On this Day: 14 years of waiting ends

On this Day: 14 years of waiting ends

On this day, April 7th 1974, the La Liga crown returned to FC Barcelona after a 14 year absence. Inspired by the signing of Johan Cruyff from Ajax in the summer of 1973, including the original Real Madrid manita, and under the guidance of legendary manager Rinus Michels, a 3-1 victory at Sporting Gijon saw culés rejoice. It had been a difficult time for the fans of Barcelona and all Catalonians under the dictatorship of General Franco, and during this 14 year draught, Real Madrid had won nine league crowns as well as established themselves as Europe’s top dogs. Incredibly, this would be Cruyff’s one and only league title as a player for Barça. But of course, it was only the beginning of his Catalan story.

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Number of the Day: 50

Number of the Day: 50

Gerardo Martino didn’t get the “W” versus Atlético Madrid, and thereby did not genuinely best Pep Guardiola’s first 50 games in charge. Tata’s half-century reads 37 wins, eight draws and five defeats, scoring 136 and conceding 37. Guardiola has the exact same game record, but his 2008/9 side scored 133 and conceded 42.

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Stat of the Day: Better than Pep?

Stat of the Day: Better than Pep?

Tonight versus Atlético Madrid, Gerardo Martino reaches 50 games in charge of FC Barcelona. Despite all the many pages of criticism and debates about style and its abandonment, if the side win the game for Tata, he will have a half-century of matches statistically superior to Pep Guardiola, even if by only a hair.

Thus far Martino’s record reads played 49, won 37 (75.5%), drawn seven (14.3%) and lost five (10.2%).  That has been done with 135 goals scored and 36 conceded. Guardiola’s first 49 read exactly the same, but with three less goals scored (132) and five more conceded (41). The only manager in Barça’s illustrious history with a better record after 50 games is the late, great and controversial Helenio Herrera, who after his first 50 could boast 40 wins, five draws and five defeats.

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On this Day, Camp Nou began

On this Day, Camp Nou began

On this day, March 28th, 60 years ago (1954), the symbolic “first stone” was carried in a parade from the former Les Corts stadium to the site where work on Camp Nou broke ground. This was the second time the stone was carried to a stadium site, but now a days, it resides in the official FC Barcelona museum. As we know, the members voted to remain at Camp Nou, so the stone need not be removed from its display case. Seeing as the big referendum is just around the corner, it’s fitting to remember that just 10 years after the biggest war the world has ever seen, visionaries had the ambition and foresight to create a stadium like Camp Nou. The stadium became our home, and we all hope the remodeling project does every culé proud and will be the venue for many more historic moments.

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Esteemed company

Esteemed company

Gerardo Martino joins a rather esteemed group of FC Barcelona managers with a win at the Santiago Bernabéu in his debut season. This has only happened previously under four managers: Pep Guardiola (2-6, 2008/9), Frank Rijkaard (1-2, 2003/4), Louis van Gaal (2-3, 1997/8) and Terry Venables (0-3, 1984/85). Tata is also only the fourth manager to take the Real Madrid scalp both home and away in his first season, which Guardiola also managed with a 2-0 win, Van Gaal won 3-0 and Venables oversaw a 3-2 win at Camp Nou.

Not to jinx anything, but in each of those seasons Barça finished ahead of Real Madrid, winning the title on each occasion except Rijkaard’s.

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Messi: “I was formed with the values of La Masia”

Messi: “I was formed with the values of La Masia”

On the tenth anniversary of the BarçaTV show, Promeses, Lionel Messi sat down for an interview and talked about growing up blaugrana.  Leo made very clear what FC Barcelona has meant in his life. “Barça has given me everything. I was formed with the values of La Masia. I am what I am because of the values of the cantera.”

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Messi: FC Barcelona’s all-time highest goalscorer!

Messi: FC Barcelona’s all-time highest goalscorer!

Lionel Messi has surpassed Paulino Alcántara to become FC Barcelona’s all-time goalscorer in both official competitions and in friendlies. At the tender age of 26, the Argentine has broken Paulino’s record of 369 goals for the Catalan club, a record that stood for 87 years since 1927. A hat-trick against Osasuna puts Messi at 371 goals since his debut 10 glorious years ago in 2004.

All hail the king!

