FC Barcelona is a Catalan football club from the same city, one of the best in Spain and in the world. It was founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, British, Spanish and Catalan footballers led by Joan Gamper.
The club became one of the symbols of Catalonia. Representatives of Barcelona together with representatives of Real Madrid and Athletics from Bilbao stood at the origins of La Liga.
In this case, Barcelona is among the three teams that did not leave the highest Spanish division. The other two are all the same "Real" and "Athletic".
Barcelona First Football Successes
The first major successes came to the Barcelona in the late 50's, when the club was headed by Elenio Herrera. Then the Catalan team for the first time managed to win the European Cup - the Fairs Cup. Then the first great Barca began to be created.
The composition was reinforced by the young Luis Suarez, who became the footballer of the year in Europe in 1960, and two Hungarians from the legendary "golden team", Sandor Kochish and Zoltan Tsibor, who left their homeland after the suppression of the USSR and the so-called "People's Democracy" of the popular uprising in Hungary and the subsequent occupation of the country (they were taken to the team on the recommendation of Kubala, who knew them closely).
With such twam, Barca made a national double in 1959 (the Championship and the Cup of Spain), and in 1960 took the second in it's history Fairs Cup and again won in the national championship.
In 1961, they became the first club in history to knock out Real Madrid from the European Champions Cup in six years of the trophy, interrupting the "monopoly" of Madrid for this title. In the final of the Champions Cup in Bern, the Spaniards lost to the Portuguese "Benfica" with a score of 2:3.
The 1960s were generally not very successful for a club of this level: two Cups of Spain (1963 and 1968) and a Fairs Cup 1966 - that their list of trophies of those years is exhausted. In those years, the drawing of the championship of Spain became the "internal affair" of the two Madrid grandees - "Real" and "Atletico", Barca could not then intervene in their rivalry.
New Legend of Barca
In the 1973-1974 season, the team was joined by a man who was destined to become the new legend of Barca, the Dutch striker Johan Cruyff. Already as a master of football during the game in "Ajax", Cruyff immediately became entrenched in the basis and soon became the leader of the team.
He quickly became a favorite of the Barca fans for his game, but especially rose in their eyes after telling the journalists that he chose Barca, not the worst enemy of Real Madrid (who was also interested in the services of the Dutchman) allegedly because he could not play for the club associated with the name of Franco.
In addition, later he called his son the Catalan name Jordi. Largely thanks to Cruyff in 1974, Barcelona won the Spanish example for the first time since 1960, and at the same time beat Madrid Real in El Clasico to Santiago Bernabeu 5-0.
Also in his first season for Barca Cruyff was recognized as the player of the year in Europe. In 1978, Cruyff left the club and left to play in the United States.
In 1978, Josep Lewis Nunez was elected president of the club. His main goals as head of the club were turning Barca into a world-class club and ensuring financial stability.
Barca Nunez Era
In the Nunez era, Barca won two Cup of championss - in 1978/79 (a victory in the final over Fortuna from Dusseldorf in extra time) and 1981/82 (in the final at home Camp Nou beat 2:1 "Standard") years; and the team at that time won three King's Cups (1980/81, 1982/83, 1987/88).
In June 1982 the team was strengthened by Argentinian Diego Maradona, who transferred from Argentine team Boca Juniors for a record transfer at that time - 3 million pounds sterling. However, soon, in 1984, the superstar (who managed to "put his hand" to victory in the Copa del Rey 1983) bought out the Italian club "Napoli", beating the transfer record (5 million pounds sterling).
Before the start of the 1984-1985 season, the Englishman Terry Venables was appointed coach of the club. Also in the club came German midfielder Bernd Schuster. In the 1984-1985 season, the team confidently won the championship of Spain. And in the next season reached the final of the Champions Cup, where at the stadium, "Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan" in Seville lost to the Romanian "Steaua" (0:2 in a series of post-match penalties).
In 1988, Johan Cruyff returned to the club as head coach.
The line-up of the team, which he headed, was received a little later, in the early 90's, the nickname "Dream Team", by analogy with the legendary US basketball team of those years that won at the 1992 Olympics, which took place just in Barcelona.
In Barca at that time came a galaxy of brilliant players: Amor, Guardiola, Jose Maria Bakero, Chiki Begiristein, Nadal, Eusebio, Goikoechea, Gheorghe Hadji ("Carpathian Maradona"), Ronald Coomann, Michael Laudrup, Romario and Hristo Stoichkov.
All these masters quickly played, and as a result, a very formidable team, quite deserving of it's name "Dream Team", turned out to be.
In 1991-1994 years Barca four times in a row won the championship of Spain. In the European arena the team was no less successful, winning the Cup of champions in 1989 (victory in the final over Sampdoria 1:0) and the Champions Cup-1991/92 (in the dramatic match at Wembley, the same Sampdoria, The decisive, who became the legendary free-kick goal in overtime, in the 111th minute of the match, scored Ronald Kuman).
In addition, a collection of club trophies joined the Spanish Cup (1990), the UEFA Super Cup (1992) and three Spanish Super Cups. In 1992, in Tokyo, the team lost in the final of the Intercontinental Cup to the club "Sao Paulo" (1:2).
However, soon the band of victories came to an end. In the final of the Champions League in 1993/94 in Athens, Barca lost to "Milan" 0:4.
This was the first serious, major defeat in a few years.
In 1996, after two not very successful seasons (1994-1995, 1995-1996), Cruyff left the coaching stuff of the team. At this post, Cruyff established two club coaching records: the length of his tenure and the number of trophies won (11).
