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 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. 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 (83). Barcelona was ranked first in the 'All-Time Club World Ranking' by IFFHS, on December 31, 2009, and is also currently placed on top of the UEFA club rankings. They are the current Spanish football champions and 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 and a record two FIFA Club World Cup trophies. 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 fan base among all sports teams on all major social networks (with over 52 million fans on Facebook, around 11 million followers on Twitter, and more than 6 million on Google+). 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 is the only European club to have played continental football every season since 1955, and one of three clubs which have never been relegated from La Liga, 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 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.
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- 1.^ On 26 June 2014, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee banned Luis Suárez for four months of any football-related activity after he was found guilty of biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay's final World Cup group stage match. The suspension means Suárez is unable to play for Barcelona until 26 October.
Out on loanEdit
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