Futbol Club Barcelona, more commonly known simply as Barcelona, are one of the oldest football clubs in Europe with a history dating back to the 19th century. Along with Real Madrid, they are one of the two most successful clubs in Europe's top-five football leagues.
With a rich haul of 91 trophies in their cabinet, the same as that of their arch-rivals Real Madrid, Barcelona have won 26 La Liga, 30 Copa Del Rey and five Champions League titles among a slew of other domestic and continental honours.
Ten interesting facts about FC Barcelona
The club, founded in 1899, has often been seen as a symbol of Catalan culture and Catalanism, especially during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, which explains the motto of Barcelona: mes que un club (more than just a club).
Some of the best players of the world like Johan Cryuff, Diego Maradona, Ronaldo Nazario, Luis Figo, Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta have donned the famed Blaugrana jersey of Barcelona. Let us have a look at ten interesting facts about FC Barcelona.
#1 Mes que un club
True to their motto, Barcelona have been more than a club in ways more than one.
Barcelona, one of the last clubs from the top five leagues to don a sponsor's name on their jersey, have a long-standing association with UNICEF, the United Nations agency responsible for the health and development of children worldwide.
The La Liga giants, through their partnership with UNICEF, have built 16000 schools in many developing and underdeveloped countries around the world where sports has been used as a medium to provide over 1.5 million children access to quality education and protect them from deadly diseases like HIV/AIDS.
Besides their support of social causes, Barcelona also promote five other professional sports, including women's sport.
#2 Barcelona's Camp Nou is the largest football stadium in Europe
Barcelona's imposing Camp Nou amphitheatre, opened in 1957, is one of the largest sports stadiums in the world.
Designed by architects Francesc Mitjans Miro and Josep Soteras Mauri, the Camp Nou, which translates to new ground, was a significant upgrade on Barcelona's old Les Corts ground that could house only 48,000 spectators.
Originally intended to be named as the Estadi del FC Barcelona, the 'Camp Nou' name became more popular, and Barcelona adopted it as the official name of their home ground in 2000-01.
With a capacity to seat 99,354 spectators, the Camp Nou is Europe's largest sporting arena and is one of a few football stadiums across the continent to fulfill UEFA's stringent Category 4 stadium regulations with regards to facilities, services and capacity.
Barcelona's Camp Nou has hosted some of the most memorable games in the history of the club and also hosted the opening ceremony of the 1982 FIFA World Cup and the first game of that competition.
#3 Barcelona are the richest football club in the world
In 2019-20, Barcelona became the first football club to breach the £700 million ($900 million/€800 million) threshold as they overtook arch-rivals Real Madrid to become the richest football team in the world.
With Los Blancos raking in $864 million in revenue during the same period, Barcelona's revenue earnings of $959.3 million (£741 million) represented a $95 million gap between two of Spain's biggest football teams.
While Madrid's revenue fell from $896 million the previous year, Barcelona's rose from $823 million during the same period, according to Deloitte.
Broadcast contributed the largest chunk of Barcelona's revenue during this period, while about 40% revenue came from commerical deals and 16% from matchdays.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic eating into Barcelona's matchday earnings, especially during the latter half of last season, the club immensely benefitted by adapting the best to the changing market conditions.
“Barca is a clear example of a club adapting to changing market conditions, reducing the reliance on broadcast revenue and focussing on growing revenues within its control,” said Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.
With the club expected to bolster their commercial revenue in the foreseeable future, Barcelona are well on course to retaining their numero uno status and becoming the first $1 billion football club.
“With the club expecting further growth in commercial revenues, we expect them to retain the top spot in next year’s edition, and Barca is on course to be the first $1 billion Money League club in years to come,” Jones added.
#4 Barcelona are the second-most supported football team in the world
With the arrival of Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho in the early 2000s, Barcelona experienced a surge in their global fan base.
The arrival of a certain Lionel Messi coincided with the club's most prolific period in their illustrious history. Under the tutelage of former player Pep Guardiola, Barcelona became the first Spanish team to win the continental treble in 2008-09 as the Catalan club became the dominant team in Spain and abroad.
Barcelona currently have over 259 million followers across various social media platforms, with Facebook and Instagram accounting for more than 200 million. That makes Barcelona the football club with the second-highest social media following, narrowly overtaken by Real Madrid who have over 262 million.
If Barcelona can get back to winning ways this campaign after their first trophyless season in 12 years, it may not be too long before they overtake their arch rivals and become the most followed football team in the world.