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Superbru is bigger than Barcelona

I'm well aware that I'm a little late to the party here, but things have been busy here at HQ with the Cricket World Cup and all. If you're playing one of our games, I hope you're enjoying it, even if you are a Proteas or Afghanistan fan.

A week or two back, Superbru became bigger than Barcelona. "Which Barcelona?" I hear you cry.

The team?

Not Lionel Messi's team, obviously, which has 200 million fans on social media alone. That said, Jack at HQ recently showed me Barca's controversial 2019-20 home shirt, which looks like a cross between a chessboard and a grungy early 90s lumberjack shirt. Maybe it'll spark enough dislikes to reel them back into our sights. I'm not feeling too confident though.

The song?

Others among you will naturally assume I mean Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé's 1987 hit rock opera song, "Barcelona", which became an especially big deal at the 1992 Summer Olympics. If you thought I meant the Ed Sheeran song, keep quiet about it, because I might accidentally delete your Superbru account. Now, I've ferreted around on the web for the last 5 minutes to no avail trying to find some sales figures for the single or album on which Freddie and Montserrat's song appeared, but I think we can all agree that Superbru can't ever be bigger than either of their voices, let alone the spine-tingling combination of the two. All together now!

Barcelona - It was the first time that we met
Barcelona - How can I forget
The moment that you stepped into the room you took my breath away

The city

However, at 1,620,941 (and counting) citizens, the Republic of Superbru is bigger than the city of Barcelona, which houses 1,620,343 merry Barcelonans within its city limits.

Let me get the standard disclaimer out the way for the pedants out there: no, obviously not everyone who has ever played Superbru is currently playing Superbru and yes of course, sadly, some Superbru players have passed away, and no, unlike in a Zimbabwean election, dead people aren't counted in Barcelona's population, but we don't count people who have emigrated (unsubscribed) and more to the point we can all still relax and enjoy a light-hearted milestone, can't we?

I visited Barcelona once, a long, long time ago in the heady summer of 1999 while on a backpacking trip with my buddy Don. We spent two nights sleeping in stifling heat in a nasty hostel just off La Rambla. It was and is a cool place. We were blown away by the Catalan Modernist architecture of Antoni Gaudí, which remains timelessly weird and beautiful. If you can go there to see it, do! Park Guell, Casa Batllo, Casa Mila and the rest are magnificent.

If you build it, they will come

The crowning glory (other than the Nou Camp, obviously) is the Sagrada Familia, an astonishing cathedral that has taken longer to build than a Hashim Amla innings. Our man Gaudí took on the architectural duties a year after groundbreaking in 1882 and worked on the project until his death in 1926. The Catalans have cheerily chipped away at the job ever since. When Don and I visited the church in 1999 it was maybe two thirds complete. Once you'd gone up a narrow spiral staircase it was almost impossible to get back out as your way down was blocked by non-queuing European visitors. Perhaps in the twenty years since they've solved this, though I doubt it. The current project plan has the structural work being completed in 2026, with the finishing decorative touches coming in 2032, but I wouldn't hold your breath.

Camp Bru

Camp Nou, Barcelona FC's ground, can accommodate 99,354 spectators, which is pretty major. If they built a twin ground next door (Camp Bru?), we'd be able to seat our entire 198k-strong Super Rugby audience across the two stadia. There looks to be a spot of open ground at the neighbouring Jardins de la Maternitat, so I will ask, but I can't promise anything.

Hello, Liuzhou!

Right, I'm sure you'll agree that's enough rambling about Barcelona. Our next target is Liuzhou in China. I have not been there with Don (or anyone else) and I imagine there is no Antoni Gaudí architecture, but we'll find something to celebrate about it as we leave it in our wake.

Barcelona - Such a beautiful horizon
Barcelona - Like a jewel in the sun
Por ti seré gaviota de tu bella mar
Barcelona - Suenan las campanas
Barcelona - Abre tus puertas al mundo
47,714 caps
Well, that should send the Catalans amongst the pigeons..... Cheersh!
27 Jun 12:31
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I intend to still be playing Superbru before, during & after my death Andy. In fact it will probably be the cause of it. BTW in the USA a recently deceased guy actually won an election as he was preferred to the Mugabe-esque Republican candidate. Yep Barcelona is a 'Must-see' place. You need at least 4 days. Word of warning though (I sound like Keith from 'The Office') I had to fight off two would-be muggers at 4 a.m. as I waited to be buzzed in to my hostel, just off Las Ramblas. My 'fearless' travel companion just let the door shut behind him as I elbowed & kneed my way towards it, protecting my pocket contents. It was the SECOND time that night they had hassled us!
27 Jun 12:52
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I'm delighted to hear that you'll be playing Superbru during and after your death, JP! 1 Jul 09:01
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I would have mentioned dead people if that hadn't been addressed, there are probably also people with multiple accounts like on Facebook, maybe to get multiple bites of the cherry in terms of efforts to win competitions (i.e. not replicating picks across different accounts). There's another Barcelona, a 1994 movie. I haven't seen it and it's a fairly obscure art house movie so being bigger than that wouldn't be anything to crow about.
27 Jun 23:49
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I rented Barcelona on VHS. Two American Yuppie type male cousins trying to get laid in Barcelona in the late 80's. Its dialogue heavy but that rare thing, an intelligent comedy. Director Whit Stillman (who lived in Spain) has been compared to Woody Allen. He specialises in films about posh, over privileged, generally right wing, twenty something Americans trying to make sense of the world. They get rings run around them by intellectual Anti-American, sophisticated European women they are trying to bed. Lots of slagging off of the CIA & Hamburgers and about 50 other iconic USA cultural things. These yanks just don't get why they are resented and not thanked for great inventions! But its a 'Marmite' Love or Hate movie but Barcelona looks great as do the hot women! 28 Jun 11:35
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Time to add the 1994 Barcelona movie to my must-watch list! I'll try to get it on VHS like Jersey-puller. I might need to buy a VHS player to go with it, and those are hard to find these days. 1 Jul 09:00
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Auckland, New Zealand next - 1,628,900?
30 Jun 06:22
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YES! Thanks for saving me on this one, Seagle! It would be unacceptable to miss out Auckland and its marvellous isthmus. 1 Jul 09:02
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Up from 870.000 in 1990. Gosh you would think they might have a half decent Rugby team by now? BTW If you say isthmus too many times you will develop a permanent lisp. Jutht thaying. 2 Jul 12:31
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Pedant speaking: I'd actually half that number based on actual players participating in the various tournaments and not just wall flowers.
How about Astana the capital of Kazakhstan with a population of 835000.
Just saying 4 Jul 08:36
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Although I'm sure Auckland will accept your dubious accolade
It's a novel light hearted feature... 4 Jul 08:43
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When is last season's results being removed as it is still reflecting?
8 Jul 10:38
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I'm referring to pool results and leaderboards.Kr Craig De KlerkMBE) aka Michael Ballack
8 Jul 10:42
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