will take the Club’s fans in India on a very special journey together with the team”.
Speaking on the occasion, Issac John, Digital Head, APAC – Discovery, said, “When it comes to football, FC Barcelona is one of the most revered clubs in the world but more than that as a team FC Barcelona is a pioneering example of ambition, humility, teamwork and respect- all timeless values that extend beyond sport. We are delighted to bring the inside story of such an iconic club that will resonate will cut across demographics and not just the passionate football fans in the country.” He further said, “Our partnership with Rakuten with this special series adds a new dimension of content offering on Discovery Plus and deepens our connection with the passionate sport-loving community.
Discovery Plus will release these eight episodes over the next 8 weeks on Mondays at 6 am and the episodes will also be available in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.