FC Barcelona is a polideportivo in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, British and Catalan footballers led by Joan Gamper. It's motto is El Barça és més que un club (Barça is more than a club). Its main stadium is the Nou Estadi del Futbol Club Barcelona, popularly known as the Camp Nou. Although the club is best known for it's La Liga football team, it also operates a number of other teams, most notably a reserve football team FC Barcelona B, the basketball team Winterthur FCB, the handball team FC Barcelona-Cifec, a professional roller hockey team and the now defunct American football team FC Barcelona Dragons.
Barça have to date refused to allow sponsorship logos on their football shirts. This is because the Barça colours are traditionally seen as a symbol of Catalonia and logos have been regarded as intrusive. Even their kit manufacturer, Nike's swoosh was controversial. However since 2005 Barça have worn the TV3 logo of Televisió de Catalunya on the left arm.
In October 22 1899 Gamper placed an advert in Los Deports declaring his wish to form a football club. A positive response resulted in a meeting at the Gimanasio Sole on November 29. Eleven players attended : Gualteri 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 that Gamper chose the legendary club colours, blaugrana / azulgrana, after FC Basel, his former club. However other Swiss teams Gamper played for, his home canton of Zurich and Merchant Taylors' School in Crosby, Merseyside have all been credited and/or claimed to be the inspiration.
Campionat de Catalunya
FC Barcelona was just one of several football clubs that emerged in Catalonia around this time. Others included Palamós CF, Catala SC(1899), Hispania AC (1900) and Sociedad Espanola de Football and later CE Europa. Soon there was enough clubs to organise a league and in December 1900 Alfons Macaya, president of Hispania AC offered a trophy. The Copa Macaya eventually evolved into the Campionat de Catalunya. This was the first league championship ever played in Spain. FC Barcelona won their first trophy when they won they won the Copa Macaya in 1901. They subsequently won the Campionat de Catalunya a further 20 times before it was disbanded in 1940. In 1902 the club also played in the first Copa del Rey final, loosing 2-1 to Club Vizcaya
The Gamper Years
In 1908 Joan Gamper became club president for the first time. He subsequently held the position on five separate occasions (1908-09, 1910-12, 1917-19, 1921-23 and 1924-25) and spent 25 years at the helm. His main achievement as president was to give Barca their own stadium.
Until 1909 the team played in various stadiums, none of them owned by the club. On March 14th 1909, the 6,000 seat stadium of Carrer Industria opened its door. In 1922 the club moved to a new home at Les Corts. This stadium had an initial capacity of 30,000, later expanded to an impressive 60,000. It was it was during these early years in these stadiums that Barca fans acquired their nickname the culés (pronounced /kuˈles/). Roughly translates from Catalan, it means arses. The name refers to fans seated in the highest row of the stadium. From outside passers-by could only see their arses.
Gamper also introduced legendary players like Paulino Alcántara, Ricardo Zamora, and Josep Samitier . These players helped the club dominate both the Championat de Catalunya and Copa del Rey and then win the first La Liga championship in 1929.
Rivalry with Real Madrid
The rivalry between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid is legendary. From the start the clubs were seen as representatives of the two rival regions of Spain, Catalonia and Castile, as well as the two cities themselves. However the rivally reached a new level during the Franco years when Real Madrid was considered to be the "regime team" while FC Barcelona was regarded as the team of the oppostition.
During the Spanish Civil War, however, members of both clubs suffered at the hands of Franco supporters. FC Barcelona president Josep Sunyol was murdered while Real Madrid president Rafael Sanchez Guerra, a prominent Republican, was imprisoned and tortured. They also arrested and murdered a Real vice-president and club treasurer and an acting president was disappeared. In contrast Josep Samitier and Ricardo Zamora openly supported Franco.
After the war the Catalan language and flag were banned. These measures led to the club changing its name to Club de Futbal Barcelona and the removal of the Catalan flag from its shield. Samitier was also installed as club president. The rivalry with Real intensified further after the dispute over Alfredo Di Stefano. When he eventually moved to Real it was interpretated as favourtism by Barca supporters.
There is no doubt that Franco benefited from Real's achievements in Europe and used the club for propaganda purposes. However within Spain, Franco also used the continued success of CF Barcelona to try and prove that his regime was tolerant. He also encouraged the rivalry between the two clubs in order to distract their supporters from politics.
Despite the the restrictions imposed by Franco, CF Barcelona enjoyed considerable success during the 1940s. 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 Latino, a forerunner of the European Cup. Samitier also recruited, Ladislao Kubala, regarded by many as the club's best ever player. He helped the club win La Liga and Copa del Generalisimo doubles in both 1952 and 1953. In 1952 they also won the Copa Latino for a second time. They also won the Copa del Generalisimo again in 1957 and the Fairs Cup in 1958.
