Story of Barcelona Football ClubManager – Luis Enrique

Captain – Andres Iniesta

Ground – Camp Nou

Nickname – Barca/Blaugrana

Rivals – Espanyol (El derbi Barceloni), Real Madrid (El Clasico) 

Founded in the year 1899, Barcelona or simply “Barca” is one of the most successful clubs in Spanish football history. Barca has won the La Liga a total of 23 times, the Copa del Rey 27 times and the Champions League a total of 5 times.

Along with Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona are one among the three clubs to have never been relegated from the La Liga since it’s inception in 1929. Barca is also one among the few football clubs to be owned and operated by the club’s supporters.

Barcelona has an intense rivalry with Catalan rivals Espanyol and the derby matches between these two are known as El derbi Barceloni. Their greatest rivals however are fellow Spanish giants Real Madrid and the matches between these two are known as the derby El Clasico.

The Catalans play their home games at the Nou Camp which has been their home since 1957 and has a seating capacity of nearly 1,00,000. Barcelona are the only club to have achieved the unique feat of a continental treble on two separate occasions.

Barcelona FC Beginnings

The brains behind the formation of Barcelona FC belongs to Swiss national Hans Gamper aka Joan Gamper. Gamper who came to Barcelona in 1898 to visit his uncle fell in love with the city and decided to set roots. While at Barcelona, Gamper engaged himself in a variety of jobs including publishing a magazine named Los Deportes.

On 22nd October 1899, Gamper placed an a advertisement on his magazine expressing his desire to form a football club based in Barcelona. The advert had a positive response and resulted in a meeting held in Gimnasio Sole which was attend by 11 players including Walter Wild (1st Barcelona club president) and Bartomeu Terradas (succeeded Wild as the club president).

A review of the best players to have played in Barcelona since its early beginnings

The newly formed Barcelona club played it’s first match against players from the British colony in Barcelona and Barca won the game 1-0.

Immediately following their formation Barcelona competed in the Campionat de Catalunya (the first football league in Spain). Even though Barca finished runners-up in the 1900/01 edition of the tournament they went on to win the 1901/02 edition. In the same 1901/02 season they would compete in the first ever Copa del Rey competition but would lose out in the final against club Bizcaya 2-1.

Barcelona Trophy Cabinet

Copa del Rey

As already mentioned Barcelona were one of the five teams to have competed in the first ever Copa del Rey competition in 1902. It was only in 1909/10 that Barca would taste success for the first time in the Copa del Rey when they beat Espanyol de Madrid 3-2 in the final.

Barcelona would go on to win the competition a total of 7 times before the formation of La Liga in 1929. After 1929 Barcelona have won the tournament 19 times infact, they are the current champions having beaten Athletic Bilbao 3-1 in the 2014/15 edition of the tournament.

Barcelona holds the record for having won the competition the most number of times with 27 titles.

La Liga Titles

Barcelona are one of three clubs and the only club from Catalonia to have featured in all the seasons of La Liga till date. They rank behind arch rivals Real Madrid when it comes to winning the league the most of number of times with 23 titles compared to Madrid’s 32.

Barcelona were the first ever winners of the La Liga having won the 1929 edition of the tournament finishing two points ahead of Real Madrid in a 18 game season. Barcelona have been quickly catching up to Real Madrid when it comes to the La Liga title count with 5 titles in the last 7 seasons having helped them a great deal in this regard.

Barcelona are the most recent La Liga champions having won the 2014/15 season finishing two points ahead of Real Madrid. In fact, Barcelona has managed to win the treble for the second time in the history this season having won the Copa del Rey, Champions League and La Liga under the guidance of former player and current manager Luis Enrique.

They are only team to have achieved this feat of a continental treble twice with the first time being in the 2008/09 season in what was Pep Guardiola’s first season as Barca manager.

In 2009 they completed the rare feat of winning 6 competitions in the same year which included the Copa del Rey, La Liga, Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup and Supercopa de Espana.

Barcelona FC 6 Trophies season 2008/2009

Barcelona La Liga Wins: –  1928/29, 1944/45, 1947/48, 1948/49, 1951/52, 1952/53, 1958/59, 1959/60, 1973/74, 1984/85, 1990/91, 1991/92, 1992/93, 1993/94, 1997/98, 1998/99, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2012/13, 2014/15!

Barcelona double wins: – 1951/52, 1952/53, 1958/59, 1997/98!

Barcelona treble wins: – 2008/09 and 2014/15!

Europe Titles

Barcelona have historically been one of the better performers in European competitions. They are one of the only two Spanish clubs along with Real Madrid to have won the Premier European competition – The Champions League.

Barcelona’s first taste at European competitions came in 1955 when they got the opportunity to participate in the 1955/58 Inter Cities Fairs Cup as a Spanish representative. Barcelona ended up winning the competition after beating London XI 8-2 in a two legged final.

