Barcelona Football Club

Futbol Club Barcelona (Catalan pronunciation: [fubˈbɔɫ ˈklub bərsəˈlonə], Spanish: [ˈfuðβol kluβ βarθeˈlona]), (often known simply as Barcelona and familiarly as Barça (Catalan: [ˈbarsə], Spanish: [ˈbarsa])), is a Spanish professional football club, based in Barcelona, Spain. They play in La Liga, and is one of the only three clubs to have never been relegated, along with Athletic Bilbao and rival Real Madrid.

Founded as Foot-Ball Club Barcelona in 1899 by a group of Swiss, English, and Spanish footballers led by Joan Gamper, the club has become a symbol of Catalan culture and Catalanism, hence the motto "Més que un club" (English: More than a club). The official Barça anthem is the "Cant del Barça" written by Jaume Picas and Josep Maria Espinàs. Unlike many other football clubs, the supporters own and operate Barcelona. It is the world's second richest football club in terms of revenue, with an annual turn-over of €398 million. The club holds a long-standing rivalry with Real Madrid, and matches between the two teams are referred to as "El Clásico".

FC Barcelona is the second most successful club in Spanish football in terms of overall trophies, having won twenty La Liga titles, a record twenty-five Spanish Cups, nine Spanish Super Cups, and two League Cups. It is also one of most successful clubs in European football, having won ten UEFA competitions. It is the only European club to have played continental football every season since 1955. 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 Club World Cup.

History
Birth of FC Barcelona (1899–1922)

Sports Notice: Our friend and companion Hans Gamper... former Swiss [football] champion, being keen on organising some football games in the city asks anyone who feels enthusiastic enough about the sport to present themselves at the office of this newspaper any Tuesday or Friday evening between the hours of 9 and 11pm.

Gamper's advertisement in Los Deportes.

On 22 October 1899, Joan Gamper placed an advertisement in Los Deportes declaring his wish to form a football club; a positive response resulted in a meeting at the Gimnasio Solé on 29 November. Eleven players attended—Walter Wild (the first director of the club), Lluís d'Ossó, Bartomeu Terradas, Otto Kunzle, Otto Maier, Enric Ducal, Pere Cabot, Carles Pujol, Josep Llobet, John Parsons, and William Parsons—and Foot-Ball Club Barcelona was born.

FC Barcelona had a successful start in regional and national cups, competing in the Campionat de Catalunya and the Copa del Rey. In 1902, the club won its first trophy, the Copa Macaya, and participated in the first Copa del Rey, losing 1–2 to Bizcaya in the final. Gamper became club president in 1908, the club in financial difficulty after not winning a competition since the Campionat de Catalunya in 1905. Club president on five separate occasions between 1908 and 1925, he spent 25 years in total at the helm. One of his main achievements was ensuring Barça acquire its own stadium and thus generate a stable income.

On 14 March 1909, the team moved into the Camp de la Indústria, a larger stadium with a seating capacity of 8,000 people. From 1910 to 1914 Barcelona participated in the Pyrenees Cup, which consisted of the best teams of Languedoc, Midi, Aquitaine (Southern France), the Basque Country, and Catalonia. At that time it was considered the finest competition open for participation. During the same period, the club changed its official language from Castilian to Catalan and gradually evolved into an important symbol of Catalan identity. For many fans, supporting the club had less to do with the game itself and more with being a part of the club's collective identity.

Gamper launched a campaign to recruit more club members, and by 1922 the club had over 20,000 members and was able to finance a new stadium. The club to moved to the new Les Corts, inaugurated the same year. Les Corts had an initial capacity of 22,000, which was later expanded to 60,000. Jack Greenwell was recruited as the first full-time manager, and the club's fortunes began to improve on the field. During the Gamper era, FC Barcelona won eleven Campionat de Catalunya, six Copas del Rey, and four Pyrenees Cups, its first "golden age".

Rivera, Republic and Civil War (1923–1957)

Black and white photo of the city from high above. Smoke from a bomb can be seen
The aerial bombardment of Barcelona in 1938

On 14 June 1925, the crowd in the stadium jeered the national anthem in a spontaneous protest against Miguel Primo de Rivera's dictatorship. The ground was closed for six months as a reprisal, and Gamper was forced to relinquish the club presidency. This coincided with the club's transition to professionalism; in 1926 the directors of Barcelona publicly declared Barcelona a professional side for the first time. The club's 1928 victory in the Spanish Cup was celebrated with a poem titled "Oda a Platko", written by a member of the Generation of '27, poet Rafael Alberti, who was inspired by the "heroic performance" of the Barcelona keeper. On 30 July 1930, Gamper committed suicide after a period of depression brought on by personal and financial problems.

