When it comes to the world of sports, Barcelona and football are synonymous. As of 2012, Barcelona has won 21 La Liga, 25 Copa del Rey, 10 Supercopa de Espana, 3 Copa Eva Durate, and 2 Copa de la Liga trophies. Football Club Barcelona or FCB have won 4 UEFA Champions League, a record 4 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, 4 UEFA Super Cup, and a record 2 FIFA Club World Cup trophies. They also won a record 3 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup trophies, considered the predecessor to the UEFA Cup-Europa League. This championship teamis the only European club to have played continental football every season since 1955, and one of the only three clubs to have never been relegated from La Liga, along with Athletic Bilbao, and Real Madrid. In 2009, Barcelona became the first club in Spain to win the Treble consisting of La Liga, Copa del Rey, and the Champions League. That same year, it also became the first football club ever to win six out of six competitions in a single year, thus completing the sextuple,comprising the aforementioned treble and the Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA World Cup.
This world renowned football club got its remarkable start here in Barcelona at the Gimnasio Sole on November 29th, 1899. Joan Gamper placed an advertisement in the local newspaper asking if there were others in the area wanting to contribute the the founding of a new Barcelona football club. Gamper met Gualteri Wild, Lluís d’Ossó, Bartomeu Terrados, Otto Kunzle, Otto Maier, Enric Ducal, Pere Cabot, Carles Pujol, Josep Llobet, John Parsons and William Parsons. Eleven sportsmen gathered in order to found a football club. Gualteri Wild was appointed President. The new Barcelona football team played their first game March 14, 1909 against English ex-pats living in Barcelona. Barca lost 0-1.
The new Football Club Barcelona won their first championship that same year, in the Catalan Championship. The team would continue to win the Catalan Championship in 1910,1911,1912,1915,1918,1919,1920,1921, and the Spanish Championship in 1909, 1911, 1912,1919, and 1921. With such amazing records and winning streaks for such a new football organization crowds began following the team. In order to accomodate the new fans, Barca had a “Cathedral of Football” constructed in May of 1922. The new Les Corts Stadium opened May 20th, 1922, with a capacity to hold 30,000 specators.
The club had an amazing beginning but the 1930’s had left some scars on the Football Club Barcelona. Founder Joan Gamper died July 30 1930. After this several club owners left, the team created a losing streak and the Civil War of 1936 pushed heavily on Catalan identity. In March of 1938, the Franco Regime bombed the Les Corts Stadium in an effort to destroy the symbolism that the Football Club Barcelona held for Catalonia.
The team saw a gradual recovery in the 1940’s as they began to once again win their battles. The Football Club Barcelona won the National League Titles in 1945, 1948, and 1949. In June of 1950, Ladislao Kubala arrived in Barcelona dramatically shifting the power and magic that the team already had. The Messi of the 1950’s, Kubala helped Barcelona win the Spanish League in 1951, 1952, and 1953. In 1952, Barca won the Five Cups: Spanish League, Spanish Cup, Latin Cup Eva Duarte and Martini Rossi trophies.
With Kubala leading the dream team of Barcelona, the “Cathedral of Football” was no longer large enough to sustain the number of fans attending the games. in 1957 the new stadium, Camp Nou was erected. The new stadium had a capacity of 90,000 fans. It was during this time that Barca continued to win cups including the Spanish Leagues 1958-59 and 1959-60, and the Fairs’ Cups 1957-1958 and 1959-60, coached by Helenio Herrera, with such excellent players as Kocsis, Czibor, Evaristo, Kubala, Eulogio Martínez, Suárez, Villaverde, Olivella, Gensana, Segarra, Gràcia, Vergés and Tejada. During this time, the popular Football Club Barcelona phrase “more than a club” was born. FCB had been stamped as a part of Catalan identity.
In 1978, Josep Lluís Núñez became President of the Football Club Barcelona. The Club then began a considerable period of social and financial expansion. The increase in member numbers reached the 100,000 and many supporter’s clubs were founded. The Football Club Barcelona was becoming the sports most important entity in the world. Barça were also provided with emblematic sports facilities: the Camp Nou expansion, the building of the Miniestadi, the Palau Blaugrana, and so on. The FC Barcelona is currently a sports entity which includes basketball, handball, hockey, ice-hockey, figure skating, indoor football, rugby, baseball, volleyball and women’s football sections.
The Football Club Barcelona colors and symbol are recognized around the world as a leader in sports and as a successful club. People travel the globe to attend Barcelona football games. Barcelona has become a mecca to the football world and the jersey’s of Messi, Puyol, Alves, Valdes, Sanchez, Villa, Adriano, Keita, and Pinto. FCB helps give pride and definition to Barcelona as a city among cities.
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