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 social 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.
Source: Soweto Urban