Barcelona would go on to win the 2nd edition of the Fair’s Cup held between 1958 and 1960 by beating another English club, Birmingham City 4-1 in a two legged final. Barca would go onto win the Fair Cup one more time in their history in 1965/66 beating fellow Spanish club Real Zaragoza 4-3 over two legs.

Barcelona made their debut in the European Cup (now known as the Champions League) in the 1959/60 season but unlike their Fair’s Cup debut they couldn’t win the cup at the end as they fell short at the semi-final stage. Barca would reach their first European Cup final in the 1960/61 but would end up losing to Benfica 3-2 in the final.

Barcelona would taste success in the European Cup for the first time only in the 1991/92 season when they beat Italian side Sampdoria 1-0 in the final thanks to a extra-time goal from Ronald Koeman. The next time Barca would win the European Cup which has been renamed to Champions League would be in the 2005/06 when they beat Arsenal 2-1 in the final.

Since the turn of the 21st century Barca have been the most dominant European team having lifted 4 Champions League titles during that time. They are the current champions of the competition having won the 2014/15 tournament by beating Italian side Juventus 3-1 in the final.

Another European competition in which Barcelona has excelled is the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup with 4 titles. In fact they are the most successful team in the competition which was abolished in 1999.

In this addition to these Barcelona have also won the European Super Cup four times (most recently in 2011) and the FIFA Club World Cup twice (most recently in 2011).

Watch Barcelona´s latest UEFA title in 2015 against Juventus

Barcelona Champions League Wins – 1991/92, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2010/11 and 2014/15!

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup – 1955/58, 1958/60 and 1965/66!

UEFA Cup Winners Cup – 1978/79, 1981/82, 1988/89 and 1996/97!

UEFA Super Cup – 1992, 1997, 2009 and 2011!

FIFA Club World Cup – 2009 and 2011!

Men Who Made a Difference

To name a few players and managers who have served Barcelona is a more than difficult job considering the amount of talent that has graced the club but we are trying to put together a list consisting of the Elite among the Elite so if you see we have missed any one feel free to lets us know.

Best Barcelona Managers

Jack Greenwell

As a player (wing-back) Jack Greenwell spend a total of 4 seasons with Barcelona between 1912 and 1916 appearing in over 80 games for them. In 1917 Jack Greenwell was appointed as the 2nd ever manager of the club after his predecessor and fellow Englishman John Barrow was ousted after just four months at the job.

Greenwell would stay with Barca as manager for a total of 6 seasons between 1917 and 1923 and during his time they would win the Copa del Rey twice (1919/20 & 1921/22) and the Catalan football championship 4 times.

After leaving Barca in 1923 Greenwell went on to manage a number of other Spanish clubs before returning to Barca again in 1931. His second stint as Barca manager lasted only for two seasons and during this time they would win the Campionat de Catalunya once more in 1931/32.

Roma Forns

Another former Barca player turned manager, Roma Forns played for Barca between 1903 and 1913 appearing in over 50 games.

Roma Forns only managed Barca for three seasons between 1926 and 1929 but he will always be remembered as the man that led them to their first ever La Liga title (1929).

In addition to the La Liga title Barca won the Campionat de Catalunya once and the Copa del Rey once under the management of Roma Forns.

Ferdinand Daucik

Ferdinand Daucik was a Slovakian national that managed Barcelona during one of their most successful periods in the early 50’s. In the four seasons Daucik was with the club between 1950 and 1954 he led them to 2 La Liga titles, 3 Copa del Rey titles, 2 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Latin Cup. In 1951/1952 (5 seasons cup) Barcelona won a total of 5 trophies including the La Liga, Copa del Rey, Copa Eva Duarte, Latin Cup and the Martini Rosso trophy.

Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff as a player was one of the best ever to have played the beautiful game and the proof of that is his three Ballon d’Or won in 1971, 1973 and 1974. The last of those two Ballon d’Or awards was after he joined Barcelona from Ajax in 1973. During his playing days with Barcelona Cruff went on to appear in 143 games for Barca in his five seasons with them and scoring over 48 goals in that time.

After leaving Barcelona in 1978 Cruff went on to play for several clubs including Levante and Ajax. Cruyff went to finish his career with Feyenoord in 1984.

Immediately following his retirement Cruyff went to his come town club of Ajax and took up the managerial post at the club. After a highly successful three years with Ajax Cruyff once again returned to Barca this time as manager in 1998. During his 8 years with Barca Cruyff went on to win the La Liga 4 times, Champions League once, Copa del Rey once and Uefa Cup Winners’ Cup once. He left them in 1996 after falling out with the board but to this day remains an adviser for the club.

