‘Iniesta generation’ flooding Barcelona maternity wards

January 29, 2010

SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/The first week of May 2009 was a rather good one for Barcelona fans and it seems like many of them celebrated in the time honoured fashion.

An historic 6-2 humiliation of arch rivals Real Madrid at their Bernabeu home on May 2 that effectively wrapped up the La Liga title was followed on May 6 by Andres Iniesta’s brilliant, last-gasp goal at Stamford Bridge that took Pep Guardiola’s side through to the Champions League final at the expense of Chelsea.

According to a survey of hospitals and clinics by a local radio station, the euphoria (and other emotions) generated among Barca fans by those two performances has had a rather unexpected result nine months on.

Maternity hospitals say they are struggling to cope with demand for beds and the survey, by COMRadio, of four hospitals and a clinic showed births this week and those expected next week are 45 percent higher than the average.

“When we notice some sort of surge we look for the reason and it’s evident that the cause of the increase this week is the euphoria of Barca fans thanks to the huge win (against Real) and Iniesta’s goal,” El Mundo newspaper quoted Mercedes Rodriguez of the city’s Quiron Clinic as saying.

The babies were popularly known in Barcelona as “the Iniesta generation”, the paper added.

We did a story out of Berlin a couple of years ago that, disappointingly, showed expectations of a baby boom in Germany inspired by the 2006 World Cup proved to be little more than wishful thinking.

“It’s unrealistic to think that because there were more parties and people forgot their birth control it would make a statistical difference,” Nicola Huelskamp, a consultant at the German Economic Institute in Cologne, told us.

It seems thrashing Real Madrid and getting through to the Champions League final are pretty special events for the Catalans.

PHOTO: Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta celebrates his goal against Chelsea during their Champions League semi-final second-leg at Stamford Bridge, May 6, 2009. REUTERS/Albert Gea

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