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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 "M®¶s que un club" (More than a club). Unlike many other football
clubs, the supporters own and operate Barcelona. It is the world's
second-richest football club in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of
$613 million, and the third most valuable sports team on the globe, worth $2.6
billion.23 The official Barcelona anthem is the "Cant del Barça", written by
Jaume Picas and Josep Maria Espin®§s.4
Barcelona is the most successful club in Spain, in terms of overall official titles won (84). Barcelona was ranked first in the 'All-Time Club World Ranking' by IFFHS, on 31 December 2009,5 and is also currently placed on top of the UEFA club rankings.6 It is the current Spanish football champion and has won 22 La Liga, 26 Copa del Rey, 11 Supercopa de España, 3 Copa Eva Duarte7 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 Cup8 and a record two FIFA Club World Cup trophies.9 The club has a long-standing rivalry with Real Madrid; matches between the two teams are referred to as "El Cl®Ęsico".
Barcelona is one of the most supported teams in the world, and has the largest fan base among all sports teams on all major social networks.1011 Barça'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.12 In 2011, the Blaugrana again became European champions and won a total of 5 titles, missing out only on the Copa del Rey (in which they finished runners-up). This all-conquering Barça team, which reached a record 6 consecutive Champions League semi-finals and racked up 14 trophies in just 4 years under Guardiola's charge, is considered by several managers, players and experts to be the greatest team of all time.
It was announced in summer of 2012 that Tito Vilanova, assistant manager at FC Barcelona, would take over from Pep Guardiola as manager. Following his appointment, Barcelona went on an incredible run that saw them hold the top spot on the league table for the entire season, recording only 2 losses and amassing 100 points. Their top scorer once again was Lionel Messi, who scored 46 goals in the League, including two hat-tricks. On 11 May 2013 Barcelona were crowned as the Spanish football champions for the 22nd time, still with 4 games left to play. Ultimately Barcelona ended the season 15 points clear of rivals Real Madrid, despite losing 2®C1 to them at the beginning of March.87 They reached the semifinal stage of both the Copa del Rey and the Champions League, going out to Real Madrid and Bayern Munich respectively. On 19 July, it had been announced that Vilanova will resign as Barcelona manager after his throat cancer returned, and will be receiving treatment again, after he took a three-month medical leave in December 2012.88
On 22 July 2013, Gerardo 'Tata' Martino was confirmed as manager of FC Barcelona for the 2013-14 season.89 Barcelona's first official games under Martino were the home and away legs of the 2013 Spanish Supercup, which Barça won 1-1 on away goals. On 23 January 2014, Sandro Rosell resigned as president by the admissibility of the complaint for alleged misappropriation following the transfer of Neymar. Josep Maria Bartomeu replaced him to finish the term in 2016.
On 2 April 2014, FIFA banned the club from buying players for the next two transfer windows following the violation of the FIFA's rules about the transfer of footballers aged under 18.90 A statement on FIFA's website read "With regard to the case in question, FC Barcelona has been found to be in breach of art. 19 of the Regulations in the case of ten minor players and to have committed several other concurrent infringements in the context of other players, including under Annexe 2 of the Regulations. The Disciplinary Committee regarded the infringements as serious and decided to sanction the club with a transfer ban at both national and international level for two complete and consecutive transfer periods, together with a fine of CHF 450,000. Additionally, the club was granted a period of 90 days in which to regularise the situation of all minor players concerned." Download