Although they continued to have players of the standing of Josep Escolà, the club entered a period of decline in which political conflict overshadowed sport throughout society. Although the team won the Campionat de Catalunya in 1930, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1936, and 1938, success at a national level (with the exception of a disputed title in 1937) evaded them. A month after the Spanish Civil War began in 1936, several players from Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao enlisted in the ranks of those who fought against the military uprising. On 6 August, Josep Sunyol, the club president and representative of a pro-independence political party, was murdered by Falangist soldiers near Guadarrama. Dubbed the martyrdom of barcelonisme, the murder was a defining moment in the history of FC Barcelona. In the summer of 1937, the squad went on tour in Mexico and the United States, where it was received as an ambassador of the Second Spanish Republic. That tour secured the club financially, but also resulted in half the team seeking asylum in Mexico and France. On 16 March 1938, Barcelona came under aerial bombardment, resulting in over 3,000 deaths; one of the bombs hit the club's offices. Catalonia came under occupation a few months later. As a symbol of 'undisciplined' Catalanism, the club, down to just 3,486 members, faced a number of restrictions. After the Civil War, the Catalan flag was banned and football clubs were prohibited from using non-Spanish names. These measures forced the club to change its name to Club de Fútbol Barcelona and to remove the Catalan flag from its club shield.

In 1943, Barcelona faced rivals Real Madrid in the semi-finals of Copa del Generalísimo. Their first match at Les Corts was won by Barcelona 3–0. Before the second leg, Barcelona's players had a changing room visit from Franco's director of state security. He "reminded" them that they were only playing due to the "generosity of the regime". Real Madrid dominated the match, winning 11–1. Despite the difficult
political situation, CF Barcelona enjoyed considerable success during the 1940s and 1950s. In 1945, with Josep Samitier as managers and players like César, Ramallets, and Velasco, they won La Liga for the first time since 1929. They added to this total in 1948 and again in 1949. They also won the first Copa Latina that year. In June 1950, Barcelona signed Ladislao Kubala, who was to be an influential figure at the club.

On a rainy Sunday in 1951, the crowd left Les Corts stadium after a 2–1 win against Santander on foot, refusing to catch any trams and surprising the Francoist authorities. A tram strike was taking place in Barcelona, which received the support of blaugrana fans. Events such as this made the club represent much more than just Catalonia; many progressive Spaniards saw the club as a staunch defender of rights and freedoms.

Managers Ferdinand Daučík and László Kubala led the team to five different trophies including La Liga, the Copa del Generalísimo (now the Copa del Rey), the Copa Latina, the Copa Eva Duarte, and the Copa Martini Rossi in 1952. In 1953, the club won La Liga and the Copa del Generalísimo again.

Club de Fútbol Barcelona (1957–1978)
Barcelona stadium seen from above. It is a large and asymmetrically shaped dome.
The club's stadium, Camp Nou, was constructed with financial backing from the club's supporters in 1957.

With Helenio Herrera as manager, 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 and Inter-Cities Fairs Cup double in 1960. In 1961 they became the first club to beat Real Madrid in European Cup competition, but lost 3–2 to Benfica in the final.

The 1960s were less successful for the club, with Real Madrid monopolising La Liga. The building of the Camp Nou, completed in 1957, meant the club had little money to spend on new players. On the positive side, the decade saw the emergence of Josep Maria Fusté and Carles Rexach, and the club won the Copa del Generalísimo in 1963 and the Fairs Cup in 1966. Barça restored some of its former pride by beating Real Madrid 1–0 in the 1968 Copa del Generalísimo final at the Bernabéu, in front of Franco, with former republican pilot Salvador Artigas as manager. The end of Franco's dictatorship in 1974 saw the club changing its official name back to Futbol Club Barcelona and reverting the crest to its original design, again including the original letters.

