Barcelona Betting

It was actually a group of foreigners that launched Fútbol Club Barcelona back in 1899. Led by Swiss native Hans “Joan” Gamper and a handful of English, German and Swiss expatriates, a Catalonian side was formed to serve as “a means of social integration” and also as a symbol of local athletic pride.

By 1902, F.C. Barcelona had won their first major trophy—the Copa Macaya. It was the precursor to the Catalan Football Championship Cup, introduced in 1900 by Alfons Macaya, president of Hispania AC. Economic times were hard, however, and the club had to relocated its home ground four times before settling at the football grounds on Carrer de la Indústria (today, Carrer de París) from 1909 onwards.

During that early period, the so-called “Barça” dominated the Copa del Rey (King’s Cup), an annual football cup competition for Spanish football teams founded in 1902. They took the title eight times between 1910 and 1928. Then, in the 1928-29 season, they captured the inaugural Spanish league championship, topping all other teams in the Primera División (First Division) of the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional (LFP), better known today as La Liga.

The Spanish Civil War and World War II severely disrupted professional football in Spain, but when play resumed, F.C. Barcelona slipped right back into their role as the country’s powerhouse. They captured the La Liga title three times between 1944 and 1949, walked off with the Copa Eva Duarte (forerunner to the Supercopa de España) in 1948, and expanded their new stadium at Camp de Les Corts to a capacity of 60,000.

The very next decade saw Barça become an even greater force, winning La Liga four times and finishing runners-up in three occasions. In that ten-year span, they claimed the Copa del Rey five times and Copa Eva Duarte twice. Such success required the building of an even larger new stadium, the current Camp Nou, which was completed in 1957 and eventually grew to a capacity of 99,354.

Barcelona began playing continental football in 1955 and they have participated in every season since. They are one of only three clubs never relegated from La Liga, the other two being along with Athletic Bilbao and arch-rival Real Madrid.

Unlike most football clubs, F.C. Barcelona has always been owned and operated by is supporters, not a private family or government. Over time, it has grown to become the world’s second richest football club in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of €398 million.

Between 1960 and 1990, the grassroots loyalty carried the club through a relative drought of major victories. Despite winning eight more Copa del Rey trophies in those three decades, the team managed just two La Liga titles (1973-74 and 1984-85) and a single Supercopa de España (1983). The lack of success was mitigated somewhat by taking the 1978-79 European Cup Winners’ Cup and a pair of Copa de la Liga (League Cup) triumphs in 1982-83 and 1985-86.

From 1990 onward, however, F.C. Barcelona recovered its form, besting all other teams in La Liga for four consecutive titles through 1994. Additionally, in 1991-92 they burst onto the world stage by winning the European Cup and then grabbed the 1992 European Super Cup.

Since 1997, Barça have achieved another seven La Liga championships, including the hat trick in 2009-11. Their first FIFA World Cup came in 2009 after a runner-up finish in 2006. They also claimed UEFA Champions League titles in 2005-06 and 2008-09.

Fielding one of their strongest teams ever going into 2012, F.C. Barcelona are a good bet in every league, tournament and match-up they contest. They completed 2011 as the La Liga and UEFA Champions League winners and will be defending their 2011 FIFA World Cup victory, too.

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