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La Remuntada anniversary

La Remuntada anniversary

On this day last year, FC Barcelona was heading into a clash against AC Milan after a series of disappointing results including the first leg of the tie along with two Clasico losses. Many people called it the end of an era, but the fans didn’t think so and neither did the team. Barça went on to demolish the Rosseneri 4-0 in a historic Champions clash thanks to two goals from Lionel Messi, and a goal for David Villa and Jordi Alba.

A year has passed now, and we’ve all witnessed moments of pride and joy along with moments of sadness and frustration. But one year ago when the team needed the fans the most, the Blaugrana faithful delivered. Now we head on to the match against Manchester City, at the same stage of the competition, at the same stadium most culés consider home. And just like last year, we head on to the match after a series of disappointing results. But Barça is much more than just a few matches. It’s bigger than Neymar and the board of directors. It’s bigger than Xavi, Iniesta, Messi and the entire team. It’s bigger than Tata Martino. Barça is the club we love and support, not just the Pep Guardiola era. So tonight we support our team regardless of the result, because if there’s one thing we’ve learned last year, is that neither Barça nor its fans like to give up on a challenge.

Tarzan Puyol

Tarzan Puyol

FC Barcelona vs UD Almería was a special occasion for Barça’s ‘Tarzan’ Carles Puyol. The 35-year-old put in a good shift on his return to the starting XI, alongside Javier Mascherano in central-defence and capped off his performance by scoring his first goal of the campaign to make it 3-1 for Barça late in the match.

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February 25, 1912: Paulino Alcántara’s debut

February 25, 1912: Paulino Alcántara’s debut

February 25 is a special day in the history of FC Barcelona. On that day in 1912, the club’s highest ever goalscorer, Philippines-born Paulino Alcántara made his first team debut aged 15. The striker started a Copa Catalunya game between Barça and Català, and managed to score a hat-trick. He went on to play a further 356 games (including friendlies) for the club, and ended his career with an impressive goal tally of 369 goals. Although Leo Messi is en route to beating this record, his current balance is standing at 339 goals in 409 official appearances.

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On this Day: Manita

On this Day: Manita

On this day, 40 years ago, culés experienced one of the club’s greatest joys after many years of frustration and political persecution. The club were in the doldrums. The La Liga crown hadn’t been won since 1960, 14 long years ago that coincided with Alfredo di Stefano’s Real Madrid dominating Spanish and European football. Knowing that Di Stefano was rightly Barça’s player, it hurt that much more.

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Number of the day: 85

Number of the day: 85

Today, February 12th 2014, marks the 85th anniversary since FC Barcelona’s La Liga debut. That’s right, on Tuesday February 12th 1929 at 15:30, Barça made their league debut in the Campos de Sport de El Sardinero against Racing Santander, which they won 2-0 thanks to Manuel Parera who scored both goals. Those were the first three points won by the Catalan club, and crucial as they were, that was the first league title for Barça who competed against 10 teams back then.

3,954 points, 2,632 matches, 1,484 victories and 22 league cups later, Barça are still found top of the table after 85 years of shared Spanish dominance with rivals Real Madrid.

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Seven in a row!

Seven in a row!

Lionel Messi (26) will attend Monday’s Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zürich. The Argentine, who has already won the prestigious award an impressive four times, heads to the ceremony achieving another remarkable feat: Ending up in the top three for the seventh time in a row.

Leo has been attending the ceremony since the age of 19 back in 2007, where he’s been in the top three nominees for the award for seven years straight. Inconsistency? He doesn’t know the meaning of the word.

More after the jump.

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Atlético Madrid vs FC Barcelona: Classic moments and facts

Atlético Madrid vs FC Barcelona: Classic moments and facts

totalBarça brings you everything you need to know about the past encounters of the two giants, Atlético Madrid and FC Barcelona. Tomorrow’s game promises to be this season’s most exciting game as both clubs are sharing points at the top of the table with only the goal difference giving Barça the edge. Read more about the head to head statistics, some interesting facts, and the memorable moments of these past classical encounters right after the jump.

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Happy 114th Birthday FC Barcelona

Happy 114th Birthday FC Barcelona

On November 29, 1899 12 men got together at a hotel on a little street of La Rambla to create a football association named Football Club Barcelona. Founding member Joan Gamper along with Swiss compatriot Otto Kunzle, Englishman Walter Wild, John Parsons and William Parsons, German Otto Maier and Catalans Lluís d’Ossó, Bartomeu Terradas, Enrique Ducal, Pere Cabot, Carles Pujol y Josep Llobet were the men in that first ever meeting.

