FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona
Barça emblem
Full name Futbol Club Barcelona
Nickname(s) Barça
Blaugrana
Culers
Founded 1899
Ground Camp Nou,
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Capacity 98,787
Chairman Flag of Spain Joan Laporta
Head Coach Flag of Netherlands Frank Rijkaard
League La Liga
2005-06 La Liga, 1st
Team colours Team colours Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
 
Home colours
Team colours Team colours Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
 
Away colours

Futbol Club Barcelona, known familiarly as Barça, is a Catalan sports club based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It is best known for its football team. It was founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, English, and Catalan 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 Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, they have never been relegated from the Primera División. The club were also the first La Liga champions and they are the current champions of both Spain and Europe.

The club's main stadium is the Camp Nou and the fans of FC Barcelona are known as culers or culés. In September 2006, the number of socis (club members/owners) reached 151,127, while in June 2006 the number of penyes (officially-registered supporter clubs) reached 1782 worldwide.

The club also operates a reserve team, FC Barcelona B, a youth team FC Barcelona C and four other professional sports teams, Winterthur FCB, FC Barcelona-Cifec, FC Barcelona Futsal and FC Barcelona Sorli Discau that compete at basketball, handball, futsal and rink hockey respectively. There are also a number of prominent amateur sports teams that compete at rugby union, women's basketball, women's football and wheelchair basketball. These include FCB Rugby, UB-Barça and FC Barcelona-Institut Guttman. Other amateur teams represent the club at ice hockey, athletics, baseball, cycling, field hockey, figure skating, and volleyball.

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[edit] History

[edit] Early years (1899-1908)

The ad in Los Deportes
The ad in Los Deportes

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 Sole on November 29. Eleven players attended: Gualteri Wild, Lluís d'Ossó, Bartomeu Terradas, Otto Kunzle, Otto Maier, Enric Ducal, Pere Cabot, 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.

FC Barcelona quickly emerged as one of the leading clubs both Catalonia and Spain as they competed in both the Campionat de Catalunya and the Copa del Rey. In 1901 they won their first trophy when they won the Copa Macaya and in 1902 they also played in the first Copa del Rey final, losing 2-1 to Club Vizcaya.

[edit] The Gamper years (1908-1925)

In 1908 Joan Gamper became club president for the first time. Gamper took over the presidency as the club was on the verge of folding. The club had not won anything since the Campionat de Catalunya of 1905 and its finances suffered as a result. Gamper was subsequently club president on five separate occasions between 1908 and 1925 and spent 25 years at the helm. One of his main achievements was to help Barça acquire its own stadium. On March 14 1909, it moved into the Carrer Industria, a stadium with a capacity of 6,000. 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 Les Corts. This stadium had an initial capacity of 20,000, 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 Campionat de Catalunya, 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 Sagibarbá, Ricardo Zamora, Josep Samitier, Félix Sesúmaga and Franz Platko.

[edit] CF Barcelona (1940-1973)

Club shield during the Franco dictatorship
Club shield during the Franco dictatorship

After the Spanish Civil War, the Catalan language and flag were banned and football clubs were prohibited from using non-Spanish names. These measures led to the club having its name forcibly changed to Club de Fútbol Barcelona and the removal of the Catalan flag from the club shield. During the Franco era one of the few places that Catalan could be spoken freely was within the club's stadium. 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. 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 Generalisimo, the Copa Latina and the Copa Eva Duarte in 1952. In 1953 they helped the club win La Liga and the Copa del Generalisimo again. The club also won the Copa del Generalisimo 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 game, thus ending their monopoly of the competition.

