As a public service to our readers (not to mention a good excuse to get in some high-quality surfing time), BallinEurope will hereby begin cataloguing some key European teams’ official websites. We’ll first run through the teams of the Euroleague groups sequentially A through D, followed by a rundown of Euroleague qualifiers, Eurocup contestants, EuroChallenge contenders, and finally, any other relevant teams we may have missed.
Today, coverage is devoted to the teams of Group A. Official websites will be listed in order of amount of English-language coverage. This is not to say that any team is indebted to run English-language material and certainly no implication that websites without English are inferior. It’s simply just that the lingua franca of BallinEurope.com is, well, English. Now open up a fresh browser window and enter surfing mode.
Surely due to the team’s international popularity, Regal FC Barcelona has an admirable amount of good stuff in English. Get ready to aimlessly kill lots of worktime clicking around higgledy-piggledy here; the video player embed (albeit a tiny one) is a nice touch and this writer is shamed to admit how many man-hours i blew on the homepage link to stories of FC Barca’s exhibition games against the Los Angeles Lakers in autumn 2008…
Group A rivals Montepaschi Siena sport a gorgeous official site with an excellent green-on-black theme. There’s English-language content aplenty, too, and gobs of English-language videos. On a scale of one to ten, Montepaschi gets 9.9 for style and 9.5 for clickability.
Fenerbahçe Ülker puts in an admirable effort webwise, with material available at the official site quadralingually: in Turkish, German, English, and Portuguese. Material not in Turkish is basically comprised of game summaries (English-language version here, Portuguese-language here, for examples) and not much else, but again, how many clubs have anything in four languages?
Plus, the Fenerbahçe website has news on the club’s other sports teams, covering football, basketball, volleyball and the always popular “other.”
The Cibona Zagreb official website is a bit busy but is cram-packed with information on the Košarkaši Klub. The terrible, awful, sad, tragic, and just straight-up bad news for many of us? Just check out the “English Summary” page, the sole information available in English.
A dearth of English-language material graces the official websites of Asvel Lyon Villeurbanne and Zalgiris Kaunas as well. Asvel prefers instead to speak two other international languages, i.e. French and Tony Parkerese. Ici, il y a Tony. And there he is smiling slyly again once the visitor entre dans le site.
Those who can understand read and/or spoken French, on the other hand, will enjoy a goodly amount of information on the club right down through its youth leagues, as befits a proper Euroleague franchise.
Similar kudos go to Zalgiris Kaunas, but for those who understand the mysterious descendant of Sanskrit known as Lithuanian, the real gold (and red and green) mine appears to be sitting at the team’s fan website. If only a tad more than .05% of the world’s population* could read it…
Which segues neatly into today’s handy suggestion from BallinEurope to the Euroleague: How about teams entering the Euroleague for the first time get the services of a translator/writer in their choice of second language for one year, salary to be paid by the league? Or even better, how about encouraging internships for university students interested in sports journalism or sports-reportage translation, burgeoning fields across Europe?
Just a selfish thought, really, just because i’m dying to read about the Green Death. So to speak.
* Percentage derived by dividing 4,000,000 – a generous estimate for the number of Lithuanian speakers – into this number.