Much has happened since both glorious and painful, but forever the date will be remembered as a special one for cules the world over.

Happy Birthday FC Barcelona from totalBarça!

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Number of the Day: 999

Number of the Day: 999

Xavi Hernández’s penalty versus Ajax brought FC Barcelona’s total goal tally in international competitions to 999. The first ever non-domestic goal was scored by Josep Seguer on June 26, 1949 in the long extinct Latin Cup.

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A short history of FC Barcelona’s 250 European matches

A short history of FC Barcelona’s 250 European matches

FC Barcelona’s defeat to Ajax Amsterdam on Tuesday evening marked the club’s 250th match in football’s premier competition, the UEFA Champions League/European Cup. Sport prepared a nice infographic that summarizes the main statistics over this long journey. All the triumphs and tribulations after the jump.

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On this Day: The Original Tarzan Swings In

On this Day: The Original Tarzan Swings In

On this day, November 19, 40 years ago, was the debut of one of FC Barcelona’s most illustrious players. Most people nowadays when they hear Tarzan associated to Barça immediately think Carles Puyol. While that isn’t erroneous, Puyol is not FC Barcelona’s original Tarzan. Miguel Bernardo Bianquetti, or Migueli, was born in Spain’s autonomous city in North Africa called Cueta. He joined FC Barcelona at the age of 21 from Cadiz in 1973 and was quickly an undisputed start in defense for Rinus Michel and every manager after until he was forced to retire due to injury in 1988. Migueli was as tough as they come, often playing through painful injury, including a broken collar-bone in the triumphant 1978/79 Cup Winners Cup final against Fortuna Düsseldorf. His steel and resolve is how he earned the nickname.

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On this Day: Leo Messi officially debuts

On this Day: Leo Messi officially debuts

Few players will have the impact on sport like Lionel Messi already has. And it all started on this day, November 16, ten years ago. It would be easy to go into a soliloquy of Messi unbelievable records and milestone or his jaw dropping displays but it’s not necessary. Words can never give justice to his genius. Yesterday FC Barcelona published over two hours of video collected during this decade and that’s certainly worth a watch on this day.

Barça TV will broadcast a special program called “The Day Number 10 Will Debut” on Thursday at 21:00, then repeat at 23:30. It will then run three times each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Check out the source link below for a two-minute clip of Messi speaking about the moment, including saying: “November 16th 2003 is a very important date for me, because that’s when I was able to make my childhood dream come true. It was a very happy day for me. I’d fought hard to make that moment happen and it was really special.

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Leo Messi, a decade of goals

Leo Messi, a decade of goals

On the opportunity of the 10 year anniversary of Leo Messi’s official debut for FC Barcelona, which is tomorrow (his first official senior team appearance was on  November 16th 2003, against FC Porto), FC Barcelona has put together a really nice compilation of King Leo’s goals between 2003 and 2011.

That’s nearly 2 hours of Messi footage! Enjoy!

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Number of the Day: 500

Number of the Day: 500

Barça’s 3-1 victory over AC Milan on November 6th was a milestone evening for the club. That match was FC Barcelona’s 500th official match in European competitions.

It all began 64 years ago on June 26th, 1948, against Stade de Reims. That match was in the Latin Cup, both a precursor and parallel competition to the  European Cup, that many football historians rate on par at the time with said European Cup. Barça won the match 5-0 and so began the path onwards to 17 continental titles.

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Number of the Day: 108

Number of the Day: 108

Tonight when Víctor Valdés walks onto the Camp Nou surface he will become the goalkeeper with the second most appearances (108) in the UEFA Champions League. His cap versus AC Milan will make him the undisputed keeper in second place, surpassing his professional idol Oliver Kahn’s number of 107.

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On this Day: FC Barcelona 7-0 Real Madrid

On this Day: FC Barcelona 7-0 Real Madrid

On this day, November 1, 100 years ago FC Barcelona beat Real Madrid 7-0 in a friendly. Goals came from Carlier (3), Percival Wallace (2), Alcántara and Greenwall. An interesting tidbit is that in the Real Madrid defense was Marcelo Bernabéu, the brother of Santiago who would reside as club president for 35 year and is still considered the most influential person in Madrid’s history.