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 Generalisimo in 1963 and the Fairs Cup in 1966. Barça restored some pride by beating Real Madrid 1-0 in the 1968 Copa del Generalisimo final at the Bernabéu. The club changed its official name back to Futbol Club Barcelona in 1974.[1]

[edit] Development of the rivalry with Real Madrid

There is often a fierce rivalry between the two strongest teams in a national league and this is particularly the case in La Liga, between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. From the start the clubs were seen as representatives of two rival regions in Spain, Catalonia and Castile, as well as of the two cities themselves. The rivalry projects what many regard as the political and cultural tensions felt between Catalans and the Castilleans. For many Catalan supporters FC Barcelona has been symbolising the ideal of a a separate/independent Catalan nation while they saw Real Madrid as a symbol of the unified Spain.

The rivalry between the two clubs reached a new level during the Franco regime when Franco - at a time when he was openly suppressing all regional identities (e.g. the Catalan language was officially banned) - tried to capitalize upon Real Madrid's international success. However, during the Spanish Civil War itself, members of both clubs suffered at the hands of Franco supporters. In 1936 FC Barcelona president Josep Sunyol, a Republican, was murdered by Franco's forces. Rafael Sánchez Guerra, another prominent Republican and Real Madrid president at that time, was imprisoned and tortured. They also arrested and murdered a Real vice-president and club treasurer and an acting president disappeared.

During the 1950s the rivalry was exacerbated significantly when the clubs disputed the signing of Alfredo Di Stefano, 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 semi-final stage of the European Cup.

As nowadays FC Barcelona and Real Madrid are the two biggest and most successful clubs in Spain, the rivalry is renewed on an almost annual basis with both teams often challenging each other for the league championship.

See also El Clasico, Major football rivalries and Players who have played for FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.

[edit] The arrival of Cruijff

The 1973/74 season saw the arrival of a new Barça legend – Johan Cruijff. Already an established player with Ajax, Cruijff quickly won over the Barça fans when he told the European press he chose Barça over Real Madrid 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.

[edit] The Núñez years

[edit] 1978-1988

Josep Lluís Núñez was elected president of FC Barcelona in 1978. His main objectives were to establish Barça 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 Núñez era. In 1982 Diego Maradona was signed for a world record fee from Boca Juniors. However his time with Barça was short-lived and unsuccessful and he soon left for Napoli. In 1985 under Terry Venables Barça won La Liga and in 1986 he took the team to their second European Cup final, only to lose on penalties to Steaua Bucureşti.

[edit] The Dream Team

In 1988 Johan Cruijff returned to the club as manager, assembling 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, Ronald Koeman, Michael Laudrup, Romário and Hristo Stoichkov. This team won La Liga four times between 1991 and 1994 and beat Sampdoria in both the 1989 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final and the 1992 European Cup final at Wembley. They also won a Copa del Rey in 1990, the European Super Cup in 1992 and three Supercopa de España. With 11 trophies, Cruijff has been the club's most successful manager to date. He is also the club's longest serving manager. However, in his final two seasons, he failed to win any trophies and fell out with president Núñez, resulting in Cruijff's departure.

[edit] 1996-2000

Cruijff was briefly 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, UEFA Cup Winners Cup and the Supercopa de España. Among Robson’s non-playing staff was José Mourinho, future manager of Porto and Chelsea, 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 Internazionale. However, new heroes such as Luís Figo, Luis Enrique Martínez and Rivaldo emerged and the team won a Copa del Rey/La Liga double in 1998. In 1999 they retained the La Liga 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.

[edit] Gaspart years (2000-2003)

The departures of Nuñez and Van Gaal were nothing compared to that of Luís Figo. As well as club vice-captain, Figo had become a cult hero and was considered by Catalans to be one of their own. So the Barça fans were distraught by Figo’s decision to join arch-rivals Real Madrid and during subsequent visits to the Camp Nou Figo was given an extremely hostile reception, including one occasion when a pig's head was thrown at him from the crowd. The next three years saw the club in decline and managers came and went, including a short second spell by Louis van Gaal. Gaspart did not inspire confidence off the field either and in 2003 he and Van Gaal resigned.

