Futbol Club Barcelona was founded in 1899 by Joan Gamper with assistance from fellow Catalans and foreign football enthusiasts. The club has since become a true representative of the Catalan culture and now boasts a huge fan base. Barcelona is considered to be one of the richest and most successful clubs in Europe and Spain and they hold a bitter rivalry with Real Madrid.
The club is fully own by its supporters, who can take part in the decision making by playing an annual membership fee. Barcelona are the reigning champions of both La Liga and Champions League, and many believe that the team led by Pep Guardiola is the best that has ever existed. The club takes pride in their premium youth academy La Macia, which has produced almost half of the current squad, including players like Messi, Iniesta and Xavi.
- Stadium (capacity):
- Camp Nou (98772)
- Josep Guardiola
- Star Players:
- Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta
- Last Season Top Scorer:
- Lionel Messi
- Last League Title(s):
- 08/09, 09/10, 10/11
- Last Season Finish:
- European Qualification:
- Champions League
- Current Odds:
- 1.65 (13/20) Betfair
Founded in 1899 by a group of foreigners, FC Barcelona owes its existence to the immense popularity of football and other British sports in Europe at the time. Joan Gamper, the club’s founder, marked the first 25 years of Barcelona, as a player, director and president. The Catalans won their first trophy in 1902, winning the Copa Macaya, while losing to Bizcaja in the Copa del Rey final the same year. Joan Gamper became the club president in 1908 and he was responsible for reorganizing the club, with the number of members constantly increasing during his reign.
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Just a year later, the Catalans moved to a new ground called Camp de la Industria and few years later they adopted Catalan as their official language, thus slowly becoming a real symbol of Catalonia. In 1922, the club moved to 22,000-capacity Les Corts, which was later expanded to accommodate around 60,000 people. With Joan Gamper as president, Barcelona managed to win 11 Championships of Catalunya as well as six Copa del Rey titles.
Barcelona became a professional club in 1926, one year after Joan Gamper was forced to step down from the helm, and two years later they won another Copa del Rey. During the late 20s and 30s, the club struggled to cope with unexpected circumstances in the country, with Spanish Civil War serving as a real blow to club’s fortunes. Following the Civil War, all Spanish clubs were banned from using non-Spanish names, and Barcelona was subsequently forced to lose the Catalan flag and change the name to Club de Futbol Barcelona.
Barcelona won three La Liga titles during the 40s, while they secured domestic doubles in 1953 and 1959. The club moved to Camp Nou in 1957, but with a lot of money spent on new stadium, there was not much left for signing new players. As a result, Real Madrid dominated domestic stage in the 1960s, but the end of Franco’s dictatorship enabled the club to get their official name back as well as the Catalan flag. The uptrend in club’s fortunes started with the arrival of Johan Cruyff, who helped the Catalans won their first league title after 14 years, with the 5:0 victory at Santiago Bernabeu still remembered by many a Barcelona fan.
The club enjoyed a lot of success during the 80s, winning four league titles as well as their first ever European Cup in 1992, but it was the arrival of Joan Laporta as president in 2000 that helped Barcelona return to old glory days. While the Catalans managed to win Champions League title in 2006 under Frank Rijkaard, it was not until Pep Guardiola was appointed as manager that the team became a real force to be reckoned with. With home-grown players like Messi, Xavi and Iniesta, to name just a few, orchestrating the play, Barcelona became the team to beat in both Spain and Europe.
The unbelievable Lionel Messi is one of the players that make Barcelona tick, and it is hardly surprising that he is considered to be one of the best footballers in the history of the game. However, it is midfielders Xavi and Iniesta that are the most responsible for team’s famed tiqui-taca football that has seen the whole world fall in love with FC Barcelona. Other home-grown players like Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Pedro and Victor Valdes are also considered important part of the side.
Win Copa del Rey: 81/50 at WiliamHill
Messi Top Scorer: 1/1 at PaddyPower
Win Champions League: 13/8 at Bet365
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