With Helenio Herrera as coach, a young Luis Suarez, the European Footballer of the Year in 1960, and two influential Hungarians recommended by Kubala, Sandor Kocsis and Zoltan 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 game, thus ending their monopoly of the competition.
The 1960s were less successful for the club, with Real Madrid and Atletico 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 Fuste and Charly Rexach from their cantera and the club winning the Copa del Generalisimo in 1963 and the Fairs Cup in 1966. In 1968 the club restored some pride by beating Real Madrid 1-0 in the Copa del Generalisimo final at the Bernabeu.
The Cruyff Years
The 1973/74 season saw the arrival of a new Barca legend – Johan Cruyff. Already an established player with Ajax, Cruyff quickly won over the Barca fans when he told the European press he chose Barca over Real because he could not play for a club associated with Franco. He further endeared himself when he chose a Catalan name, Jordi, for his son. He helped the club win La Liga for the first time since 1960, along the way defeating Real Madrid 5-0 at the Bernabéu. He was also crowned European Footballer of the Year twice in a row while at club.
Cruyff returned to the club as manager in the 1988, assembling the legendary Dream Team, named after the US basketball team that played at the 1992 Olympic Games hosted by Barcelona. Cruyff introduced players like Josep Guardiola, José Mari Bakero, Aitor Beguiristain, Andoni Goikoetxea, Ronald Koeman, Michael Laudrup and Hristo Stoichkov. The latter was also voted European Footballer of the Year in 1994. This team won La Liga four times between 1991 and 1994 and beat Sampdoria 1-0 in the 1992 European Cup final at Wembley.
The Nuñez Years
Despite having no previous connection with the club Josep Luis Nuñez was elected president of FC Barcelona in 1978. His main objectives were to establish Barca as a world class sports club and to give the club financial stability.
In 1979 and 1982 the club won two of four European Cup Winners Cups won in the Nuñez era. In 1982 Diego Maradona was signed for a world record fee from Boca Juniors. However his time with Barca was short-lived and unsuccessful and he soon left for Napoli. In 1985 under Terry Venables Barca won La Liga and in 1986 he took the team to their first European Cup final, only to lose on penalties to Steaua Bucharest.
In 1988 Nuñez appointed Johan Cruyff as manager. Despite the latter’s success with the Dream Team, personal differences saw Nuñez sacking him in 1996. He was temporarily replaced by Bobby Robson who took charge of the club for a single season in 1996/97. He recruited Ronaldo from his previous club, PSV Eindhoven and delivered a cup treble winning the Copa del Rey, European Cup Winners Cup and the Supercopa de España . Among Robson’s non-playing staff was José Mourinho who assisted with training and acted as translator.
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 a new hero arrived in the form of Rivaldo and the team won a Copa del Rey/La Liga double in 1998. In 1999 they retained the La Liga and Rivaldo became the fourth Barca player to be awarded European Footballer of the Year. Despite this domestic success, the failure to emulate Real Madrid in the Champions League led to Van Gaal resigning in 2000.
2000 also saw the resignation of Nuñez after 22 years as club president. Although not always popular, as evidenced by dozens of votes of no-confidence, players’ rebellions and the open opposition led by Johan Cruyff, Nuñez has been Barca’s most successful president in terms of winning trophies. During his presidency the club’s four professional teams amassed 176 trophies – 30 in football, 36 in basketball, 65 in handball and 45 in roller hockey. This included a remarkable quartet in 1999, the club’s centenary year, when the four teams where all crowned champions of Spain.
Decline Under Gaspart
The departures of Nuñez and Van Gaal were nothing compared to that of Luis Figo. As well as club captain, Figo had become a cult hero and was considered by Catalans to be one of there own. It is widely believed that his dislike of the new president, Joan Gaspart, triggered his departure for arch-rivals Real Madrid. The Barca fans were distraught by Figo’s decision to join Real and during subsequent visits to the Camp Nou, Figo was given an extremely hostile reception. The next three years saw the club in decline. Expensive players like Patrick Kluivert and Marc Overmars were regularly accused of not pulling their weight. Gaspart did not inspire confidence off the field either and in 2003 he resigned.