Frank Rijkaard

Frank Rijkaard joined Barcelona as manager before the start of the 2003/04 season replacing Serbian manager Radomir Antic who was at the job for only 6 months. Rijkaard was placed at the helm of a Barca team that had failed to win a trophy since 1999.

Rijkaard had a dissappointing start to his managerial tenure at Barca that saw some of the Barcelona faithful call for his resignation, but the former Dutch international managed to turn the club faith around mid season that saw them finish 2nd in La Liga.

Under Rijkaard Barca managed to win the La Liga on two consecutive occasions in 2004/05 and 2005/06. He also led them to their second ever Champions league title in 2005/06 when they beat Arsenal 2-1 in the final. His Champions league success with Barca made him only the 5th player to have won Europe’s premier competition both as a player and as a manager.

Rijkaard would go trophy-less in his last two seasons with Barca which would ultimately led to his exit from the club in 2008.

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola best Barcelona Manager

Pep Guardiola graced the Catalan capital as both a player and manager. A product of the Barca youth academy, Guardiola made his first team debut for the club in 1990 and played a pivotal role in Cruyff’s dream team of the early 90’s. Guardiola spent a total of 11 years at Barcelona as a player making 366 appearances for the club and scoring 12 goals in the process.

As a player at Barcelona Guardiola won the La Liga a total of 6 times, the Copa del Rey twice, the Champions League and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup both on one occasion. After retiring in the 2006 Guardiola joined the Barcelona B team as manager in 2007, and under him the team won promotion from the Tercera division to the Segunda division B in the 2007/08 season.

After the departure of Frank Rijkaard at the end of the 2007/08 season Guardiola was promoted as the Barcelona senior team manager with Tito Vilanova as his assistant. Immediately following his appointed Guardiola off-loaded many of their players including Ronaldinho, Deco and Zambrotta. Even though Barca tasted defeat in their first ever La Liga game under Guardiola they managed to go on a 20 game winning run from there on and in the end won the title by finishing 9 points ahead of Real Madrid.

In addition to the La Liga title Guardiola also led them to a Copa del Rey title and a Champions League title in his first ever season with them. By beating Manchester United 2-0 in the 2008/09 Champions League final Barcelona became the first team to achieve a treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League title and also became the youngest manager to win the Champions League.

Guardiola went on to manage the team for a total of four seasons till 2012 and in that time won the La Liga title on two more occasions, The Copa del Rey once and the Champions League also once. In 2009 Barcelona achieved the unique feat of winning six trophies in the same calendar including the La Liga title, Copa del Rey, Champions League, Supercopa de Espana, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup under Pep Guardiola,

Guardiola has won several individual honors while being the manager of Barcelona including the Don Balon award twice and the FIFA World Coach of the year in 2011. Guardiola currently serves as manager for German giants Bayern Munich!

Luis Enrique Martinez Garcia

Luis Enrique has served Barcelona both as a player and a manager infact he is the current manager of the Catalan giants having led them to a treble in the recently concluded in 2014/15 season. Enrique is one among the very few to have played for both Barca and their fierce rivals Real Madrid. At Real Enrique spent a total of 5 seasons between 1991 and 1996 and making over 200 appearances for them.

In 1996 after playing his contract with the Galaticos Luis Enrique made the switch to the Catalan giants Barcelona and went on to play a total of 8 years with them and retiring with them in 2004 . Though the Barca fans were a bit skeptic about him at first he soon won their hearts and eventually became the captain of the club.

Enrique made a total of 300 appearances for Barca and scored a total of 109 goals. As a player with Barcelona he won the La Liga title on two occasions, the Copa del Rey twice and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup on one occasion.

After retirement Luis Enrique took over as Barcelona B manager in 2008 succeeding Pep Guardiola. After Enrique the Barcelona B team won promotion to the Segunda division in the 2009/10 season. He left the club in 2011 and went on to manage Celtic and Roma before returning to the Catalan capital once again in 2014 this time to manage the Barcelona senior team.

In his first ever season with the club Barca won the treble of LA Liga title, Copa del Rey title and Champions League. He recently signed a new three year contract with the club which should keep him with them till 2017.

Best Barcelona Players

Ramon Torralba Larraz

Torralba was a holding midfielder that made his debut for the club in 1914 and went on to play for them for a total of 14 seasons making 475 appearances and scoring 16 goals in total. He was the first Barcelona player to be honored with a testimonial match which was played in February,1917 at the stadium in Industrial street while he was still an active player.

During his time with the Catalans Torralba won the Spanish championship a total of 5 times and the Catalan championships a total of 10 times.

Ferenc Plattko

The Hungarian goalkeeper Ferenc Plattko made his debut for the club in 1923 and went on to spent a total of 7 seasons with the Catalan giants. During his time with Barca Plattko won the Catalan championship a total of 6 times, the Copa del Rey thrice and also won the first ever La Liga title in 1929.

