Barcelona is a city long in love with sports, especially the Barcelona Soccer Team.
In addition to hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics, Barcelona hosted parts of the 1982 Football World Cup and has hosted the X FINA World Championship and Eurobasket. The city has two UEFA 5-star rated football stadiums: FC Barcelona’s Nou Camp and the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys.
FC Barcelona’s soccer team is almost a way of life in Barcelona. The rivalry with Madrid rises almost to the point where Barcelona can be considered the Catalonia national team. FC Barca was founded on 29 November 1899 by Joan Gamper, who created the team colors of blue and claret from the Swiss canton in which he lived. Barcelona lost its first ever match with some English expatriates 0-1, but within ten years began a string of Catalan and Spanish championships lasting decades. FC Barcelona went though tough times in the rise to the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath, but was able to recover and by the mid 1940s resumed its championship ways.
FC Barcelona is a sports club containing basketball, handball, hockey, ice-hockey, figure skating, indoor football, rugby, baseball, volleyball and women’s football, but the jewel in the crown has always been association football, or the Barcelona Soccer Team. The Barcelona team has qualified every year for the European competition since it was founded in 1955.
The club motto is «Més que un club» and they refer to their stadium as «Camp Nou.» In English these are «More than a club» and «Our Ground.» Despite a slump at the turn of the century, FC Barcelona has assembled a talented team and once again resumed winning ways. The club currently has a five-year deal with UNICEF, wearing the emblem on their jerseys and paying $1.9 million a year for the privilege.
Among the many claims to fame of the Barca team are that it has more victories than any other Association Football team in the world. They also have more wins in the Copa del Rey, the Spanish tournament, than any other team with 24 victories. There are 18 La Liga Championships, 7 Supercopa de Espana, 2 EUFA Champions League, 4 EUFA Winner’s Cups, 3 Inter-Cities Fairs Cups, 1 Inter-City Fairs Cup Trophy Play-off, 2 European Super Cups, 2 Copa Latina, 4 Copa de Oro Argentina, 22 Catalan Championships, 2 Copa Martina Rossi, 4 Coupe de Pyrenees, 1 Mediterranean League, 2 Copa de Ligua, 1 Copa Barcelona, 1 Lligua Catalana, 5 Copa Catalana and one Little World Cup. It is little wonder Barcelona has embraced the Barcelona Soccer Team and reveres it as a symbol of Catalonia.
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