5 Things You Might Not Know About FC Barcelona

We all know that Barcelona are one of the true powerhouses of world football but here are five things you might not know about the newly-crowned LaLiga champions.

The club is owned by its own members

FC Barcelona is one of the few clubs in world football to be owned by its own fans. Over 140,000 club ‘members’ known as socios decide through democratic elections who runs the club. In the words of former club vice-president Ferran Soriano, “The fans truly own this club. They decide its destiny and how it is managed.” This democratic structure, one of the very few major clubs left in European football, is part of the reason why the club proclaims itself to be Mes que un club: ‘More than a club.’

Their supporters are nicknamed ‘the arses’

This less than glamorous nickname has its origins in the club’s early days its old stadium in the Les Corts neighbourhood of Barcelona. The ground would fill up for big games, so much so that fans would even sit on the wall that surrounded the ground for a chance to see the action. For those walking outside the ground, the only thing visible would be the fans’ backsides perched over the side of the wall!

They are the only European club to have won more than one treble

FC Barcelona are the only team in European football history to have won a domestic league, domestic cup and European Cup treble in a single year on more than one occasion. They first won LaLiga Santander, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League in 2008-09 in Pep Guardiola’s first season in charge before making history six years later by repeating the achievement in 2014/15 under Luis Enrique.

The club boasts one of the best youth academies in world football

La Masia – literally ‘the farmhouse’ – has over the years developed a reputation as one of the most successful youth development academies in the world. With a particular emphasis on instilling the club’s unique ‘philosophy of play,’ hundreds of youngsters live and learn within the academy at any one time.

The list of world class players to have ‘graduated’ from La Masia to the Barça first team is impressive to say the least: Pep Guardiola, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets to name just a few. In fact, in 2010 La Masia became the first youth academy to have trained all three finalists for a single edition of the Ballon d’Or: Messi, Iniesta and Xavi.

The Camp Nou is the biggest stadium in Europe

Barcelona’s home stadium, the Camp Nou, is Europe’s biggest by some distance. Built in 1957 and redeveloped for the 1982 World Cup, the ground has a capacity of 99,354, almost 10,000 more than the continent’s second-largest stadium (Wembley in London). The capacity has varied over the years, however, and an incredible 120,000 fans packed in to watch Barça take on Juventus in the European Cup in 1986.

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