The 1973–74 season saw the arrival of Johan Cruyff, who was bought for a world record £920,000 from Ajax. Already an established player in Holland, Cruyff 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 the Catalan name Jordi, after the local saint, for his son.Next to players of quality like Juan Manuel Asensi, Carles Rexach, and Hugo Sotil, he helped the club win the La Liga title in 1973–74 for the first time since 1960, defeating Real Madrid 5–0 at the Bernabéu along the way. He was crowned European Footballer of the Year in 1973 during his first season with Barcelona (his second Ballon d'Or win; he won his first while playing for Ajax in 1971). Cruyff received this prestigious award a third time (the first player ever to do so) in 1974 while he was still with Barcelona.

Núñez and the stabilisation years (1978–2000)
The Champions League trophy, which Barcelona won in 1992.

Beginning with Josep Lluís Núñez in 1978, the president of FC Barcelona has been elected by the club members. This decision was closely tied to Spain's transition to democracy in 1974 and the end of Franco's dictatorship. Núñez's main objective was to develop Barça into a world-class club by giving it stability both on and off the pitch. On recommendation from Cruyff, Núñez inaugurated La Masia as Barcelona's youth academy on 20 October 1979. His presidency was to last for 22 years and it deeply affected the image of Barcelona, as Núñez held to a strict policy regarding wages and discipline, letting players such as Diego Maradona, Romário and Ronaldo go rather than meeting their demands.

On 16 May 1979, the club won its first UEFA Cup Winners' Cup by beating Fortuna Düsseldorf 4–3 in Basel in a final that was watched by more than 30,000 travelling blaugrana fans. In June 1982 Maradona was signed for a then-world record fee of £5 million from Boca Juniors. In the following season, under manager Menotti, Barcelona won the Copa del Rey, beating Real Madrid. Maradona's time with Barça was short-lived; he soon left for Napoli. At the start of the 1984–85 season Terry Venables was hired as manager, and he won La Liga with notable displays by German midfielder Bernd Schuster. The next season Venables took the team to their second European Cup final, only to lose on penalties to Steaua Bucureşti during a dramatic evening in Seville.

After the 1986 FIFA World Cup, English top scorer Gary Lineker was signed along with goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta, but the team could not achieve success as Schuster was excluded from the team. Venables was fired at the beginning of the 1987–88 season and replaced with Luis Aragonés. The players rebelled against president Núñez in an event that became known as the Hesperia mutiny, and a 1–0 victory at the Copa del Rey final against Real Sociedad finished out the season.
photo of Johan Cruyff
Johan Cruyff won four consecutive La Liga titles as manager of Barcelona.

In 1988, Johan Cruyff returned to the club as manager and he assembled the so-called Dream Team. He used a mix of Spanish players like Josep Guardiola, José Mari Bakero, and Txiki Begiristain while signing international stars such as Ronald Koeman, Michael Laudrup, Romário, and Hristo Stoichkov. Under his guidance, Barcelona won four consecutive La Liga titles from 1991 to 1994. They beat Sampdoria in both the 1989 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, Cruyff became the club's most successful manager to date. He also became the club's longest consecutive serving manager, serving 8 years. Cruyff's fortune changed in his final two seasons, when he failed to win any trophies and fell out with president Núñez, resulting in his departure.

Cruyff was briefly replaced by Bobby Robson, who took charge of the club for a single season in 1996–97. He recruited Ronaldo from PSV and delivered a cup treble, winning the Copa del Rey, Cup Winners Cup, and the Supercopa de España. 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 as he left for Internazionale. However, new heroes such as Luís Figo, Patrick Kluivert, Luis Enrique, and Rivaldo emerged and the team won a Copa del Rey and La Liga double in 1998. In 1999 the club celebrated its 'centenari', winning the Primera División title. 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 Champions League led to van Gaal and Núñez resigning in 2000.

Exit Núñez, enter Laporta (2000–2010)

The departures of Núñez 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. Barça fans were distraught by Figo's decision to join arch-rivals Real Madrid, and during subsequent visits to the Camp Nou, he was given an extremely hostile reception. Upon his first return a piglet's head and a full bottle of whiskey were thrown at him from the crowd. President Núñez was replaced by Joan Gaspart in 2000, and the three years he was in charge, saw the club decline and managers came and went; van Gaal served a second term. Gaspart did not inspire confidence off the field either and in 2003, he and van Gaal resigned.

After the disappointment of the Gaspart era, the club bounced back with the combination of a new young president, Joan Laporta, and a young new manager, former Dutch player Frank Rijkaard. On the field, an influx of international players combined with home-grown Spanish players led to the club's return to success. Barça won La Liga and the Supercopa de España in 2004–05, and the team's midfielder, Ronaldinho, won the FIFA World Player of the Year award.

