THE oldest living ex-president of Barcelona FC, Agusti Montal Costa, has died today at the age of 82.
Costa was the man responsible for the famous motto ‘mes que un club’ [more than a club] seen written across the seats at the Camp Nou. He held the presidency from 1969 to 1977 and was keen to accentuate the club’s Catalan identity, despite the limitations set out by the Franco dictatorship.
Costa pioneered a club newsletter and introduced the use of Catalan, printing membership cards in the language, and even using it over the PA system during matches, an action for which he was formally reprimanded.
A fundamental figure in the history of Barcelona, Costa will be particularly remembered for having signed one of the club’s most emblematic players, Johan Cruyff. The Dutchman arrived in 1973 and soon became a key part of the Barcelona machine, influencing the game both on and off the pitch.
Upon hearing of his death, Barcelona FC has issued a statement offering their deepest condolences to his family, sharing in their pain along with members of the club and football fans worldwide.