Futbol Club Barcelona (Catalan pronunciation: [fubˈbɔɫ ˈkɫub bərsəˈɫonə] ( listen)), also known as Barcelona and familiarly as Barça,[note 1] is a professional football club, based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
Founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, English and Catalan footballers led by Joan Gamper, the club has become a symbol of Catalan culture and Catalanism, hence the motto “Més que un club” (More than a club). Unlike many other football clubs, the supporters own and operate Barcelona. It is the second most valuable sports team in the world, worth $3.2 billion, and the world’s second-richest football club in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of $613 million. The official Barcelona anthem is the “Cant del Barça”, written by Jaume Picas and Josep Maria Espinàs.
Barcelona is the most successful club in Spain, in terms of overall official titles won (81). It has won 22 La Liga, 26 Copa del Rey, 11 Supercopa de España, 3 Copa Eva Duarte and 2 Copa de la Liga trophies, as well as being the record holder for the latter four competitions. In international club football, Barcelona has won four UEFA Champions League, a record four UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, four UEFA Super Cup, a record three Inter-Cities Fairs Cup[note 2] and a record two FIFA Club World Cup trophies. Barcelona was ranked first in the IFFHS Club World Ranking for 1997, 2009, 2011 and 2012. and was top of the 2012-13 UEFA club rankings. The club has a long-standing rivalry with Real Madrid; matches between the two teams are referred to as “El Clásico”.
Barcelona is one of the most supported teams in the world, and has the largest social media following in the world among sports teams. Barcelona’s players have won a record number of Ballon d’Or awards (10), as well as a record number of FIFA World Player of the Year awards (7). In 2010, the club created history when three players who came through its youth academy (Messi, Iniesta & Xavi) were chosen as the three best players in the world, having bagged the top spots at the FIFA Ballon d’Or, an unprecedented feat for players from the same football school.
Barcelona was one of the founding members of La Liga, and is one of three clubs which have never been relegated from the top division, along with Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid. In 2009, Barcelona became the first Spanish club to win the continental treble consisting of La Liga, Copa del Rey, and the Champions League. That same year, it also became the first football club ever to win six out of six competitions in a single year, thus completing the sextuple, comprising the aforementioned treble and the Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup. In 2011, the Blaugrana again became European champions and won a total of five titles, missing out only on the Copa del Rey (in which they finished runners-up). This Barcelona team, which reached a record six consecutive Champions League semi-finals and won 14 trophies in just four years under Guardiola’s charge, is considered by some managers, players and experts to be the greatest team of all time.
Ivan Rakitić (born 10 March 1988) is a Croatian professional footballer who plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Croatia national team, as a central or attacking midfielder.
Rakitić started his professional career at Basel and spent two seasons with them before he was signed by Schalke 04. After spending three and a half seasons in the Bundesliga, he was signed by Sevilla in January 2011. Two years later, Rakitić was confirmed as the club captain and captained the team to UEFA Europa League triumph. In June 2014, Barcelona and Sevilla reached an agreement on the transfer of Rakitić.
Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi Cuccittini (Spanish pronunciation: [ljoˈnel anˈdɾes ˈmesi] ( listen); born 24 June 1987), is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona and captains the Argentina national team.
By the age of 21, Messi had received Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations. The following year, in 2009, he won his first Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. He followed this up by winning the inaugural FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010, and then again in 2011 and 2012. He also won the 2010–11 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. At the age of 24, Messi became Barcelona's all-time top scorer in all official club competitions. In September 2014 he scored his 400th senior career goal for club and country aged just 27. In November 2014, Messi became the all-time top scorer in La Liga, and the all-time leading goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League.
Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz (American Spanish: [ˈlwis ˈswaɾes]; born 24 January 1987) is a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Uruguayan national team as a striker.
In July 2014, Suárez moved to Barcelona for a fee reported by the English press in the region of £75 million (€94 million), while Barcelona claim a fee of £65 million (€81 million), making him the third most expensive player in football history. He is widely regarded as one of the best strikers in the world.
Suárez began his career as a youth player for Nacional in 2003. He signed for Groningen in the Eredivisie in 2006 and transferred to Ajax in 2007. In 2008–09 he was named Ajax Player of the Year. The following year, he was made the club captain, helping Ajax win the KNVB Cup while becoming the league's top scorer with 35 goals in 33 games. He was also named Dutch Footballer of the Year and scored 49 goals in all competitions. In the 2010–11 season, he scored his one hundredth Ajax goal, joining a group of players including Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten and Dennis Bergkamp in doing so.
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (Portuguese pronunciation: [nejˈmaʁ dɐ ˈsiwvɐ ˈsɐ̃tus ˈʒũɲoʁ]; born 5 February 1992), commonly known as Neymar or Neymar Jr., is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona and is the captain for the Brazil national team. He plays as a forward or winger.
At the age of 19, Neymar won the 2011 South American Footballer of the Year award, after coming third in 2010.He followed this up by winning it again in 2012. In 2011 Neymar received nominations for the FIFA Ballon d'Or, where he came 10th, and the FIFA Puskás Award for Goal of the Year, which he won. He is known for his acceleration, dribbling skills, finishing and ability with both feet. His playing style has earned him critical acclaim, with fans, media and former players drawing comparison to former Brazil forward Pelé, who has called Neymar "an excellent player", while Ronaldinho has stated "he will be the best in the world".
Marc-André ter Stegen (German pronunciation: [teːɐ̯ ˈʃteːɡən]; born 30 April 1992) is a German professional footballer who plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona as a goalkeeper.
After four seasons in the Bundesliga with Borussia Mönchengladbach, Ter Stegen joined Barcelona for €12 million in 2014. He has represented Germany at several youth levels and made his senior international debut in 2012.
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