FC Barcelona- More than a Club

Football Club Barcelona-A belief, a faith! One of the few sports clubs that aren’t unknown, no matter which part of the Globe you are in! Its motto is Més que un club; Yes, it’s more than a club! This article is about the making as well as the rise of one of the finest footballing teams in the world! Also, some facts about the club await you at the end of the article!

Where it all Started

The Great journey started in 1899. It was founded by a group of Swiss, English, and Spanish footballers after Swiss Hans Gamper put an advertisement in a newspaper on October 22, 1899. He showed his interest and wish towards forming a football club. The advertisement got positive support and many players came forward. The meeting was held on 29th November 1899 and thus, Football Club Barcelona was born. Walter Wild became the first club President.

In the initial days, the club performed well enough in regional and National Leagues. The first Trophy for the club came in 1902 when they won the Copa Macaya. They also played the final of Copa del Rey the same year but lost to Bizcaya by 1-2.

The Gamper Era

Hans Gamper, now called Joan Gamper, took the club’s presidency in 1908. It was a time when the club was struggling on the field as well as outside it. The team hadn’t received much social recognition and was financially in a Red. One of the most important achievements of Gamper was getting the club its own stadium, thus, generating a stable income. To celebrate this event, the club participated in the inaugural edition of the Pyrenees Cup. In this prestigious league, almost all the big names of the region competed. From the inaugural year in 1910 to 1913, Barcelona won four consecutive trophies. Carles Comamla played a key role in all four wins along with Amechazurra and Jack Greenwell.

Gamper also launched various programs to recruit more members. By 1922, they had 20,000 people who helped finance a new stadium for the team. Later, Gamper recruited Greenwell as the first full-time manager of the club. This era was the first ‘Golden Age’ of the club. 

The Club And Politics

The club held a second testimonial match for Paulino Alcántara. They played against the Spanish National Team. Local Journalist and Pilot Joseph Canudas kicked off the match by dropping the ball into the stadium from his airplane. In 1929, Barcelona went on to win the first-ever Spanish League. Misfortunes followed the club a year later, when Gamper committed suicide on July 30, 1930, because of personal and financial issues. After this, the club entered into a declining state. 

The Spanish Civil War began in 1936. Many of the players from the team were enlisted in the people who participated in the military uprising! The president of the team Josep Sunyol, a representative of the pro-independence party was murdered. He was called a martyr of barcelonisme and his murder became a turning point for the club and the Catalan identity.

In 1938, the Italian air force started bombarding Barcelona. This caused more than 3000 deaths. One of the bombs also hit the club’s office! Later, Catalonia came under occupation and the club was also charged with many restrictions. The Catalan flag was banned. Also, the club was forced to take up a Spanish name i.e.,  Club de Fútbol Barcelona. Due to the club’s association with Catalan identity, it faced a lot of struggles. Still, defying all the odds the team enjoyed much success in the 1940s and 1950s. In 1945, they won the La Liga after a long time since their victory in 1929. The members(supporters) of the club represent much more than Catalonia beliefs. The club is seen as a loyal defender of rights and freedoms. Francisco Franco’s dictatorship ended in 1974. After this, the club changed its name back to Futbol Club Barcelona.

Making of a Dream Team

The 1960s were not good enough for the club. However, the club bought Johan Cruyff at a record price. With his arrival, the club won the season of 1973-74. In 1978, Josep Lluís Núñez became Barcelona FCs first elected president. He was very strict with wages and discipline and even let go players like Maradona, Ronaldo, and  Romário, instead of agreeing to their demands. In the 1987-88 season, the players rebelled against the President and won the Copa del Rey. This rebellion is called the Hesperia Mutiny.

In 1988, Johan Cruyff returned to the team as the Manager. It had been 10 years since the club started a youth inception program. The young incepted players had started graduating and joining the team. With wise trading, Cruyff bought some well-known international players like Ronald Koeman, Michael Laudrup, Romário, and Hristo Stoichkov. The team he made, went on to be called the Dream Team. 

The Days of the GOAT players

Leo messi for Barcelona
Source- Leonel Messi Instagram

The club had some bad days around the 2000s. It’s centenary celebration was accompanied by the Primera Division Title. However, the days that followed weren’t exactly great. A turnover came when Joan Loparto joined the club in 2003 as a president. The young manager Frank Rijkaard made the club bounce back. Players like Ronaldinho, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta and Henrik Larsson started coming in. These Greats were followed by the upcoming superstar’s entry into the team in 2006-07 season. It was Lionel Messi. The following seasons turned out great for the club.

Luis Suárez joined the club in 2014 following Neymar who had joined the club in 2013. Messi, Suárez and Neymar together called MSN went on to score 122 goals in all competitions in the 2014-15 season. This is the highest for any attacking trio in the history of Spanish Football!

The Records 

Barcelona has won around 74 domestic trophies. This includes 26 La Liga, 31 Copa del Rey, 13 Supercopa de España, 3 Copa Eva Duarte, and 2 Copa de la Liga Trophies. They are also the record holders for the last 4 leagues- having won them the maximum times for any team. The club has also won 20 European and World wide Titles.

Barcelona players have also won a record no. of Ballon d’Or awards(12). Also, they hold the record of maximum FIFA World Player of the Year awards(7). Players representing the club have also won a record of European Golden Shoe Awards(8). The Blaugranas keep records adding to the list.

Some Worth Knowing Facts About The Football Club

  • They are also called Blaugranas, the name originating from the striped blue and red jersey that they wear.
  • It is one of the only clubs run and owned entirely by its club members or supporters. These Supporters are mostly called Culers. They are also called Barcelonistas.
  • It’s a club where the president is elected by the supporters. It is also the fourth richest sports club and one of the richest football clubs!
  • Why the motto- Barça, més que un club(Barcelona, more than a club)? This is because, after the Spanish Civil War, the club became an identity of the Catalan Faith!
  • Under Pep Guardiola, they invented their own style of play. It is called ‘tiki-taka’ or the Total Football Philosophy.
  • The club anthem written by Jaume Picas and Josep Maria Espinàs is Cant del Barça. The supporters chant is  ‘Forca Barca’, ‘Visca Barça or Visca el Barça’ i.e., Up with Barca; and Long Live Barca Respectively.
  • Carles Kampala made the first FC Barcelona Logo in 1910. Since then, it has changed very little.

The official website of the club also features the supporters!

Hope you enjoyed the article! If you are a Barcelonistes; keep chanting- “Força Barça”

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This is Apexa Rai! Student- B.A. Honors(Journalism) Intern at Akashbaani Loves to write! An optimistic Wildflower!

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