Fútbol Club Barcelona (Catalan , Spanish ), known familiarly as Barça (Spanish ˈbaɾsa, Catalan ˈbaɾsə), is a sports club based in Barcelona, Spain. It is best known for its football team, which was founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, English, and Spanish men led by Joan Gamper. The club has become a Catalan institution, hence the motto Més que un club (More than a club).
They were founding members of La Liga in 1928, and, together with Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, they have never been relegated from the top division. The club were also the first La Liga champions, winning a total of 18 La Liga, 24 Copa del Rey, 7 Supercopa de España, 2 UEFA Champions League, 4 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, 3 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and 2 European Super Cup trophies.
The club's main stadium is the Camp Nou and the fans of FC Barcelona are known as culers or culés. In Spain, about 25% of the population are said to be Barça supporters. In June 2007, the number of socis (club members/owners) reached 156,366, while in June 2006 the number of penyes (officially-registered supporter clubs) reached 1782 worldwide.
The club also operates a reserve team, FC Barcelona Atlètic, and four other professional sports teams, Regal FC Barcelona, FC Barcelona, FC Barcelona Futsal and FC Barcelona Sorli Discau that compete at basketball, handball, futsal and rink hockey respectively. Until 2007 there was also a youth team, FC Barcelona C.
There are also a number of prominent amateur sports teams that compete at rugby union, women's football and wheelchair basketball. These include FCB Rugby and FC Barcelona-Institut Guttman. Other amateur teams represent the club at ice hockey, athletics, baseball, cycling, field hockey, figure skating, and volleyball.
During the 2006-07 season, FC Barcelona was the third richest club in the world with a revenue of €291.1 million.
On 22 October 1899 Joan Gamper placed an advert in Los Deportes declaring his wish to form a football club. A positive response resulted in a meeting at the Gimnasio Solé on November 29. Eleven players attended: Walter Wild, Lluís d'Ossó, Bartomeu Terradas, Otto Kunzle, Otto Maier, Enric Ducal, Pere Cabot, Carles Pujol, Josep Llobet, John Parsons and William Parsons. As a result Foot-Ball Club Barcelona was born. Several other Spanish football clubs, most notably Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, also had British founders, and as a result they initially adopted English-style names.
Legend has it that Gamper was inspired to choose the club colours, blaugrana, by FC Basel's crest. However, the other Swiss teams Gamper played for, his home canton of Zurich, and Merchant Taylors' School in Crosby, England have all been credited with or claimed to be the inspiration.
FC Barcelona quickly emerged as one of the leading clubs of both Catalonia and Spain, competing in both the Campeonato de Cataluña and the Copa del Rey. In 1902, the club won its first trophy, the Copa Macaya, and also played in the first Copa del Rey final, losing 2-1 to Club Vizcaya.
On March 14, 1909, it moved into the Carrer Indústria, a stadium with a capacity of 8,000. Gamper also launched a campaign to recruit more club members and by 1922 the club had over 10,000. This led to the club moving again, this time to Las Cortes, which inaugurated in the same year. This stadium had an initial capacity of 22,000, later expanded to an impressive 60,000.
Gamper also recruited Paulino Alcántara, the club's all time top-scorer with 356 goals, and in 1917 appointed Jack Greenwell as manager. This saw the club's fortunes begin to improve on the field. During the Gamper era FC Barcelona won eleven Campeonato de Cataluña, six Copa del Rey and four Coupe de Pyrenées and enjoyed its first "golden age." As well as Alcántara the Barça team under Greenwall also included Sagi-Barba, Ricardo Zamora, Josep Samitier, Félix Sesúmaga and Franz Platko.
A month after the civil war began, Barça's left-wing president Josep Sunyol was murdered by Francisco Franco's soldiers near to Guadalajara. In the summer of 1937, the squad was on a tour in Mexico and USA in which it was received as an ambassador of the fighting Second Spanish Republic. That travel proved the financial saving of the club and also resulted in half the team seeking exile in Mexico and France. On 16 March 1938, the fascists dropped a bomb on the club's social club and caused big damages. A few months later, Barcelona was under fascist occupation and as a symbol of the 'undisciplined' Catalanism, the club, now down to just 3,486 members, was facing a number of serious problems.