Plattko famously had a song – “Oda A Platko” dedicated to him following his heroics in the 1928 Copa del Rey against Real Sociedad which Barca won after replaying the final twice.  Plattko left Barca in 1930 and retired as a player in 1933.

Plattko returned to the Barca twice in 1934/35 and 1955/56 both as manager but his managerial career with them was not nearly as successful as his player career though he did guide them to a Catalan championship in 1934/35.

Josep Escola

Josep Escola spent a total of 11 seasons with Barcelona in two separate stints. Escola made his debut for the club in 1934 under then manager Ferenc Plattko. Plattko played a total of 102 games for the club in his first stint with them scoring a total of 86 goals in them.

Escola left the club mid-way through the 1936/37 season due to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War and briefly played his trade with French club FC Sete before returning to Barca once again in 1940. He remained with Barca till his retirement in 1948 and went onto make a further 143 appearances for the club and scoring 76 goals in them.

During his time with Barca he won the La Liga twice and the Copa del Rey title once.

Cesar Rodriguez Alvarez

Cesar joined Barcelona in 1939 but was immediately loaned out to FC Granada as he had to move to Andalusia as part of the military service. Following his return to the Catalan capital in 1942 Cesar went onto play in over 350 games for Barca in 12 seasons scoring 232 goals in total.

In the 1948/49 season Cesar scored a total of 31 goals in 31 games and thus won his first and only Pichichi trophy. He has won the La Liga title a total of 5 times and the Copa del Rey a total of 2 times. Cesar did return to Barca as manager for the 1963/64 season but wasn’t as nearly as successful as his playing career.

Antoni Ramallets

Ramallets was a Spanish goalkeeper who joined Barcelona in 1947 and made his debut for the club in November of 1948 against Sevilla FC. Ramallets soon cemented himself a place in the starting 11 and went on to play a pivotal role in the team till his retirement from the game in 1962.

Ramallets went onto make over 300 appearances for the club in the 16 seasons he was with them and won the La Liga title a total of 6 times, the Copa del Rey 5 times and the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup twice.

Ramallets won the Ricardo Zamora trophy 5 times and is tied with Victor Valdes for having won the trophy the most number of times.

Juan Zambudio Velasco

The third goalkeeper on our list is Juan Zambudio Velasco or simply Velasco who spent a total of 14 seasons with Barcelona FC between 1942 and 1956. During his time with Barca he won the La Liga title 5 times and the Copa del Rey a total of three times. He has also won the Zamora trophy on one occasion in 1947/48.

Laszlo Kubala

Kubala Laszlo best barcelona player

One of the greatest if not “the” greatest to have worn the Barca jersey. Laszlo Kubala spent majority of career with Barcelona making over 256 appearances for the club and scoring 194 goals between 1950 and 1961.

Kubala didn’t make his La Liga debut till 1951 due to the ban imposed by FIFA on the complaint made by the Hungarian Football Federation alleging a breach of contract as he had fled the nation after they had become a sovereign state.

Kubala slotted in 26 goals from 19 games in his first ever La Liga season including scoring 7 goals in a single game against Sporting de Gijon which to this date remains the record for the most goals scored by a single player in a La Liga game.

During his time with Barcelona Kubala won the La Liga title 4 times, the Copa del Rey 5 times and Inter-Cities Fairs Cup twice. Kubala left Barca in 1961 and took a sabbatical before returning in 1963 and playing for the likes of Espanyol and FC Zurich before retiring from the game in 1967 with Toronto Falcons.

After retirement Kubala would return to Barca on two occasions. First time between 1961-63 and then in 1980 but he’ll always be remembered for his achievements as a player with FC Barcelona.

Luis Suarez Miramontes

Simply known as Luis Suarez was midfielder that played for Barcelona between 1955 and 1961. Luis Suarez was the first Spanish player to be honored with Ballon d’Or award whilst playing for Barcelona in 1960. Suarez appeared in over 120 games for Barcelona scoring over 60 goals and during his time with the Blaugrana’s has won the La Liga title twice, the Copa del Rey twice and Inter-Cities Fairs Cup also twice. Suarez was also honored with the Golden Foot award in 2008 for this excellent athletic achievements as a player.

Josep Maria Fuste Blanch

Blanch was a former Spanish International that spend majority of this playing career with FC Barcelona. Between 1960 and 1972 Blanch appeared in over 200 games for Barca scoring 47 goals in total. Despite spending in excess of 10 season with Barca Blanch was unlucky enough to have not won the La Liga during that time finishing 2nd on several occasions.

He has also captained Barcelona during his time with. As mentioned earlier he never won the La Liga title whilst with Barca but has won two Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and 3 Copa del Rey titles.

Carles Rexach i Cerda