Did you know that the fans own the club playing at Camp Nou, the biggest stadium in Spain?
In this post, you’ll discover the ultimate list of facts about FC Barcelona, one of the biggest football clubs in the world!
1. The club was formed through a newspaper ad
Who would have thought that one of the world’s biggest sports teams was formed because one man posted an ad in a newspaper, right? Well, that’s exactly what happened!
On October 22, 1899, a Swiss football enthusiast named Hans Gamper placed an ad in the Spanish newspaper “Los Deportes” with his idea of forming a new football club. After all, he already founded FC Zürich in his home country 3 years earlier.
The ad was a success and numerous local footballers and enthusiasts joined a meeting in Gimnasio Solé on November 29, 1899. It’s here that the club was formed as FC Barcelona.
2. Two Swiss men play a crucial role in the club’s early years
It wasn’t just local football players who responded to the ad, there was another Swiss football enthusiast among them who loved to become part of this new football club.
Walter Wild, a Swiss engineer and football player known in Catalan as Gualteri Wild, was also present, and together with Hans Kamper, played a crucial role in the initial years of the club.
Wild was the club’s first president, a role he took on for the first 513 days of the club’s existence. Eventually, he had to resign because of his job, but he was actively involved in laying the foundation of what would become the most successful football club in Spain.
3. FC Barcelona is more than just a football club
FC Barcelona became one of the founding members of La Liga, the prestigious Spanish first league, and is one of three clubs, the others being Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, that has never been relegated.
During the first two decades of its existence, the club’s identity evolved into something much more than just a football club. This was emphasized when the club changed its official language from Castilian to Catalan and becoming a member of the club was more than just supporting the club, it became a political statement as well.
Therefore, the club’s motto is “Mes Que Un Club,” which literally translates to “More Than A Club.”
4. The club had 2 other stadiums before settling at Camp Nou
Camp Nou, the home venue of FC Barcelona, is the biggest football stadium in Europe and the 12th biggest arena in the world. It has a capacity of 99,354 which is a lot more than that of its rivals, the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium of Real Madrid
Before they moved to this epic football temple, they played their home games in a lot more humble places. Their first stadium was called “Camp de la Indústria” and had a capacity of merely 8,000.
By 1922, the club had more than 20,000 members, thanks to the amazing job done by Hans Kamper, and they were able to their new stadium called “Camp de les Corts.” This stadium had a capacity of 30,000 which was expanded to 60,000 in the 1940s.
5. A famous player from the 1950s has his own statue near Camp Nou
One of the best players in Europe joined the ranks of FC Barcelona in June 1950. The Hungarian László Kubala eventually became one of the ultimate heroes in FC Barcelona’s history.
As a reward, he has been eternalized with a statue that is located just outside the Camp Nou, just as some of the most famous players at Manchester United have their own statue just outside of Old Trafford.
This way, his memory will never be forgotten!
6. Johan Cruyff won the Ballon d’Or twice in the 1970s
Another legend in Barcelona is the late Dutchman Johan Cruyff. At the time of his signing in 1973, he was the world’s most expensive player, joining the club from Ajax for a world record fee of $1,200,000!
Cruyff didn’t just shine on the field but was also actively denouncing the regime of Francisco Franco, something that made him extremely popular with the fans.
he ended up becoming the best player in Europe and inning the prestigious Ballon d’Or two years in a row in 1973 and 1974. He was the first player to win this trophy three times after doing so for the first time with Ajax in 1971.
7. The famous youth program started in 1979
The most famous youth training facility in the world of Association Football is called “La Masia.” The area was bought by the club in 1979 and the old farmer’s house was remodeled and now serves as the place where the young players learn how to play.
The old country house dates back to 1702 and was extensively renovated after the purchase. The facility is now home to over 300 young players and has been a significant factor in the club’s successes.
8. 3 players from La Masia were once chosen as best players of the world
The glory moment for La Masia came in 2010 when 3 players that were trained at the facility were nominated as the 3 best football players in the world.
