Advanced Television

Rakuten TV to premiere Bojan Krkić, Beyond the Smile in November

October 19, 2023

Streaming platform Rakuten TV is set to launch Bojan Krkić, Beyond The Smile, a documentary that details the career of the Catalan striker and highlights all the difficulties experienced by one of FC Barcelona’s greatest talents, which will be available on the platform in 42 countries for free from November 3rd.

The documentary, which focuses on the mental health of the footballer from Linyola during his career, begins with a conversation between Bojan Krkić and Doctor Monseny, the psychoanalyst who treated him during his most difficult moments at FC Barcelona. The visit to the doctor’s office acts as a guiding thread throughout the plot.

Starting with Bojan Krkić’s career in the youth categories of FC Barcelona and his debut in the first team, a period in which he stands out as the top scorer in the history of La Masia, the documentary outlines his difficult start in a dressing room full of stars and complicated moments.  Despite the mental struggles and anxiety attacks, Bojan’s exceptional performance on the field, scoring 12 goals in his first season, saw him sharing the front line with Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho or Samuel Eto’o.

The documentary deals in detail with the controversy surrounding Bojan’s decision not to join the Spanish national team for Euro 2008, as a result of his prioritising his mental health. This career-defining moment is examined in depth, using the testimony of his mother. Contrary to the official version, which claimed gastroenteritis, the real reason is revealed, unleashing a media controversy.

Bojan’s second stage at FC Barcelona is explored, coinciding with the arrival of Pep Guardiola to the first team, marking Bojan’s loss of prominence in the team. After a crucial moment in the Champions League finals in Rome and Wembley, where he barely played a minute, Bojan opted to leave the club of his life, FC Barcelona. A painful process, his decision allows him to explore new horizons and regain his sense of importance in teams such as Stoke City, Roma, Ajax, AC Milan, Mainz, Alaves, Montreal and Vissel Kobe.

Subsequently, Bojan returned to Barcelona, to Camp Nou, to retire and perform his farewell act. This experience transformed him into a much wiser and mature Bojan, looking to the future with hope and determination.

Testimonies and interviews are key parts of Bojan’s documentary. Football stars, family and friends appear, sharing their experience and support in the most difficult moments of the striker’s life:

  • Joan Laporta – The current FC Barcelona president explains Bojan’s arrival in the first team, his impact as a youth prodigy and the expectations generated.
  • Andrés Iniesta – Bojan’s teammate at FC Barcelona and Vissel Kobe. With 39 titles to his name, including a World Cup, Iniesta also faced anxiety and mental health issues, providing an additional perspective on this challenge. He was a key support for Bojan in difficult times. In Japan, their paths crossed again and they have a strong relationship.
  • Gerard Piqué – Teammate and reference at FC Barcelona, also a close friend of Bojan.  He will reveal Bojan’s arrival to the first team and how he adapted as a minor in a high-level dressing room.
  • Frank Rijkaard – FC Barcelona coach between 2003 and 2008. He bet on Bojan, making his debut at the age of 16. He tells of his key role in the beginning of Bojan’s career.
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Bojan’s position partner at FC Barcelona. Initially a starter, Bojan relegated him to the bench. Despite this, they maintained a close relationship and mutual appreciation. The Swedish striker contrasts their roles and personalities in the team.
  • Thierry Henry – Bojan’s teammate at FC Barcelona, he supported the youngster from Linyola in the dressing room. Thierry Henry arrived at Barça as a star after having excelled in England and the French national team. He was like a big brother to Bojan, protecting him. Henry will give us perspective on how Bojan adapted to the first team at 16, the difficulties he faced and how the dressing room handled the arrival of a prodigy.
  • Txiki Beguiristáin – Key sports director in the commitment to Bojan in his formative stage at FC Barcelona, rejecting millionaire offers from other foreign clubs. His role is essential to understand the arrival of Bojan to the first team.
  • Doctor Josep Monseny – Bojan Krkić’s trusted psychoanalyst. Through a psychoanalysis session with him, Bojan will revisit the most difficult and decisive moments of his sporting career.
  • Bojan Krkić y Maria Lluïsa Pérez – Bojan Krkić Pérez’s father and mother have always been his support in his sporting career. Share with us how they experienced the key moments from their perspective, the struggles, the change of life and the suffering over many years. Their stories are essential to understand Bojan Krkić.
  • Pau Clavero – Responsible for Nike signing Bojan Krkić as a child, giving him a sponsorship contract. It will help to understand the magnitude and the label of a future star that he was given at the time.
  • David Biosca – Childhood friend of Bojan Krkić. He accompanied him on his move to Stoke City in England. Along with his parents, he is one of the people who knows Bojan best, giving a close insight into his personality.
  • Albert Om – Journalist who did the first interview with Bojan after leaving FC Barcelona. He marked a milestone by addressing his departure and challenges. Albert Om also presented his farewell, providing an outside perspective on Bojan, both as a person and as a footballer.
  • Roger Saperas (RAC1), Sique Rodríguez (SER), Jaume Marcet (Barça TV) e Iván San Antonio  (Sport) – Sports journalists who will contextualise the figure of Bojan Krkić in his time at FC Barcelona, from the youth ranks to his departure from the club.

The documentary is directed by Oriol Bosch and produced by the audiovisual production company NSN (Never Say Never). The production took place in key cities in the player’s career, such as Barcelona, Linyola, London, Amsterdam, Milan and Japan. In this new premiere, Rakuten TV as always uses its Original content to convey the core values of the brand through empowering stories – in this case mental health, which will be an important axis in its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion strategy.

Categories: Press Releases

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