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FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona Information

Address:   Avda. Arístides Maillol s/n, 08028 Barcelona
Telephone: 93 496 36 00
Fax: 93 496 36 87
Founded: 20-Nov-1899
Stadium: Camp Nou
Website: www.fcbarcelona.com
   
 

FC Barcelona History

FC Barcelona, also known as Barça, is a sports club in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain with sections in many different sports. Founded in 1899 by a group of twelve, led by Joan Gamper, its motto is "Barça is more than a club" (El Barça és més que un club). Its main stadium is the Camp Nou, Barcelona.

Although its football team had been struggling from roughly 2000 through 2003, it and long-standing rival Real Madrid remain the most representative teams of Spain. FC Barcelona fans are also called culés.

Barça are also known for their relentless refusal to allow sponsor logos on their football shirts. This is due to the fact that Barça is seen as a symbol of Catalonia, and any offer of sponsorship of "intrusive nature" will be turned down. Even their kit manufacturer, Nike's swoosh was controversial. However, Barça has accepted a sponsor's logo on their basketball jerseys.

Early Years

FC Barcelona was founded by Swiss businessman Hans Kamper, who embraced Catalan nationalism so fervently that he changed his name to the Catalan Joan Gamper. Gamper changed the club's original name to the current Catalan version. Everything started when he decided to put a message in a local newspaper asking for players to join him in a relatively unknown sport called football. Eleven players attended this meeting: Gualteri Wild, Lluis d'Ossa, Bartomeu Terradas, Otto Kunzle, Otto Maier, Enric Ducal, Pere Cabot, Carles Pujol, Josep Llobet, John Parsons, and William Parsons. The club's international nature has been a quality since the first days of its existence, as shown by still holding the original Anglican version of its name Futbol Club Barcelona, instead of the formal Spanish version Club de Futbol Barcelona.

The team did not have to wait much time for their first trophy, as in 1901 they won the Copa Macaya, later known as the Campionat de Catalunya (Championship of Catalonia). Until 1909 the team played in different stadiums, none of them owned by the club. On March 14 of that year, the 6,000 seat stadium of Carrer Industria (Industry Street) opened its door. It was the first field owned by FC Barcelona. During these years the club experienced their first growth period, in terms of sport titles and social mass.

The Golden Years

Legendary players like Alcantara, Zamora, and Samitier boosted the club's success with brilliant playing style, bringing the team to a Golden Age of expansion. By 1922, the club opened the doors of its stadium of Les Corts, which had an initial capacity of 30,000, later expanded to an impressive 60,000. Besides dominating Spanish and Catalan championships, they won the first edition of the Spanish League in 1929.

Crisis and the Civil War

The ongoing crisis, started in the late 1920s during the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera, only got worse after the start of the Spanish Civil War. The political problems of the country affected the club, eventually leading to the assassination of President Josep Suñol by soldiers of the nationalist side and the bombing of the club's headquarters. After these events, the club was forced to change its name to Club de Futbol Barcelona, remove the catalan portion of the flag, and a president friendly to Franco's regime was appointed.

Kubala

By the second half of the 1940s the club began to recover from its problems, which almost led the club to disband. Players like Cesar, Ramallets, and Velasco won the First Division fifteen years after the first and only time. With political issues calming down, the style of football played, and titles being brought, financial problems started to fade as more people became members. In 1950 arrived one of the most important players for FC Barcelona, Ladislao Kubala. During the first years after his arrival the team won almost every competition they played in, and its forwards, Cesar, Basora, and Kubala himself are still remembered.

Camp Nou

In 1957, the Camp Nou opened its doors to the public. It had a capacity for up to 90,000 spectators, already making it one of the biggest stadiums in the world. Unfortunately, a few years after the inauguration, titles became scarce, as they only won three official titles during the 1960s. But even then the club did not stop growing, gaining social and economic power every year.

Unlike the decade of the 50's, when Real Madrid "stole" Argentinian player Alfredo Di Stefano from FC Barcelona, Dutch legend Johan Cruyff signed a contract with the club in 1973. His electric style of play, fast and smart, could not appeal more to the fans. Even the record amount of £922,300 paid by FC Barcelona for him seemed nothing after defeating Real Madrid 0-5 in their own stadium and winning the league. By the following year the club had 70,000 members, making it the most powerful in the world.