[edit] The current era (2003-present)

FC Barcelona 2005 team photograph
FC Barcelona 2005 team photograph

After the disappointment of the Gaspart era, a combination of a new young president Joan Laporta and a relatively young new manager Frank Rijkaard saw the club bounce back. On the field an influx of talented players, such as Ronaldinho, Deco, Ludovic Giuly, and Samuel Eto'o, and experienced professionals, such as Rafael Márquez and Giovanni van Bronckhorst combined with a nucleus of home grown players, Carles Puyol, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Lionel Messi and Víctor Valdés saw the club return to success. Barça won La Liga/Supercopa de España doubles in both 2005 and 2006. In 2006 they also won the UEFA Champions League. Trailing 1-0 to Arsenal with less than 15 minutes left they won 2-1 after the introduction and key intervention of swede Henrik Larsson (ex Glasgow Celtic legend) to assist in both goals.

For the 2006/07 season, FC Barcelona has been reinforced with the arrival of Eidur Gudjohnsen, Gianluca Zambrotta, Lilian Thuram, and the return of Javier Saviola [1]. At the start of the season two-time FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldinho and the Portuguese international, Deco were among the many players still hungover from their disappointments at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The team looked to be back to form after the first few games.

On 14 July 2006 the club announced a five year agreement with UNICEF, which includes having the UNICEF logo on their shirts. The agreement will see FC Barcelona donating US$1.9 million per year to UNICEF, and rejecting significant commercial offers to be the first shirt sponsor of the football team. 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.

[edit] Honours

Celebrating on the streets of Barcelona
Celebrating on the streets of Barcelona
  • La Liga Champions: 18
    • 1929, 1945, 1948, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1959, 1960, 1974, 1985, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2006
  • Copa del Rey: 24
    • 1910, 1912, 1913, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1926, 1928, 1942, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1957, 1959, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1988, 1990, 1997, 1998
  • Copa Macaya/Catalan Champions: 22
    • 1902, 1905, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1913, 1916, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1935, 1936, 1938
  • Copa Martini Rossi: 2
    • 1952, 1953

[edit] Recent seasons

Season Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P Cup Europe Notes Manager
1996/1997 1D 2 42 28 6 8 102 48 90 ECL Group stage Bobby Robson
1997/1998 1D 1 38 23 5 10 78 56 74 winner ECL qualifying round Louis van Gaal
1998/1999 1D 1 38 24 7 7 87 43 79 ECL group stage Louis van Gaal
1999/2000 1D 2 38 19 7 12 70 46 64 ECL semi-final Louis van Gaal
2000/2001 1D 4 38 17 12 9 80 57 63 UC semi-final elim. group stage ECL Llorenç Serra Ferrer
2001/2002 1D 4 38 18 10 10 65 37 64 ECL semi-final Carles Rexach
2002/2003 1D 6 38 15 11 12 63 47 56 ECL quarter-final Carles Rexach/Louis van Gaal
2003/2004 1D 2 38 21 9 8 63 39 72 UC 4th round Radomir Antić/Frank Rijkaard
2004/2005 1D 1 38 25 9 4 73 29 84 2nd round ECL last 16 Frank Rijkaard
2005/2006 1D 1 38 25 7 6 80 35 82 quarter-final ECL winner Frank Rijkaard
2006/2007 1D 1 21 12 7 2 43 18 43 ECL last 16 ongoing Frank Rijkaard

[edit] Current squad 2006/07

The numbers are established according to the official website: www.fcbarcelona.com, uefa.com and www.lfp.es.As of 20 January 2007.