In the 2005–06 season, Barcelona repeated their league and Supercup successes. In the Champions League, Barça beat English club Arsenal 2–1 in the final. Trailing 1–0 to a 10-man Arsenal and with less than 15 minutes left, they came back to win 2–1 for the club's first European Cup victory in 14 years.They took part in the 2006 FIFA Club World Cup, but were beaten by a late goal in the final against Brazilian side Internacional. Despite being the favourites and starting strongly, Barcelona finished the 2006–07 season without trophies. A pre-season U.S. tour and open feud between the player Samuel Eto'o and Rijkaard was later blamed for the lack of trophies. In La Liga, Barça were in first place for much of the season, but their inconsistency in the new year allowed Real Madrid to overtake them to become champions. The 2007–08 season was unsuccessful, and as Barça failed to emulate the success of previous years Barça B youth manager Josep Guardiola took over Rijkaard's duties at the conclusion of the season.

Barça beat Athletic Bilbao 4–1 in the 2009 Copa del Rey Final, winning the competition for a record-breaking 25th time. A defeat for Real Madrid three days later ensured that Barcelona were La Liga champions for the 2008–09 season. Barça finished the season by beating last year's Champions League winners Manchester United 2–0 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome to win their third Champions League title and complete the first ever treble won by a Spanish side. The team went on to win the 2009 Supercopa de España against Athletic Bilbao and the 2009 UEFA Super Cup against Shakhtar Donetsk, becoming the first European club to win both domestic and European Super Cups following a treble. In December 2009, Barcelona won the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup, and became the first team ever to accomplish the sextuple. Barcelona recorded two new records in Spanish football in 2010 as they retained the La Liga trophy with 99 points and winning the Spanish Super Cup trophy for a ninth time.

Support

The nickname culer for a Barcelona supporter is derived from the Catalan cul (English: arse), as the spectators at the first stadium, Camp de la Indústria, sat with their culs over the stand. In Spain, about 25% of the population are said to be Barça sympathisers, second behind Real Madrid, supported by 32% of the population. Valencia is third, with 5% Throughout Europe, Barcelona is the favourite second-choice club. The club's membership figures have seen a significant increase from 100,000 in the 2003–04 season to 170,000 in September 2009, the sharp rise being attributed to the influence of Ronaldinho and then-president Joan Laporta's media strategy that focused on Spanish and English online media.

In addition to membership, as of June 2010 there are 1,335 officially registered fan clubs, called penyes, around the world. The fan clubs promote Barcelona in their locality and receive beneficial offers when visiting Barcelona. The club has had many prominent persons among its supporters, including Pope John Paul II, who was an honorary member, and current prime minister of Spain José Zapatero.

El Clásico

There is often a fierce rivalry between the two strongest teams in a national league, and this is particularly the case in La Liga, where the game between Barça and Real Madrid is known as El Clásico. From the start of national competitions the clubs were seen as representatives of two rival regions in Spain: Catalonia and Castile, as well as of the two cities. The rivalry reflects what many regard as the political and cultural tensions felt between Catalans and the Castilians, seen by one author as a re-enactment of the Spanish Civil War.

During the dictatorships of Primo de Rivera and especially of Francisco Franco (1939–1975), all regional cultures were suppressed. All of the languages spoken in Spanish territory, except Spanish (Castilian) itself, were officially banned. Symbolising the Catalan people's desire for freedom, Barça became 'More than a club' (Més que un club) for the Catalans. According to Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, the best way for the Catalans to demonstrate their identity was by joining Barça. It was less risky than joining a clandestine anti-Franco movement, and allowed them to express their dissidence.

On the other hand, Real Madrid was widely seen as the embodiment of the sovereign oppressive centralism and the fascist regime at management level and beyond (Santiago Bernabeu, the former club president for whom the Merengues stadium is named, fought with los nacionales). However, during the Spanish Civil War, members of both clubs such as Josep Sunyol and Rafael Sánchez Guerra suffered at the hands of Franco supporters.

During the 1950s the rivalry was exacerbated further when there was a controversy surrounding the transfer of Alfredo di Stéfano, who finally played for Real Madrid and was key to their subsequent success. The 1960s saw the rivalry reach the European stage when they met twice at the knock-out rounds of the European Cup. The latest European encounter between the clubs, in 2002, was dubbed the "Match of The Century" by Spanish media, and was watched by more than 500 million people.