In 1943, at Les Corts, for the first leg of the semi-finals of the Copa del Generalísimo against Real Madrid, the result was a 3-0 win for Barça. Before the second leg, Barcelona's players had a changing room visit from Franco's director of state security. He 'reminded' them that they were only playing due to the 'generosity of the regime'. Madrid side won that game 11-1.
Despite the difficult political situation, CF Barcelona enjoyed considerable success during the 1940s and 1950s. In 1945, with Josep Samitier as coach and players like César, Ramallets and Velasco, they won La Liga for first time since 1929. They added two more titles in 1948 and 1949. In 1949 they also won the first Copa Latina.
In 1951, a tram strike which took place in Barcelona, received the support of blaugrana fans surprising the Francoist authorities who could not understand why, on that rainy Sunday, the crowd left Les Corts stadium after a 2-1 win against Santander by foot refusing to catch any trams. Moments like these show how FC Barcelona represents much more than just Catalonia for so many progressive Spaniards.
Coach Fernando Daucik and Ladislao Kubala, regarded by many as the club's best ever player, inspired the team to five different trophies including La Liga, the Copa del Generalísimo, the Copa Latina, the Copa Eva Duarte and the Copa Martini Rossi in 1952. In 1953 they helped the club win La Liga and the Copa del Generalísimo again. The club also won the Copa del Generalísimo in 1957 and the Fairs Cup in 1958.
With Helenio Herrera as coach, a young Luis Suárez, the European Footballer of the Year in 1960, and two influential Hungarians recommended by Kubala, Sándor Kocsis and Zoltán Czibor, the team won another national double in 1959 and a La Liga/Fairs Cup double in 1960. In 1961 they became the first club to beat Real Madrid in a European Cup eliminatory, thus ending their monopoly of the competition. To little avail, anyway- they lost 3-2 to Benfica in the final.
The 1960s were less successful for the club, with Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid monopolising La Liga. The completion of the Camp Nou, finished in 1957, meant the club had little money to spend on new players. However the decade also saw the emergence of Josep Fusté and Carles Rexach and the club winning the Copa del Generalísimo in 1963 and the Fairs Cup in 1966. Barça restored some pride by beating Real Madrid 1-0 in the 1968 Copa del Generalísimo final at the Bernabéu. The club changed its official name back to Futbol Club Barcelona in 1974.
In June 1982 Diego Maradona was signed for a world record fee from Boca Juniors. In the following season, under coach César Luis Menotti, Barcelona and Maradona in an unforgettable final won the Copa del Rey, beating Real Madrid. However Diego's time with Barça was short-lived and he soon left for Napoli. At the start of the 1984/85 season, Terry Venables was hired as manager and he won La Liga with stellar displays by German midfielder Bernd Schuster. The next season, he took the team to their second European Cup final, only to lose on penalties to Steaua Bucureşti during a dramatic evening in Seville.
After the 1986 World Cup, English top scorer Gary Lineker was signed along with goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta but the team could not achieve success while Schuster was excluded from the team. Terry Venables was subsequently fired at the beginning of the 1987/88 season and replaced with Luis Aragonés. That season finished with a rebellion of the players against president Núñez known as the Motín del Hesperia and the 1-0 victory at the Copa del Rey final against Real Sociedad.
In 1988 Johan Cruyff returned to the club as manager and assembled the so-called Dream Team, named after the US basketball team that played at the 1992 Summer Olympics hosted by Barcelona. He introduced players like Josep Guardiola, José Mari Bakero, Txiki Beguiristáin, Jon Andoni Goikoetxea, Gheorghe Hagi, Ronald Koeman, Michael Laudrup, Romário and Hristo Stoichkov.
