FC Barcelona is one of the world’s most famous and successful football teams. The club was formed in 1899 by Joan Gamper, a Swiss player, with the help of English and Spanish players, most notably Catalans. FC Barcelona is treasured by Catalans, who refer to it as ‘mes que en club’, meaning ‘more than a club’. Indeed, the team represents Catalonia as an autonomous region of Spain and is run by the fans themselves, based on a membership shares scheme.
Every few years, the club’s shareholders meet to elect a president. The current president is Sandro Rosell, a Barcelona native who has been associated with the club for many years, previously as vice-president. He is now presiding over one of the most successful and profitable periods in the club’s history, with FC Barcelona having won numerous trophies in the last few years. The current coach is Tito Vilanova, who has been in charge since the summer of 2012 when he took over from Pep Guardiola, whose assistant he had been. Vilanova has guided the side to their best ever league start, claiming eighteen wins from a possible nineteen.
FC Barcelona plays at Camp Nou stadium, which has a capacity of 99,354. In addition to the currently successful team, the club has won many honours over the years, including 21 league titles, most recently in 2011. They have also won the Spanish King’s Cup a record 26 times and the prestigious European Champions Cup / UEFA Champions League on four occasions, the last being in 2011.
Many players in the FC Barcelona team are home-grown, making their way through the club’s vaunted youth system and developing into world-class players. The most noted player currently at FC Barcelona is the Argentine Lionel Messi, considered by many to the best of all time. Other famous footballers at the club include Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique, Cesc Fabregas and Sergio Busquets, all players for the world and European champions, Spain. FC Barcelona is also renowned for its attractive and widely envied style of short-passing football, known as ‘tika taka’. More than a club indeed.