El Derbi Barceloní

Barça's local rival has always been Espanyol. Blanc-i-blaus, being one of the clubs granted royal patronage, was founded exclusively by Spanish football fans, unlike the multinational nature of Barça's primary board. The founding message of the club was clearly anti-Barcelona, and they disapprovingly saw FC Barcelona as a team of foreigners. The rivalry was strengthened by what Catalonians saw as a provocative representative of Madrid. Their original ground was in the affluent district of Sarrià.

Traditionally, especially during the Franco regime, Espanyol was seen by the vast majority of Barcelona's citizens as a club which cultivated a kind of compliance to the central authority, in stark contrast to Barça's revolutionary spirit. In 1918 Espanyol started a counter-petition against autonomy, which at that time had become a pertinent issue. Later on, an Espanyol supporter group would join the Falangists in the Spanish civil war, siding with the fascists. Despite these differences in ideology, the derbi has always been more relevant to Espanyol supporters than Barcelona ones due to the difference in objectives. In recent years the rivalry has become less political, as Espanyol translated its official name and anthem from Spanish to Catalan.

Though it is the most played local derby in the history of La Liga, it is also the most unbalanced, with Barcelona overwhelmingly dominant. In the league table, Espanyol have only managed to end above Barça on three occasions in almost 70 years and the only all-Catalan Copa del Rey final was won by Barça in 1957. Espanyol has the consolation of achieving the largest margin win with a 6–0 in 1951. Espanyol achieved a 2–1 win against Barça during the 2008–09 season, becoming the first team to defeat Barcelona at Camp Nou in their treble-winning season.

Finances and ownership

In 2010, Forbes evaluated Barcelona's worth to be around €752 million (USD $1,000 million), ranking them fourth after Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Arsenal, based on figures from the 2008–09 season. According to Deloitte, Barcelona had a recorded revenue of €366 million in the same period, ranking second to Real Madrid, who generated €401 million in revenue.

Along with Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, and Osasuna, Barcelona is organised as a registered association. Unlike a limited company, it is not possible to purchase shares in the club, but only membership. The members of Barcelona, called socis, form an assembly of delegates which is the highest governing body of the club. As of 2010 the club has 170,000 socis.

An audit by Deloitte in July 2010 showed that Barcelona had a net debt of €442 million, currently 58% of net worth as evaluated by Forbes. The new management of Barcelona, which had ordered the audit, cited "structural problems" as the cause of the debt. News had emerged that the club had recorded a loss of €79 million over the course of the year, despite having defended their La Liga title.

Barcelona was found by ESPN to have the highest average salary per player of all professional sports teams in the world, just ahead of rival Real Madrid.

Records

Xavi presently holds the team records for number of total games played (555) and La Liga appearances (369).

FC Barcelona's all-time highest goalscorer in all competitions (including friendlies) is Paulino Alcántara with 357 goals. The record league scorer is César Rodríguez , who scored 195 goals in La Liga between 1942 and 1955. That record is likely to be broken soon as the current leading league scorer Lionel Messi has scored 119 goals. Only four people have managed to score over 100 league goals at Barcelona: César Rodríguez (195), Ladislao Kubala (131), Lionel Messi (119) and Samuel Eto'o (108) .

On 2 February 2009, Barcelona reached a total of 5,000 La Liga goals. The goal was converted by Messi in a game against Racing Santander, which Barça won 2–1. On 18 December 2009 Barcelona beat Estudiantes 2–1 to win their sixth title in a year and became the first ever football team to complete the sextuple. Barcelona holds the record for most Copa del Rey titles (25) and for the most Spanish Supercups with 9 titles.

Barcelona's highest home attendance was 120,000, for a European Cup quarter-final against Juventus on 3 March 1986. The modernisation of Camp Nou during the 1990s and the introduction of all-seater stands means the record will not be broken for the foreseeable future as the current legal capacity of the stadium is 98,772.

Crest and shirt
diamond shaped crest surrounded by laurels and topped with a crown and a bat
The first crest worn by Barcelona

Since its foundation the club has played with a crest. The club's original crest was a quartered diamond-shaped crest topped by the Crown of Aragon and the bat of King James, and surrounded by two branches, one of a laurel tree and the other a palm. In 1910 the club held a competition among its members to design a new crest. The winner was Carles Comamala, who at the time played for the club. Comamala's suggestion became the crest that the club wears today, with some minor variations. The crest consists of the St George Cross in the upper-left corner with the Catalan flag beside it, and the team colours at the bottom.