Under Cruyff's guidance, Barcelona won four consecutive La Liga titles from 1991 to 1994. They beat Sampdoria in both the 1989 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final and the 1992 European Cup final at Wembley with a legendary free kick goal from Dutch international Ronald Koeman. They also won a Copa del Rey in 1990, the European Super Cup in 1992 and three Supercopa de España. With 11 trophies, Cruijff became the club's most successful manager to date. He also became the club's longest serving manager. However, in his final two seasons, he failed to win any trophies (not to mention the disastrous 4-0 defeat in the UEFA Champions League 1994 final against AC Milan) and fell out with president Núñez, resulting in Cruijff's departure.
Cruijff was briefly replaced by Bobby Robson who took charge of the club for a single season in 1996/97. He is quoted as saying, "Catalonia is a country and FC Barcelona is their army". He recruited Ronaldo from his previous club, PSV Eindhoven and delivered a cup treble winning the Copa del Rey, UEFA Cup Winners Cup and the Supercopa de España. Despite his success, Robson was only ever seen as a short-term solution while the club waited for Louis van Gaal to become available.
Like Maradona, Ronaldo only stayed a short time and he left for Inter Milan. However, new heroes such as Luís Figo, Giovanni Silva de Oliveira, Luis Enrique Martínez and Rivaldo emerged and the team won a Copa del Rey/La Liga double in 1998. In 1999 the club celebrated its 'centenari' winning the Primera División title and Rivaldo became the fourth Barça player to be awarded European Footballer of the Year. Despite this domestic success, the failure to emulate Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League led to van Gaal and Núñez resigning in 2000.
After the disappointment of the Gaspart era, the combination of a new young president Joan Laporta and a young new manager, former Dutch and AC Milan star Frank Rijkaard, saw the club bounce back. On the field, an influx international players, including Ronaldinho, Deco, Samuel Eto'o, Rafael Márquez, Lionel Messi, combined with a nucleus of home grown and Spanish players such as Carles Puyol, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi and Víctor Valdés led to the club's return to success.
In the 2004/05 season, Barça were crowned champions of La Liga, and stars Ronaldinho and Eto'o were voted first and third in the FIFA World Player of the Year awards. Barça also won the Supercopa de España, with a victory over Real Betis. In the UEFA Champions League 2004-05 Barça were eliminated by Chelsea F.C. 5-4 on aggregate.
The 2005-06 season has been the pinnacle of the Laporta reign so far. In November 2005 Barça beat Real Madrid 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in a match where Ronaldinho was so impressive that after his second, and Barça's third goal the Real Madrid fans felt compelled to applaud him. This match also gave Frank Rijkaard his second victory at the Bernabeu, making him the first Barça manager to win there twice. Barcelona went on to win the championship of La Liga with ease, as well as the Supercopa de España with a victory over city rivals Espanyol.
In the UEFA Champions League that season, Barça beat Arsenal F.C. to win the final on May 17, 2006. Trailing 1-0 to the English side, with less than 15 minutes left and inspired by substitute Henrik Larsson, they came back to win 2-1,though with an extra man, for the club's first UEFA Champions League victory in 14 years. This victory sparked scenes of jubilation from Barcelona fans with ecstatic culers celebrating in the obvious scene of La Rambla and members of Barça fan clubs celebrating in the Plaza de Cibeles in Madrid and all over the world.
Despite being the favorites and starting strongly, Barcelona finished the 2006-07 season trophyless. A pre-season US tour was later blamed for a string of injuries to key players, including leading scorer Eto'o and rising star Messi. There was open feuding as Eto'o publicly criticized coach Frank Rijkaard and Ronaldinho. Ronaldinho also admitted that lack of fitness affected his form. Barça advanced to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey, winning the first leg 5-2, with a Maradona-style goal from Messi, but then surprisingly losing the second leg 4-0 to lowly Getafe to go out 6-5 on aggregate. They took part in the FIFA Club World Cup 2006, making it to the final, only to be beaten by a late goal against Internacional.
In La Liga, Barça was in first place for much of the season while arch-rivals Real Madrid were six points behind and in fourth. However Barça began playing inconsistently after January, while Madrid's form improved in that same period. On May 12, 2007, Real Madrid took the league lead for the first time all season by defeating Espanyol 4-3, coming back from 1-3 first half deficit. Following a series of dramatic last minute goals in their last matches, Real Madrid held onto the lead to become league champions.
