The History Of FC Barcelona
If you’re a fan of soccer you have admit one thing...Barcelona are pretty good.
I mean, pretty, pretty, pretty good. But, why are they are they so good? I mean seriously to the point where it doesn’t quite seem fair. They consistently have either the best player in the world or the best up-and-coming player...a veritable smorgasbord of the world’s top talent.
Players like Johan Cruyff, Maradona, Romario, and Hristo Stoichkov all wanted to play for Barcelona before any other team.
But why does everyone want to play for them? The success? Yes… the Fame? Indeed… the money? – of course, the adulation of millions of Barca and non-Barca fans around the world. Undoubtedly.
But how did this all start?
Well, let’s go way back to the founder of the club, this man - Joan Gamper, to figure it out.
In 1899, football pioneer Joan Gamper was like, “Barcelona’s a thriving city… they’ve got bagels…. good jazz music, the beautiful tree-lined La Rambla...And, I like football so why not go to Barcelona and start my own team.. like I did in Zurich? So he did.
Now, Barcelona started off pretty good, winning a lot throughout the early 1900s. But that’s when things got complicated.
Well, Joan Gamper, he was kind of a rebel you know… doing things like listening to hardcore jazz music and eating outlawed bagels with cream cheese… probably.
Well, the Primo de Rivera dictatorship came in and were like, “Hey! Cream cheese bagels and jazz music… You’re out of here!.. plus there was an incident with a couple of national anthems… and forced they Joan Gamper to resign.
The team turned professional, played a testimonial game against the Spanish National team somehow, but generally was on the wane.
Cue the Spanish Civil War...and its impact on the Barcelona team. Their office was bombed, they had players enlist in the military, and even lost to Real Madrid 11-1.
Add in moments of protest - in 1951, after winning a game against Santander, the whole crowd, in solidarity for a tram strike Barcelona, walked back home from the game. This is much more than football.
Events like this made progressive elements in Spain see the club as a defender of rights and freedoms...more than a club.
Remember that awesome soccer player from earlier, Johan Cruyff? #Turn
Well if you don’t know him he was, as the term goes, bad ass. Literally every team wanted him, even the best team in the world at the time, Real Madrid.
But Cruyff was like “Nah, I’m good” and joined Barcelona instead because he could not play for a team associated with Franco’s dictatorship (his words – not mine).
Johan Cruyff was a superstar for Barcelona and set them on the world stage as THE team to play for.
Fast forward a bit.
After retiring, Cruyff came back to coach Barcelona in 1988.
So, you know how their teams have some of the best players in the world? You can thank Cruyff for a lot of that because he got pretty much every superstar at the time from Romario to Hristo Stoichkov to come play for him and won four consecutive La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey trophies, one Cup Winners' Cup, as well as their first European Cup trophy.
More importantly Cruyff was like “you know what, let’s create an academy for young players so they can get really good like me. #Turn.
Players like Messi, Xavi, and Iniesta graduated from there. And we know how they’ve turned out. (bloody good)
So, if you hate Barcelona for always being good you can thank Joan Gamper and Johan Cruyff. the Spanish civil war too. Oh, and bagels, hardcore jazz, that academy –“Stay in soccer school kids”, and many other things that were on their Wikipedia page but we didn’t have time to include here.