The blue and red colours of the shirt were first worn in a match against Hispania in 1900. Several competing theories have been put forth for the blue and red design of the Barcelona shirt. The son of the first president, Arthur Witty, claimed it was the idea of his father as the colours were the same as the Merchant Taylor's School team. Another explanation, according to author Toni Strubell, is that the colours are from Robespierre's First Republic. In Catalonia the common perception is that the colours were chosen by Joan Gamper and are those of his home team, FC Basel.

Since its founding, Barcelona has never worn corporate advertisements on their shirt. On 14 July 2006, the club announced a five year agreement with UNICEF, which includes having the UNICEF logo on their shirts. The agreement has the club donate €1.5 million per year to UNICEF (0.7 percent of its ordinary income, equal to the UN International Aid Target, cf. ODA) via the FC Barcelona Foundation. The FC Barcelona Foundation is an entity set up in 1994 on the suggestion of then-chairman of the Economical-Statutory Committee, Jaime Gil-Aluja. The idea was to set up a foundation that could attract financial sponsorships to support a non-profit sport company. In 2004, a company could become one of 25 "Honorary members" by contributing between £40,000–60,000 (£45,800–68,700) per year. There are also 48 associate memberships available for an annual fee of £14,000 (£16,000) and an unlimited number of "patronages" for the cost of £4,000 per year (£4,600). It is unclear whether the honorary members have any formal say in club policy, but according to the author Anthony King, it is "unlikely that Honorary Membership would not involve at least some informal influence over the club".

Barcelona will end their refusal of corporate sponsorship in the 2011–2012 season, having signed a five-year €150m deal with the Qatar Foundation.
Period Kit manufacturer Shirt partner
  • 1982–1992 Meyba None
  • 1992–1998 Kappa
  • 1998–2006 Nike
  • 2006–2011 UNICEF
  • 2011– Qatar Foundation

Stadia

an elevated view of the stadium at night
An elevated view of a full Camp Nou

Barcelona initially played in the Camp de la Indústria. The capacity was about 10,000, and club officials deemed the facilities inadequate for a club with growing membership.

In 1922, the number of supporters had surpassed 20,000 and by lending money to the club, Barça was able to build the larger Camp de Les Corts, which had an initial capacity of 20,000 spectators. After the Spanish Civil War the club started attracting more members and a larger number of spectators at matches. This led to several expansion projects: the grandstand in 1944, the southern stand in 1946, and finally the northern stand in 1950. After the last expansion, Les Corts could hold 60,000 spectators.
One of the stands displaying Barcelona's motto, "Més que un club", meaning 'More than a club'

After the construction was complete there was no further room for expansion at Les Corts. Back-to-back La Liga titles in 1948 and 1949 and the signing of in June 1950 of László Kubala, who would later go on to score 196 goals in 256 matches, drew larger crowds to the games. The club began to make plans for a new stadium. The building of Camp Nou commenced on 28 March 1954, before a crowd of 60,000 Barça fans. The first stone of the future stadium was laid in place under the auspices of Governor Felipe Acedo Colunga and with the blessing of Archbishop of Barcelona Gregorio Modrego. Construction took three years and ended on 24 September 1957 with a final cost of 288 million pesetas, 336% over budget.

In 1980, when the stadium was in need of redesign to meet UEFA criteria, the club raised money by offering supporters the opportunity to inscribe their name on the bricks for a small fee. The idea was popular with supporters, and thousands of people paid the fee. Later this became the centre of controversy when media in Madrid picked up reports that one of the stones was inscribed with the name of long-time Real Madrid chairman and Franco supporter Santiago Bernabéu. In preparation for the 1992 Summer Games two tiers of seating were installed above the previous roofline. It has a current capacity of 98,787 making it the largest stadium in Europe.

There are also other facilities, which include:

o Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper (FC Barcelona's training ground)
o La Masia (Residence of young players)
o Mini Estadi (Home of the reserve team)
o Palau Blaugrana (FC Barcelona indoor sports arena)
o Palau Blaugrana 2 (Secondary indoor arena of FC Barcelona)
o Pista de Gel (FC Barcelona ice rink).

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