Barça was unable to retain the Champions League. They were knocked out of the competition in the last 16 by eventual runners-up Liverpool F.C., losing 2-1 at Nou Camp after having been up 1-0; they were then held to 1-0 at Anfield and were eliminated on away goals.
In the 2007-08 season, Barcelona again struggled, and weren't even able to finish in the top two of the Primera División. The season was marred with injuries to key players such as Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto'o, Deco, Leo Messi, and Yaya Touré. Despite a lack of league form, the team fared well in the cup competitions. Benefitting from favourable draws in the UEFA Champions League, Barcelona ousted less-fancied teams such as Rangers FC, Celtic FC and Schalke 04, before losing to eventual champions Manchester United 1-0 on aggregate in the semi-finals. Barcelona also managed to get to the semifinals of the Copa del Rey, where they once again lost to the eventual champions (Valencia CF).
A day after a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of arch-rivals Real Madrid, Laporta announced that Barça B coach Josep Guardiola would take over Frank Rijkaard's duties after June 30. It marked the end of an era for the club, and high-profile departures of key players were expected in the summer.
The 2008/09 pre-season started with a boardroom crisis, as Joan Laporta fought to keep his presidency. Following two years without major trophies, some club members initiated a no confidence motion on Laporta. With the help of Club Director of Football Txiki Begiristain, Joan Laporta acted swiftly and effectively. Having installed crowd favourite and hometown boy Pep Guardiola as the coach, the club declared the start of the long-expected clear out and rebirth of the team for the 2008-09 season. Players such as Lillian Thuram, Gianluca Zambrotta, Deco, Giovani dos Santos and Ronaldinho left the squad. In came Seydou Keita (Sevilla FC), Gerard Piqué (Manchester United), Martín Cáceres (Villarreal CF), Daniel Alves (Sevilla FC) and Aliaksandr Hleb (Arsenal FC). Samuel Eto'o was expected to leave after falling out of favour with the fans and the staff; but strong showings by him in pre-season reminded the coach and the board why he had the best goals to games ratio in La Liga the previous season, and sense prevailed as the decision was made to retain the Cameroonian, whilst Eto'o won the fans back, as they chanted his name at every home game. Laporta's choices for the new personnel seemed to be popular enough to abate the critics, and possibly ensure he retained his position as President of the Club. The No Confidence Motion did indeed narrowly fail, receiving 60% of the votes cast, just short of the 66% required. Laporta vowed to continue, although eight of his directors resigned.
On the sporting side, Guardiola's first months in charge saw the team string together an impressive set of friendly wins. The season kicked off with the Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round against Wisła Kraków. Barcelona carried their pre-season form into the first leg at home, and comfortably won the match 4-0. And despite losing the return leg in Poland 0-1, the team had done enough to accomplish the first objective of the season: qualification to the Champions League Group Stage. Having lost and drawn their first two La Liga matches, Barcelona have hit back strongly with wins over Sporting Gijon by 6-1, and over Real Betis 3-2. Barcelona also won their opening Champions League pool game 3-1 over Sporting Lisbon. Barça were also able to come from behind to beat their hated city rivals, Espanyol, thanks to a goal by Thierry Henry and a very late penalty scored by Lionel Messi after Espanyol player Coro put the home side ahead, amongst lots of crowd trouble. In their second Champions League game, Barcelona came from a goal down for the second time in 3 days, to win thanks to 2 very late goals by Messi in a 2-1 comeback win over Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine. Barcelona currently hold a strong and impressive 6 game winning streak after thrashing Atlético Madrid 6-1. Though, through all the ecstasy, there are still worries about the goalkeeper's position, as Barça's current first-choice goalkeeper, Víctor Valdés has yet to record a clean sheet in a competitive game. But the Catalan club said they are sticking with Valdés, and are fully confident in him, despite some of the media in Spain and many of their world-wide fans calling for a new goalkeeper.
