In town to take on the L.A. Galaxy at the Rose Bowl, two members of the celebrated FC Barcelona soccer team met with local students on Monday during a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) event at the Marriott Marina del Rey Hotel.
The event was part of a UNICEF effort to encourage sports and other forms of physical play as a crucial element of children’s physical, social and cognitive development.
FC Barcelona midfielder Andrés Iniesta Lújan and goalie Marc-André Ter Stegen signed autographs, posed for pictures and answered questions about their playing experience, motivation and how they became soccer champions.
“Soccer is my passion. When you get a chance to enjoy your passion, it’s never hard,” team captain Iniesta Lújan said through an interpreter in response to a student’s question about the most difficult part about being a soccer star.
“For all of us, it’s important to be [role models] for all children,” Ter Stegen said.
— Gary Walker