Despite the scoreline, this match is not historically significant. It was a friendly firstly and both clubs had only been in existence for 14 and 11 years respectively so it was still amateurish. Additionally, the massive Barça-Real rivalry had not yet formed. That would still take several decades.

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On this Day: Iniesta’s first team debut, 11 years ago

On this Day: Iniesta’s first team debut, 11 years ago

“Today it’s been 11 years since I got the chance to fulfill my dream and debut with the first team of Barça! A unique moment in my life! Thanks to everyone who always had confidence in me!”

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On this Day: The cult of Johan began

On this Day: The cult of Johan began

On this day, October 28 but 40 years past (1973), Johan Cruyff made his official debut for FC Barcelona. His debut was delayed over two months as Real Madrid tried to hijack the deal. Thankfully by this time the capital club did not have the power they once did within the Spanish football federation and could not pull off an Alfredo Di Stefano style treachery.

In his debut match, at the Camp Nou, Barça beat Granada 4-0 with two goals from the Dutchman. From this match onward, FC Barcelona went on a 26 game unbeaten run and secured the league title with five matches to spare. The league was eventually won by an eight point margin over Atlético Madrid with an incredible 75 goals scored and only 24 conceded over the 34 match campaign. The next closest scoring rival was Real Zaragoza with 51, 24 goals back. It was the first league crowning for the Catalan club since 1960. During this season was the infamous manita at the Santiago Bernabéu, Cruyff got one.

October 28,1973: A day to remember and savor.

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Infographic of the day: El Clásico in numbers

Tomorrow’s match is sure to a cracker, an important first for Tata Martino, Neymar, Carlo Ancelotti, and Gareth Bale. But it also has the potential to be a clásico for the record books: In Liga Clasicos, Xavi and Puyol are set to become Barça’s most capped players, and a goal from Messi would tie him with Cesar for Barça’s top scorer. Not pictured, but even more importantly, a goal tomorrow would make Messi El Clásico’s all-time top scorer in all competitions – he is currently tied with Alfredo Di Stefano at 18 apiece.

Source: FC Barcelona

The Barça-Milan connection

The Barça-Milan connection

FC Barcelona and AC Milan have a lot in common. They were both founded by foreign businessmen, and have been at the very top of their respective national championships numerous times. The connection most people are likely to know about, however, is the fact that many great players have played in both the blaugrana and the rossonero shirts. Mundo Deportivo selected the most prominent of these players, and we present them to you below.

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On this Day: Lionel Messi’s league debut

On this Day: Lionel Messi’s league debut

On this day, October 16, nine years ago, a 17-year, three-month, 2-day old Lionel Andrés Messi made his official league debut for FC Barcelona under the management of Frank Rijkaard. On that night in 2004, Messi, wearing his original number 30, was introduced for Deco on the 82nd minute at the Monjuïc against city rivals Espanyol.

The rest, as they say, is history. Follow the source link for a little video of his debut.

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Kubala debuts and the rest is history

Kubala debuts and the rest is history

No, this is not very slow reporting. No, we didn’t just get this in. However, you don’t get a statue built for you on the Camp Nou grounds for nothing. This is Ladislao Kubala; the man who brought FC Barcelona back to what it was at the beginning of Spanish Football history. We might remember Ronaldinho these days as the player who brought back the fun and spark to our modern game, but Barça passed through that a few other times before, and one of the major points in the clubs evolution was the debut of Kubala. Follow this post after the break for a quick history lesson!

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16 years unbeaten against Valladolid at the Camp Nou

16 years unbeaten against Valladolid at the Camp Nou

FC Barcelona has gone unbeaten against their next Liga opponents, Real Valladolid, for almost sixteen years. Valladolid’s last win to date at the Camp Nou came on November 9, 1997 in the 1997/98 season. Barça were then under the guidance of Louis Van Gaal, who experienced his first home defeat as Barça coach on such day, despite his team fielding a line-up that included stars such as Luis Enrique, Rivaldo and Luis Figo. The Barça stars were unable to push their team to victory and Valladolid won the game by 2 goals to 1. In fact, the game’s opening goal was scored by current Barcelona B manager and former Barça midfielder Eusebio Sacristán, who was a Valladolid player at the time.

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