In more recent times Barca has enjoyed a revival. A combination of a new and enthusiastic president, Joan Laporta and a new manager, Frank Rijkaard saw the club bounce back. On the field an influx of talented new players like Ronaldinho, Deco, Ludovic Giuly and Samuel Eto'o and experienced professionals like Rafael Márquez and Gio combined with a nucleus of home grown players such Carles Puyol, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Oleguer and Víctor Valdés saw the club win La Liga and the Supercopa de España in 2005. Ronaldinho was also added to the list of Barca players voted European Footballer of the Year. The only disappointment was their defeat against Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League.
Strengthened by the arrival of Mark van Bommel and the emergence of Lionel Messi, the current season has seen Barca continue where they left off. Playing attractive and attacking football, the team is top of La Liga and has qualified for the UEFA Champions League round of 16. Highlights of the season so far have included an emphatic 3-0 victory over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on November 19th 2005 when even the home fans applauded two-goal hero Ronaldinho.
The etymological meaning of this word derives from the word cul which means literally arse in Catalan (pronounced /kuˈles/). An approximate translation of this term would be arses. Far from being somewhat offensive or insulting for Barça's fanship, this term was created in the early 20 century, where, while seated in the highest position of the stadium, from outside people saw the bottoms of the fans. This rather humorous term was coined and the fans were called this way ever since. There are about 1730 officially registered supporters clubs of FC Barcelona around the world (as of November 2005).
- Inter-Cities Fairs Cup: 3
- European Super Cup: 2
- Cup Winners' Cup: 4
- Spanish Champions: 17
- 1928-29, 1944-45, 1947-48, 1948-49, 1951-52, 1952-53, 1958-59, 1959-60, 1973-74, 1984-85, 1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1997-98, 1998-99, 2004-05
- Supercopa de España: 9
- 1948, 1952, 1953, 1984, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2005
- Spanish League Cup: 2
- 1983, 1986
- Copa del Rey: 24
- 1909-10, 1911-12, 1912-13, 1919-20, 1921-22, 1924-25, 1925-26, 1927-28, 1941-42, 1950-51, 1951-52, 1952-53, 1956-57, 1962-63, 1967-68, 1970-71, 1977-78, 1980-81, 1982-83, 1987-88, 1989-90, 1996-97, 1997-98
- Catalunya Cup: 5
- 1990-91, 1992-93, 1999-2000, 2003-04, 2004-05
- Macaya Cup: 1
- Championship of Catalunya: 20
- 1904-05, 1908-09, 1909-10, 1910-11, 1912-13, 1915-16, 1918-19, 1919-20, 1920-21, 1921-22, 1923-24, 1924-25, 1925-26, 1926-27, 1927-28, 1929-30, 1930-31, 1931-32, 1934-34, 1935-36, 1937-38
- Copa Latino: 2
- 1949, 1952
- Martini & Rossi Trohpy: 2
- 1952, 1953
- Little World Cup: 1
- Joan Gamper Trophy: 30
- 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
- Teresa Herrera Trophy: 5
- 1948, 1951, 1972, 1990, 1993
- Ramon de Carranza Trophy: 3
- 1961, 1962, 2005
- Ciudad de Palma Trophy: 5
- 1969, 1974, 1976, 1980, 1981
- Cup of the Pyrenees: 4
- 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913
- Mediterranean League:1
- 15 Participations on UEFA Champions League
- 22 Participations on UEFA Cup
- 5 Participations on European Super Cup
- 1 Participation on Intercontinental Cup
Current Squad 2005/06
As of December 18, 2005 Template:Fs start Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs mid Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs player Template:Fs end
Squad changes during 2005/06 season
- Template:Flagicon Santiago Ezquerro - Signed From Athletic de Bilbao
- Template:Flagicon Template:Flagicon Mark van Bommel - Signed From PSV Eindhoven
- Template:Flagicon Damia Abella - On Loan To Racing de Santander
- Template:Flagicon Template:Flagicon Saviola - On Loan To Sevilla FC
- Template:Flagicon Fernando Navarro - On Loan To RCD Mallorca
- Template:Flagicon Rüştü - On Loan To Fenerbahce
- Template:Flagicon Santamaría - On Loan To Albacete Balompie
- Template:Flagicon Oscar Lopez - On Loan To Real Betis
- Template:Flagicon Ros - On Loan To UE Lleida
- Template:Flagicon Tortolero - Transferred To Gimnàstic de Tarragona
- Template:Flagicon Rochemback - Transferred To Middlesbrough
- Template:Flagicon Gerard - Transferred To Monaco
- Template:Flagicon Riquelme - Transferred To Villarreal
- Template:Flagicon Sergio García - Transferred To Real Zaragoza
- Template:Flagicon Mario - Transferred To Real Valladolid
- Template:Flagicon David Sanchez - Transferred To Albacete Balompie
- Template:Flagicon Template:Flagicon Albertini - retired