We'll Always Have Paris, a new Insider documentary, presented by Turkish Airlines

May 04, 2020 by Euroleague.net Print

Stars of Barcelona's 2010 EuroLeague-winning squad reunite

A decade after they captured the EuroLeague title in Paris, the stars of the dominant 2009-10 FC Barcelona squad reunite for the latest film in the Euroleague Basketball Insider Documentary Series, We'll Always Have Paris. Widely considered to be one of the strongest EuroLeague teams in competition history, FC Barcelona lost just twice all season while playing crushing defense and eye-pleasing team-oriented offense to reach the Final Four and capture the club's second title.

The Insider is presented by Turkish Airlines, whose original sponsorship of the EuroLeague began at the 2010 Final Four and months later developed into the title sponsorship that has branded the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague as one of the most intense, dramatic and colorful sports competitions in the world.

To mark the 10th anniversary of Barcelona's accomplishment, Coach Xavi Pascual, Euroleague Basketball Legend Juan Carlos Navarro, team captain Roger Grimau, Erazem Lorbek, Victor Sada and Jordi Trias got together for an intimate dinner that was captured by Euroleague Basketball Insider Documentary Series cameras. Ricky Rubio and Boni Ndong sent messages to their former teammates that were shared during the meal, too.

The documentary is filled with interviews from a dozen protagonists from that season plus never-before-aired archival footage. In addition to the players at the dinner, Rubio, Pete Mickeal, Terence Morris, Fran Vazquez and Gianluca Basile were all interviewed for the film.

As great as that season's Barcelona team was, things almost fell apart when they lost Game 2 of the playoffs at home – and thus the homecourt advantage – to archrival Real Madrid and would have to win in the Spanish capital to save their season.

"When we lost the second [game], we received so many comments saying: 'Ah, all season long they're good. But when it comes down to it, they're bad,' Coach Pascual recalled of the criticism levied on the team.

The situation also affected Navarro after he slumped to a season-low 4 points in Game 2. "Between the second and third game, I was not sleeping, sleeping badly, very nervous. I was coming off a very bad shooting streak at the time," Navarro said. "That happens to a lot of shooters. I went through a period of mistrust, that you go to train and you don't see yourself... And that one came in, and I went from not scoring anything to scoring 8 triples in the third and fourth [games]."

In Paris, Barcelona outlasted a star-studded CSKA Moscow squad in the semifinals, which should have given the team great confidence ahead of the championship game versus Olympiacos Piraeus. However, for some that was the toughest time of all.

"I remember the night before we played the championship game," Mickeal said. "I never get nervous. Like, when I say never, I never get nervous. My stomach was like turned, I couldn't even eat. For the first time in my life, I was so nervous that I didn't know what to do."

Just as was the case all season, the victory in the championship game would be a true team effort with Sada, who did not play at all in the semifinal, coming off the bench for 21 minutes and making several key plays.

"With a minute and a half or two left… I looked at the fans who were there… And I started crying saying: 'We fulfilled our lifelong dream.' Said Sada. "And it was incredible… And Roger lifting the cup…. I think we all lifted it."

Reflecting now on that Barcelona team, the players agreed on two things. It was special because of the brand of basketball they played and their relationships with each other.

"It was a very modern team, a team that when playing well, didn't just run, but could surprise the opponent with many different things," Trias explained. "Frankly, it is a team that made people really enjoy it, and ourselves, because in the end, you realized that the basketball the team was playing was at a very high level."

"The year we won the EuroLeague was a very special year," Rubio, who was still a teenager at the time, revealed. "I always remember it with some of you, which I think was one of the first years in my career, but it will be the year I remember the most, especially for how I spent it, not for what we won, that too, but for how I spent it with all of you. It became not only a group of friends, but a family I think."

We'll Always Have Paris is the latest film in the Euroleague Basketball Insider Documentary Series, which has profiled the great players, personalities and teams of European basketball past and present.

Born in 2015, The Insider Documentary Series goes beyond the glare of game nights and digs into the personal stories of the biggest European basketball stars. The Insider cameras capture the intimacy behind the spotlights and provide full access to the protagonists and the people who know them best.

Past Insider Documentaries have profiled coaches like Zeljko Obradovic; players like Shane Larkin, Luka Doncic, Nando De Colo and Vassilis Spanoulis; referee Anne Prather; championship teams such as Maccabi Tel Aviv from 2004 and 2005 and CSKA Moscow of 2019, and cities such as Istanbul and Belgrade – all taking viewers to the heart of what makes basketball a sport that moves people so deeply.