No. Position Player
1 Flag of Spain GK Víctor Valdés
2 Flag of Brazil DF Juliano Belletti
3 Flag of Brazil MF Thiago Motta
4 Flag of Mexico DF Rafael Márquez
5 Flag of Spain DF Carles Puyol (captain)
6 Flag of Spain MF Xavi
7 Flag of Iceland FW Eidur Gudjohnsen
8 Flag of France FW Ludovic Giuly
9 Flag of Cameroon FW Samuel Eto'o
10 Flag of Brazil MF Ronaldinho (vice-captain)
11 Flag of Italy DF Gianluca Zambrotta
12 Flag of Netherlands DF Gio van Bronckhorst
No. Position Player
15 Flag of Brazil MF Edmílson
16 Flag of Brazil DF Sylvinho
18 Flag of Spain FW Santiago Ezquerro
19 Flag of Argentina FW Lionel Messi
20 Flag of Portugal MF Deco
21 Flag of France DF Lilian Thuram
22 Flag of Argentina FW Javier Saviola
23 Flag of Spain DF Oleguer Presas
24 Flag of Spain MF Andrés Iniesta
25 Flag of Spain GK Albert Jorquera
26 Flag of Spain DF Jesús
31 Flag of Mexico MF Giovanni dos Santos

[edit] Personnel

[edit] Current technical staff

Director of Football Flag of Spain Txiki Beguiristáin
Head Coach Flag of Netherlands Frank Rijkaard
Assistant Coach Flag of Netherlands Johan Neeskens
2nd assistant Coach Flag of Spain Eusebio Sacristán
Goalkeeping coach Flag of Spain Juan Carlos Unzué
Academy director Flag of Spain José Ramón Alexanko

[edit] Former Personnel

[edit] Selected former presidents

see also Cat:FC Barcelona presidents

[edit] Selected former managers

see also Cat:FC Barcelona managers

[edit] Selected former players

   

 

Competing: Arsenal | Barcelona | Bayern Munich | Celtic | Chelsea | Internazionale | Lille | Liverpool | Lyon | Manchester United | Milan | Porto | PSV | Real Madrid | Roma | Valencia

Eliminated: AEK | Anderlecht | Benfica | Bordeaux | Copenhagen | CSKA Moscow | Dynamo Kyiv | Galatasaray | Hamburg | Levski Sofia | Olympiakos | Shakhtar | Spartak Moscow | Sporting | Steaua | Werder Bremen
Flag of Spain
La Liga • 2006/07 clubs
v • d • e
Flag of Spain

Athletic Bilbao | Atlético Madrid | FC Barcelona | Real Betis | Celta de Vigo | Deportivo
RCD Espanyol | Getafe | Gimnàstic | Levante | Real Madrid | RCD Mallorca | Osasuna
Racing | Sevilla | Real Sociedad | Recreativo | Valencia | Villarreal | Real Zaragoza

La Liga seasons

1992/93 | 1993/94 | 1994/95 | 1995/96 | 1996/97 | 1997/98 | 1998/99
1999/00 | 2000/01 | 2001/02 | 2002/03 | 2003/04 | 2004/05 | 2005/06 | 2006/07

Members of G-14
v • d • e

Flag of Netherlands Ajax | Flag of England Arsenal | Flag of Spain FC Barcelona | Flag of Germany Bayer Leverkusen | Flag of Germany Bayern Munich

Flag of Germany Borussia Dortmund | Flag of Netherlands PSV Eindhoven | Flag of Italy Internazionale | Flag of Italy Juventus

Flag of England Liverpool | Flag of England Manchester United | Flag of Italy AC Milan | Flag of France Lyon | Flag of France Marseille

Flag of France Paris Saint-Germain | Flag of Portugal FC Porto | Flag of Spain Real Madrid | Flag of Spain Valencia

Sport in the Catalan-speaking world Flag of Catalonia
v • d • e

National: Andorran Football Federation| Andorra national football team |
Catalonia Football Federation | Catalonia national football team
Club: FC Barcelona | RCD Espanyol | CE Sabadell | Gimnàstic de Tarragona | València CF | RCD Mallorca | Levante UD | Vila-real CF | Winterthur FCB | DKV Joventut | Akasvayu Girona | Ricoh Manresa | Pamesa València | Etosa Alacant | ViveMenorca | USA Perpinyà |
Les Catalans