Admired by millions of followers who identify with its values, the club has become one of the most respected sports institutions in the world, overcoming all geographic and cultural barriers.
In this article we’ll tell you 10 fascinating facts about FC Barcelona that you never knew.
1. DID YOU KNOW THAT IT WAS FOUNDED BY A STUDENT?
In the late nineteenth century, Barcelona experienced a boom in sporting activity, particularly amongst its more affluent classes. One of these pioneering foreigners who helped promote the popularity of sport was Hans Gamper, a Swiss student who had settled in Barcelona in 1898 in order to learn Spanish.
In his spare time, Gamper would often get together with other expatriates in order to play football, a sport from England whose popularity was spreading throughout the European continent.
Driven by his passion for football, in 1899 Gamper decided to found a club where he would be able to organise football matches on a regular basis, just as he had done a few years prior in his homeland. Henceforth, FC Barcelona was born.
2. THE CREST DATES BACK MORE THAN A 100 YEARS
FC Barcelona’s crest initially flaunted the city’s coat of arms, demonstrating the team’s total identification with its place of origin. However, as the club grew, the need arose to create a unique emblem with a competition being organised in 1910 to brainstorm ideas.
The winner of the contest was a member called Santiago Femenia. His proposal for the new crest, which combined the club’s colours with the symbols of Barcelona and Catalonia, was immediately welcomed by Barça’s supporters and has remained in force over the years thanks to a series of subtle modifications to its design.
3. WHY ARE THE FANS CALLED “CULÉS”?
When the club played matches on Carrer Indústria’s football pitch, many spectators would sit on a wall. As their backsides (“culs” in Catalan) protruded over the edge of the wall, supporters began to be called “culers”, a nickname still in force.
THE ESSENTIAL BOOK FOR BARÇA LOVERS
Discover the complete history of FC Barcelona from its beginnings to the present. This illustrated book includes more than 400 pictures including photographs, statistics and 3D illustrations of one of the most important clubs in the world.
The book reveals in detail all its history, its titles, its triumphs, its players and coaches and all the secrets necessary to know this great club better. An absolute essential for Barca enthusiasts and soccer lovers.
4. WHO WAS THE “GRASSHOPPER MAN”?
This nickname belonged to Josep Samitier, a striker that who led the transformation of FC Barcelona into a mass phenomenon in the 1920s. They gave him this name because of his acrobatic shots, with which he delighted the fans during the 232 official matches he played in the football club.
His ability to score goals in the most unlikely situations earned him the respect of opponents and unconditional admiration from the Catalan fans, who even forgave him his move to Real Madrid in 1933.
5. WHEN WAS CAMP NOU CONSTRUCTED?
Towards the end of the 1940’s, the construction of a new stadium was now a need for many Barça fans. So, in 1950, FC Barcelona acquired land located on the border between the neighbouring cities of Barcelona and L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.
Once the blueprint was defined the building work commenced in 1955 and ended just two years later. Considered as one of the most modern and comfortable football stadiums of its time, the site that replaced the old Les Corts football pitch from 1957 would be able to meet the new requirements of a club that was growing in a spectacular way.
6. CRUYFF, THE PLAYER WHO CHANGED THE HISTORY OF THE CLUB
The arrival of Johan Cruyff, one of the best footballers of all time, would change the course of FC Barcelona forever.
With their vibrant and dynamic game, worthy of all-round admiration, the team headed by Cruyff put an end to the negative cycle begun in the sixties and instead even raised the expectation levels of the team’s many demanding supporters, positioning the club in the elite of the sports panorama just when Franco’s dictatorship was beginning to crumble.
7. MARADONA, A GENIUS THAT LOVED HIS SLEEP
Known as the God of Football, the Argentine forward arrived at FC Barcelona in 1982. Maradona was at the time the most expensive signing in the history of football, un hecho que se reflejó en los privilegios de los que gozó el jugador durante su estancia en el club.
Fond of nightlife, the footballer requested that the training schedule be delayed in order that he could sleep later.
8. THE MASÍA, A SCHOOL FOR UP AND COMING TALENT
In 1979 la Masía was inaugurated, a residence built and designed for the new young sporting hopes of Barcelona.
Opened to provide accommodation and training to youngsters that wanted to carve out a career in FC Barcleona, la Masía established itself in the 1980’s as a key piece in the club’s future.
9. THE COLOSSAL FIGURES OF CAMP NOU
48 metres is how high Camp Nou reaches, whose surface area is 55,000 square metres.
99.354 seats are presently in the stadium, with “standing” seats elimated in the 1990’s in accordance with European regulations.
52 sprinklers are used to water the football pitch.
107 doors lead into Camp Nou stadium, which is provided with fifty emergency exits.
10. IN 2021 THE STADIUM WILL BE RENEWED
In 2014 the members of FC Barcelona approved the plan to remodel Camp Nou and its surroundings. Two years later, the prestigious Japanese architecture studio Nikken Sekkei was awarded the tender.
When the refurbishment is completed, in 2021 according to Barça’s prevision, the stadium will be able to accommodate up to 105.053 spectators.
The best book to discover FC Barcelona
Discover the complete history of FC Barcelona told from its foundation to the present day. This book includes more than 400 photographs, 3D illustrations, statistics and facts about the famous football club.
This book tells you all you need to know about FC Barcelona. It is the essential book for Barça fans.