Alex Roca, who recently became the first athlete in the world with 76% disability to complete a marathon by crossing the finish line of Zurich Marato Barcelona 2023 with a time of 5:50:51, took up the ceremonial first kick during the Barcelona vs Real Madrid El Clasico on Sunday. Roca is the ambassador of the FC Barcelona Foundation as well as Nike’s only athlete in the world with cerebral palsy.
Ahead of the start of this important EL Clasico, Roca had the ceremonial first kick. After his first kick, the athlete was honoured with applause from all around the park. Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets and Real Madrid's Karim Benzema also walked towards him to applaud for his gesture at the Camp Nou.
Roca suffered herpetic viral encephalitis when he was six months old, which later led to cerebral palsy and 76% disability. Alex, who has reduced mobility on the left side of the body and communicates using sign language, then started to prepare for the marathon as he wanted to send across a message around the world.
He said, “The limit is up to you and if you want to achieve an objective, whatever difficulties you have, with attitude, willpower, perseverance and resilience, you can achieve everything you propose. And if you do not achieve it, you will have given everything, and you must feel gratified.”
Football fans from across the world witnessed a thrilling El Clasico match with Real Madrid defeating their bitterest rivals by a four-goal margin leading their team to Copa del Rey final. It is for the first time that the Spain-based FC defeated their arch-rivals with such a margin since January 1995.