The second golden age (1988-1996)

Josep Luis Nuñez became president of FC Barcelona in 1978, leading the club into an unprecedented period of social and economic growth. Dozens of titles were won by all teams, and other sections seen as less important than the football team started to receive more attention. During 1990-1994, Johan Cruyff's Dream Team won four consecutive Leagues and for a first time the Champions League (1992) among other trophies.

Late 1990s with satisfactory results

After the unsuccessful brief stay of Bobby Robson, notorious manager Louis Van Gaal came on board and Barcelona won twice Spanish League title and once Cup Winners' Cup. Although their great results at homeside, Barcelona failed to win again Champions League. Due to heavy fan criticism after three seasons in 2000, Van Gaal resigned.

Years of turmoil

Joan Gaspart was elected as the successor of Josep Lluis Nuñez in 2000, not an easy task considering his achievements and a lot of pressure was put on the new board of directors. Still, Joan Gaspart's bad management led the club to a financial crisis. Poor judgement when using the club's funds, the absence of any important victory, and underperforming players made the social pressure unbearable, forcing him to resign in 2003. A temporary commission took over until current president Joan Laporta was elected in the same year.

Revival

Joan Laporta proved to be better choice. With his arrival, and that of football superstar Ronaldinho and manager Frank Rijkaard among others, the new style of management, have returned the club into a positive cycle. Inherited massive financial debt is being cut down, and only two players remain from the original team that did not win a major title in five years. Season 2003/2004 Barcelona made spectacular return to form finishing second after being at the bottom of the table. During the 2004/5 season, Barcelona have preserved a healthy lead over their arch-rivals Real Madrid and, despite their controversial exit from the Champions League at the hands of Chelsea, they remain on course for La Liga title. A third golden age appears to be beckoning...
 

FC Barcelona Honours, Trophies & Awards

  • Champions League: 1
    • 1991-92
      • FC Barcelona 1 - 0 Sampdoria
      • Goal by Ronald Koeman (111')
  • UEFA Cup: 4
    • 1958
      • FC Barcelona 6 - 0 London XI
      • London XI 2 - 2 FC Barcelona
    • 1960
      • FC Barcelona 4 - 1 Birmingham City
      • Birmingham City F.C. 0 - 0 FC Barcelona
    • 1966
      • Real Zaragoza 2 - 4 FC Barcelona
      • FC Barcelona 0 - 1 Real Zaragoza
    • 1971
      • FC Barcelona 2 - 1 Leeds United
  • European Super Cup: 2
    • 1992
      • Werder Bremen 1 - 1 FC Barcelona
      • FC Barcelona 2 - 1 Werder Bremen
    • 1997
      • FC Barcelona 2 - 0 Borussia Dortmund
      • Borussia Dortmund 1 - 1 FC Barcelona
  • Cup Winners' Cup: 4
    • 1979
      • FC Barcelona 4 - 3 Fortuna Düsseldorf
    • 1982
      • FC Barcelona 2 - 1 Standard de Liège
    • 1989
      • FC Barcelona 2 - 0 Sampdoria
    • 1997
      • FC Barcelona 1 - 0 Paris Saint-Germain
  • Spanish First Division: 16
    • 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
  • Spanish Super Cup: 5
    • 1984, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997
  • Spanish League Cup: 2
    • 1983, 1986
  • King's Cup: 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
    • 1901-02
  • 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
  • Latin Cup: 2
    • 1949, 1952
  • Eva Duarte Cup: 3
    • 1948, 1952, 1953
  • Martini & Rossi Trohpy: 2
    • 1952, 1953
  • Little World Cup: 1
    • 1957
  • 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: 2
    • 1961, 1962
  • Ciudad de Palma Trophy: 5
    • 1969, 1974, 1976, 1980, 1981
  • Cup of the Pyrenees: 4
    • 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913
  • Mediterranean League: 1
    • 1937
 

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