The honor was given to Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta, and Xavi. One of the most fascinating facts about FC Barcelona is that this was the first time that 3 players from the same football school had achieved this stunt.
9. Diego Maradona was the most expensive player ever
One of the most genius, yet controversial players in world football also had a brief stint at FC Barcelona. The Argentinian Diego Maradona joined the club from Boca Juniors for a fee of $6.5 million, a record in June 1982.
Plagued by injuries, he moved to Napoli 2 years later where he became one of the most popular football players in that club’s history by winning the Serie A.
10. Johan Cruyff created the “Dream Team” in the 1980s
Johan Cruyff is one of the most important figures in FC Barcelona’s history. He didn’t just manage to win numerous trophies with the club as a player but did equally well as a manager.
He created a completely new way of playing football called “Total Football” and this has been incorporated into the club’s philosophy ever since. As a coach, he managed to create a team referred to as the “Dream Team” which was considered to be one of the best teams in history at that time.
Some famous Spanish players included Pep Guardiola, José Mari Bakero, and Miguel Angel Nadal (the uncle of Rafael Nadal, the famous tennis player). International players included Ronald Koeman, Michael Laudrup, Romário, and Hristo Stoichkov.
11. Did Guardiola build the best Barça team ever?
Another one of those fun facts about FC Barcelona is that one member of the “Dream Team” turned out to become one of the best football managers in history himself. Pep Guardiola won a total of 14 trophies in just 4 years at the club, an absolute record!
This was also during the years that the 3 players from La Masia became the best players in the world. Some sources even consider this team with Guardiola as manager was the best team in football history.
If you win just about everything for 4 consecutive years, it’s hard to disagree with this statement!
12. FC Barcelona has won a record number of trophies in Spain
Apart from being the most supported football club in the world, FC Barcelona is also one of the most successful ones. They have won a record of 74 trophies domestically: 26 La Liga, 30 Copa del Rey, 13 Supercopa de España, 3 Copa Eva Duarte, and 2 Copa de la Liga trophies (at the time of writing in August 2020).
They also won 20 European and worldwide trophies: 5 UEFA Champions League titles, a record 4 UEFA Cups Winners’ Cups, 5 UEFA Super Cups, a record 3 Inter-Cities Fairs Cups, and 3 FIFA Club World Cups.
Numerous players at the club have won individual trophies as well, including 12 Ballon d’Or awards!
13. The fans of the club don’t have a flattering nickname
One of the strangest facts about FC Barcelona is that their fans have a pretty weird nickname. They are referred to as “culé,” a word derived from the Catalan word “cul” which translates to “arse.”
So why are FC Barcelona fans called cules?
It dates back to the early days of the club when they still played in their old stadium. People could see just one thing when they passed by the stadium, which is the bums of the people sitting on the top row. That’s how they acquired their famous nickname!
Cules are not to be confused with socios, members of the club who pay a yearly fee and have a say in the management of the club. The fan clubs all around the world are referred to as “Penyes.”
14. El Clásico is the biggest game of the year
Every football club in the world has at least one game they look forward to the entire year. In the case of FC Barcelona, it’s considered to be one of the biggest games in club football in the world as well!
If you happen to walk around in a major city in Spain during “El Clásico,” you will hardly see any people on the street! The game between FC Barcelona and their main rivals Real Madrid is really that big.
It’s much more than just a game as well. It exemplifies the political and cultural differences and rivalry between Catalans in Barcelona and the Castilians in Madrid, something that started, in terms of football matches, over 100 years ago.
15. FC Barcelona is one of the most valuable sports clubs in the world
FC Barcelona isn’t just one of the most popular football clubs in the world, it’s also one of the wealthiest. The club has been ranked consistently in the top 5 most valuable sports clubs in the world, with a 2017 valuation of $3.64 billion according to Forbes and yearly revenue of €484.6 million.
With all these riches, they came up with a plan to expand their stadium and turn it into one of the most amazing football temples in the world. “Nou Camp Nou,” as the renovated stadium will be called will have a total capacity of 105,000 seats and further establish FC Barcelona as one of the biggest and most prestigious football clubs in the world!