The departure of Cruyff is considered to be the end of the "Dream-Tim" epoch, the majority of players of that legendary composition also left the team by early 1997.
After the departure of Cruyff, his place was taken by Englishman Bobby Robson, who spent only one season (1996/97), but very successful: the team made a "cup hat-trick" (the Spanish Cup, the Spanish Super Cup and the Cup of champions).
Also, during his stay at Barca, Robson managed to acquire the future superstar Ronaldo from the Dutch PSV and to pronounce the phrase that became famous: "Catalonia is a country, and FC Barcelona is it's army."
However, Ronaldo played for the club for only one season, leaving for Milan "Inter". Robson in the coaching position was replaced by the Dutchman Louis van Gal. By this time the club was strengthened by Luis Figo, Giovanni de Oliveira, Luis Enrique Martinez, Patrick Kluivert and Rivaldo.
In the same year, one of the leaders of the club Rivaldo was recognized as the best footballer in Europe, becoming the fourth player of Barca, awarded this award. However, the loss of Barca in the Champions League semifinals to compatriots from the "Valencia" was perceived as a failure, especially against the background of the victory in that tournament of the main rivals of the Catalans - Madrid "Real"; and in the end all this led to the fact that, despite the great success of the club at the Spanish la Liga, both the long-term president Josep Nunez and the head coach Louis van Gaal had to retire from their own.
In the same unhappy year for the club, one of his key players, the fan favorite, Luis Figo, went to the camp of "Real" (later the fans of Barca would be extremely hostile to meet Luis at the "Camp Nou" and during one of the classics even throw a pig at his head).
Short time of the presidency of Joan Gaspart (2000-2003) (he succeeded in this post Nunez) was not marked by a single trophy won.
After Gaspar's retirement, the club was headed by the new young president Joan Laporta. Also in 2003, the young coach Frank Rijkaard, the former star of Ajax and Milan, came to the club.
Under his leadership, the team began gradually, step by step, to regain it's former glory. The club was attended by players such as world champion Ronaldinho, Deco, Olympic champion Samuel Eto'o, Rafael Marquez, also fully revealed by this time their talent and previously played for the club's own pupils: Lionel Messi, Carles Puyol (received the captain's armband), midfielders Andres Iniesta and Xavi and goalkeeper Victor Valdes.
In the first season of Rijkaard (2003/04) the team came in the championship second, and already in the second (2004/05) - confidently won in La Liga and took the Spanish Super Cup.
In the same season, Ronaldinho, the leader of Barca's attacks, became the best football player of the year in the world according to FIFA, while Eto'o took third place in the same list.
In November 2005, Barca won against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu 3-0, that match was a benefit Ronaldinho, who was even applauded the hosts' fans. Also that match was the second victory at the "Bernabeu" for Rijkaard, he became the first in the history of the trainer of "blue-garnet", who defeated "Real" on a visit twice.
In that season, Barca easily won the championship of Spain, then took the Super Bowl, twice defeating in it one more irreconcilable opponent - "Espanol". But the apogee of success was on May 17, 2006, when Barcelona won the Arsenal 2-1 in London at the Stade de France in the Champions League final.
That match was initially unsuccessful for the Catalans (score for the 37th minute was opened by the "Gunner" Sol Campbell), but then it affected the removal of the goalkeeper Londoners Jens Lehmann in the opening of the match, "Arsenal" went into the defense, and towards the end of the match, Barca still pressed the opponent, scored Samuel Eto'o and Belletti, both times they were assisted by substitute Henrik Larsson.
This brilliant victory was celebrated by the fans of the club all over the world, it became a worthy end to the brilliant season.
Barcelona Great Manager Josep Guardiola
In the summer of 2008, the team was headed by it's legendary player Josep Guardiola, and immediately began the purge of the squad (as many players of the club strongly "surrendered" in the last 2 seasons).
The team left Gianluca Zambrotta, Lilian Thuram, Edmilson, Deco, Esquerro, Ronaldinho. In exchange for the departed Barca has acquired six players, among them - Daniel Alves, Seydou Keita, Alexander Hleb.
In the final of the King's Cup, which took place on May 13, 2009 at the stadium "Mestalla" in Valencia, Barcelona won the title for the 25th time, defeating "Athletic Bilbao" with a score of 4:1.
Goals scored by Gajki Tokero, scored in the 8th minute of the match, the Catalans answered four - in the performance of Yay Toure, Lionel Messi, Boyan Krkic and Xavi.
The victory in the "Mestalla" was for Barca 100th title for more than a century of the club's history.
The team for the 19th time won the title of the country's champions on May 17, for three rounds before the end of the championship.
Among other things, during the championship of the country the club twice defeated the eternal rival - Real Madrid : with the score 2:0 in Barcelona and 2:6 in Madrid.
The last result was a record in the number of goals scored by Barcelona to Real Madrid on the Santiago Bernabeu.
On May 27, 2009, Barcelona won the Champions League at the Olympic Stadium in Rome, winning the final of Manchester United with a score of 2:0. Goals scored Eto'o and Messi.
Thus, the club made a triplet, winning in one season the King's Cup, the championship of Spain and the Champions League, which was not possible yet to any of the Spanish clubs.
Two years later, Barca repeated the success. In the final of the Champions League 2010-2011 with a score of 3:1, the Catalan team defeated Manchester United. Goals scored by Pedro, David Villa and Lionel Messi. And in 2012, Josep Guardiola decided to leave Barcelona.
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