During the dictatorships of Primo de Rivera and (especially) of Francisco Franco (1939 - 1975), all regional identities were openly suppressed (e.g., the peripheral languages were officially banned). So FC Barcelona, symbolising the Catalan people's desire for freedom, became more than a club (més que un club) for them and one of their greatest ambassadors. On the contrary, Real Madrid was widely seen as the embodiment of the sovereign oppressive centralism and the fascist regime. However, during the Spanish Civil War itself, members of both clubs like Josep Sunyol and Rafael Sánchez Guerra suffered at the hands of Franco supporters.
During the 1950s the rivalry was exacerbated significantly when the clubs disputed the signing of Alfredo Di Stéfano, who finally played for Real Madrid and was key in the subsequent success achieved by the club. The 1960s saw the rivalry reach the European stage when they met twice at the knock-out stages of the European Cup.
As nowadays FC Barcelona and Real Madrid are the two biggest and most successful clubs in the league, the rivalry is renewed on an almost annual basis with both teams often challenging each other for the league championship. The latest Clásico was played in the Santiago Bernabéu and ended with a 4-1 win for Real Madrid.
Traditionally, especially during the Franco regime, Espanyol were seen by the majority of Barcelona's citizens as a club who cultivated a kind of compliance to the central authority unlike FC Barcelona. Despite this background the derbi has always been much more relevant to Espanyol supporters than Barcelona ones due to the difference in objectives.
Although it is the most played local derby in the history of La Liga it is also the least balanced of them all, with Barcelona being overwhelmingly dominating. In the league table Espanyol have only managed to end above FC Barcelona on three occasions in almost seventy years and even the only all-Catalan Copa del Rey Final in 1957 was won by FC Barcelona. Espanyol only has the consolation of achieving the largest margin win with a 6-0 in 1951.
The club has done this in order to set up international cooperation programmes for development, supports the UN Millennium Development Goals and has made a commitment to UNICEF’s humanitarian aid programs through the donation of one and a half million euro for the next five years.
Companies that FC Barcelona currently has sponsorship deals with include :
|Period||Kit manufacturer||Shirt sponsor|
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (record)
Barcelona's all time top goalscorer is a Spaniard, César Rodríguez who, has scored 235 goals in all official matches. Ladislao Kubala is in second place with 196 goals for the club. The highest scoring present squad member is Samuel Eto'o who has scored 102 goals.
|1998–99||D1||1||38||24||7||7||87||43||79||quarter-Final||UCL||group stage||SSC||Louis van Gaal|
|1999–00||D1||2||38||19||7||12||70||46||64||semi-final||UCL||semi-final||SSC||Louis van Gaal|
|2000–01||D1||4||38||17||12||9||80||57||63||semi-final||UC1||semi-final||Llorenç Serra Ferrer|
|2001–02||D1||4||38||18||10||10||65||37||64||1st round||UCL||semi-final||Carles Rexach|
|2002–03||D1||6||38||15||11||12||63||47||56||1st round||UCL||quarter-final||Rexach, v. Gaal & R. Antić|
|2003–04||D1||2||38||21||9||8||63||39||72||quarter-final||UC||4th round||Frank Rijkaard|
|2004–05||D1||1||38||25||9||4||73||29||84||2nd round||UCL||last 16||Frank Rijkaard|
|2006–07||D1||2||38||22||10||6||78||33||76||semi-final||UCL||last 16||SSC||ESC||CWC||Frank Rijkaard|
