Posted by: links on Apr 19, 2010
If you think about Barcelona one of the first words that pops up in your mind is FC Barcelona.
The famous football club is entwined with Barcelona, and the city is entwined with Barça.
The club was founded in 1899 by Joan Gamper. This first president of FC Barcelona founded the club for all who loved the game of football. In those days football was not yet widely known in all of Europe, therefore he is seen as one of the pioneers of this great game. When visiting the FC Barcelona museum you can go the left at the entrance, where a lot of information can be found about the early days of the current best club in the world and Joan Gamper.
The logo of FC Barcelona resembles the olla, the caldron over which the construction workers met every day to enjoy their meals together. Joan Gamper wanted his football club to represent their unity, pleasure and family-like great times. If you look closely at the logo you notice that the lower part is a caldron with two handles on the side and the vapors of the cooked meal in the waive-like upper part.
Joan Gampers philosophy is still the heart of FC Barcelona. It really is the club of the people of Catalunya. The phrase Mes que un club, more than a club represents FC Barcelona's social function. Barcelona has more than 60000 official registered fans, called socios. Most of them are true catalans, they are in love with the blue-red club color and above else hate Real Madrid.
This almost nationalistic love for Catalunya and FC Barcelona was forged during the civil war and the reign of dictator Franco. Franco tried to suppress the Catalan culture and especially the city of Barcelona suffered under his power. He changed the name of the club to Club Footbal de Barcelona and ruled that Barca could not buy the best players. In fact, one of the best players in the history of Real Madrid, Alfredo di Stefano, was intimated to sign for FC Barcelona and had to choose Real Madrid by the interference of the dictator himself. For Catalans cheering for their club was one of the ways to show their own identity and a way to stand up to Franco. Rumors say that some highly-placed figures of FC Barcelona during that time where often the target of intimidations from Franco's men, telling them that the club would be punished even more if Barcelona would win against Real Madrid during those years. Older people still remember the black 11-1 loss to Real Madrid in 1943, where players of FC Barcelona seemed even frightened to touch the ball.
This represents the importance for FC Barcelona to beat their rival at El Clasico, the derby between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. I myself have seen the parties that start after Real Madrid was beaten on the Ramblas and Plaza Catalunya. The whole Ramblas was full of people, waving flags, singing anti-madrid songs and also firing great fireworks all night long.
In my opinion, anybody who visits Barcelona needs to go the famous Camp Nou, the great stadium of Barcelona and if possible buy tickets for a match. The matches are always a spectacle, Barcelona has scored around 2 goals every home match this season, so goals guaranteed!!