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We are not envious of FC Barcelona but we admire them - Barcelona Regal's Joe Ingles

Barcelona Regal small forward Joe Ingles insists that the basketball players in Catalonia's capital are not envious of the success of the great FC Barcelona.

The Australian national team star has been with Barcelona Basquet since his arrival from CB Granada in November last year and has settled well into life in his new adopted city.

Playing for Barcelona Regal is a tricky task in itself as it is one of the premier clubs in one of Europe's top three leagues but Ingles is loving his time with the club who have a huge amount of popularity among the Catalan people - but nowhere near as much as the superstars of the famous Barcelona Football Club.

"Basketball here is really popular, our team has had and still has a lot of NBA talented players," he told tribalfootball.com.

"We get recognised a fair bit when out but I think the football guys are on a whole different level, I couldn't see (Lionel) Messi going out of his house without being hounded by everyone!

"It's great living in Barcelona and playing for a club like this, the fans LOVE this club. They watch all the different sports and are extremely passionate about us winning."

As for the unbridled success of La Liga's Blaugrana, Ingles insists that the basketballers are not green with envy of their football colleagues but rather take pride in what they achieve on the pitch.

"I mean we aren't jealous or anything, they are a great team and being a part of this family we are proud of them," he added. "We go to their games and they come to ours.

"We have our own goals which they would support and they have their goals which we support. We both strive to be the best."

And even though it is much easier for Ingles and his teammates to bond because of the size of their playing roster, he is sure that the footballers, given the amount of time they spend with each other, are just as close.

"I have never been a part of anything more then 10-15 players," he said further. "I could imagine it would be a bit harder, but also they are around each other so much with games and travelling etc that they would get plenty of time to hang out. Our team here is really close and everyone gets on great!"

Ingles is a massive fan of the Nou Camp, Barcelona FC's home venue, and says that on certain days the surrounding area is so ridiculously busy as the Barcelona people come out in droves even just to get a sneak peek at their heroes on game day.

"Yeah its different for different games. The top level Spanish League games and the Champions League games are crazy, there is people surrounding Camp Nou and fans will go hours and hours early just to see Messi drive his car into the carpark.

"I live about 6-7minute drive to Camp Nou and it's a good 20-minute walk to the stadium and all my street and parks are just filled with people and cars heading to the game as there is nowhere closer to park," he said of the loyal Barca supporters.

"The stadium is unreal. It holds around 100,000 people and like I said about the fans before, they are so passionate, they have groups that chant the whole game.

"It's a different level of noise and craziness over here with their football team!!"

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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