The Filipino Manny Pacquiao, one of the great boxers of all time, stepped onto the Camp Nou pitch this afternoon, visited the Barça Museum - where he was surprised that a compatriot, Paulino Alcántara, had been a star - and attended the many visitors who asked for a selfie. President Joan Laporta, who was turning 60, gave him a shirt for next season, as well as his wife and his four children. The champion and senator told this newspaper that he intends to buy a house in Barcelona, partly by the sea, partly because his ancestors were Spanish.
World champion in eight divisions, Philippine national hero and a highly respected boxer, Manny Pacquiao is traveling as a tourist part of Europe with his family -Switzerland, France, Monaco, Barcelona and later Madrid- and the recognition of those who recognize him, like yesterday It happened at the Barça facilities. “It is my first time in Barcelona and in Spain, where my predecessors were from. I like Barcelona and I am very happy, they were pure Spanish. In this World Cup of football I go with Spain”.
Pacquiao was surprised by the grandeur of the Camp Nou and discovered that his admirers Pau and Marc Gasol -basketball and boxing are the two great sports in the Philippines- have a Barça past. He retired last August 21 in Las Vegas, with a record of 62 wins (39 via K.O.), 8 losses and 2 draws.
Do you already miss boxing?
-Yes! I am a boxer!
The talk is relaxed, in an office at the Barça museum where he has posed with a European Cup. He has good intentions: to buy a flat in Barcelona – the family is delighted – and prepare to one day be elected president of the Philippines. “I want to fight corruption. It is the cancer of the Philippines.”