Last updated: 20 May 2008
1 FC Barcelona started 2000-01 season in UCL but joined UC after group stage.
Div. = Division;D1 = First Division; Pos. = Position; Pl = Match played; W = Win; D = Draw; L = Lost; GS = Goal Scored; GA = Goal Against; P = Points
UCL = UEFA Champions League; UCWC = UEFA Cup Winners' Cup; UC = UEFA Cup; ESC = UEFA Super Cup; SSC = Supercopa de España; CWC = FIFA Club World Cup; Cup = Copa del Rey
Colors: Gold = winner; Silver = runner-up; Cyan = ongoing
|First Team Coach||Josep Guardiola|
|Assistant Coach||Tito Vilanova|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Juan Carlos Unzué|
|Physical fitness coach||Lorenzo Buenaventura|
|Director of Football||Txiki Begiristain|
|Academy Director||José Ramón Alexanko|
|Head Coach Reserve Team||Luis Enrique|
|President||Joan Laporta i Estruch|
|Vice-president, head of social area and spokesperson||Alfons Godall i Martínez|
|Vice president for marketing and media||Jaume Ferrer i Graupera|
|Vice president for finance and treasurer||Joan Boix i Sans|
|Vice president institutional and assets administration||Joan Franquesa i Cabanas|
|Vice president for sports||Rafael Yuste i Abel|
|Secretary||Josep Cubells i Ribé|
|Joan Gamper||1908-09, 1910-13, 1917-19, 1921-23, 1924-25|
|Joaquim Peris de Vargas||1914-15|
|Gaspar Rosés||1916-17, 1920-21, 1930-31|
|Enrique Piñeyro||1940-42, 1942-43|
|Josep Antoni Albert||1943|
|Agustí Montal Galobart||1946-52|
|Agustí Montal Galobart||1946-52|
|Enric Martí Carreto||1952-53|
|Narcís de Carreras||1968-69|
|Josep Lluís Núñez||1978-2000|
|Enric Reyna i Martínez||2003|
|Joan Trayter (Managing Commission)||2003|
The following managers have all won at least one trophy when in charge or have been notable for Barça in the context of the League, for example Johan Cruijff who holds a League record.
|Jack Greenwell||1917||1924||2 Spanish Cups|
|Jesza Poszony||1924||1925||Spanish Cup|
|Ralph Kirby||1925||1926||Spanish Cup|
|Romà Forns||1927||1929||Spanish league|
|Joan Josep Nogués||July 1941||June 1944||Spanish Cup|
|Josep Samitier||July 1944||June 1947||Spanish league|
|Enrique Fernández||July 1947||June 1950||2 Spanish league, Latin Cup|
|Fernando Daucik||July 1950||June 1954||2 Spanish league, 3 Spanish Cups, Latin Cup|
|Domingo Balmanya||July 1956||April 1958||Spanish Cup, Inter-Cities Fairs Cup|
|Helenio Herrera||April 1958||June 1960||2 Spanish league, Spanish Cup, 2 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup|
|Josep Gonzalvo||January 1963||June 1963||Spanish Cup|
|Roque Olsen||July 1965||June 1967||Inter-Cities Fairs Cup|
|Salvador Artigas||July 1967||October 1969||Spanish Cup|
|Vic Buckingham||December 1969||June 1971||Spanish Cup|
|Rinus Michels||July 1971||June 1975||Spanish league, Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Trophy Play-Off|
|Rinus Michels||July 1978||June 1979||Spanish Cup|
|Joaquim Rifé||April 1979||March 1980||UEFA Cup Winners' Cup|
|Helenio Herrera||March 1980||June 1981||Spanish Cup|
|Udo Lattek||July 1981||February 1983||UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, league Cup, Spanish Cup|
|César Luis Menotti||March 1983||July 1984||Spanish Supercup|
|Terry Venables||July 1984||September 1987||Spanish league, league Cup|
|Luis Aragonés||September 1987||June 1988||Spanish Cup|
|Johan Cruijff||July 1988||May 1996||4 Spanish league, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, European Cup, European Super Cup, Spanish Cup, 3 Spanish Supercups|
|Sir Bobby Robson||July 1996||June 1997||Spanish Cup, Spanish Supercup, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup|
|Louis van Gaal||November 1997||February 2000||2 Spanish league , Spanish Cup, European Super Cup|
|Frank Rijkaard||July 2003||June 2008||UEFA Champions League, 2 Spanish league, 2 Spanish Supercups|
1899 - 1940s|
1950s - 1960s
*** Romário and Rivaldo won the World Cup while playing for FC Barcelona.
*** Pereda, Fusté, Olivella, Zaballa, Puyol, Xavi and Iniesta won the European Championship while playing for FC Barcelona.