Shakira hails Barcelona soccer club as model of teamwork

Jerusalem, June 22 (IANS/EFE) Colombian songstress Shakira said here Tuesday that she wants a world that emulates the teamwork of the title-winning F.C. Barcelona soccer club to "win the match against discrimination".

"I would like a world that functions like a team, just like Barca does. In this way, we will be able to win the match against discrimination," she said at a press conference while her boyfriend, Barcelona star Gerard pique, looked on from the first row of seats.

Shakira made mention of the Spanish soccer club again when she recalled that some of the hundreds of Israeli and Arab children who Tuesday welcomed her to a bilingual school in Jerusalem were wearing Barcelona jerseys.

"This visit is an opportunity to emphasize the importance of how to raise our children," the superstar said.

Shakira is participating in the inaugural session of a forum of conferences sponsored by Israeli President Shimon Peres and entitled "Facing the 2011 of tomorrow", an initiative that - among other things - provides a forum for discussing strategies to guarantee protection and education for children.

The Peres foundation has signed cooperation accords with the F.C. Barcelona Foundation and Shakira's Pies Descalzos Foundation designed to promote education and training of children in areas such as sports.

On Tuesday, Shakira was received with great celebration by hundreds of children who sang her hit "Waka-Waka" at an event organized by UNICEF in the schoolyard.

The singer mingled with the children and embraced and greeted all those that she could, after which she sat among them in the first row of seats to watch the show they put on for her.

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