In 1899, football pioneer Joan Gamper ran a full-page advertisement inviting bids from football enthusiasts who were willing to invest their money to form a football club. Eleven other partners responded to the advert and FC Barcelona came into being.
Within three years of their birth, FC Barcelona lifted their first trophy in the shape of Copa Macaya. Since then, the club has never looked back. Apart from Winning 5 Champions League and 3 FIFA Club World Cup titles, Barcelona have won the LA LIGA a record 26 times, more than any other club.
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A lion's share of these titles have come up in the 21st century in general and after the arrival of Lionel Messi in particular…
So dominant have Barcelona been on the domestic front in the decade between 2009 and 2019, the club has finished first in eight of 11 LA LIGA seasons.
As for their ownership, Barcelona, like their fierce rivals Real Madrid, are organized as a registered association. That means that most clubs in Europe, no single owner can buy the club, with individual members who are called "Socios" in Spanish acting as its shareholders.
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Although their tiki-taka style of play is quite famous, what isn’t as popular is LA Masia, the academy which gave birth to this style of football and which has been producing players of the likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez.
La Masia was founded by Dutch and Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff in 1979 who was impressed with the academy system of Dutch club Ajax. Cruyff thought that by making his own changes to Ajax's style of play. The style of play by Cruyff and Nourished by La Masia in 2010 Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Iniesta were named as the three best players on the planet by FIFA.
That kick-started a four-year era during which the La Masia Academy dominated FIFA's annual award ceremony. During that time, at least two of La Masia's graduates were nominated among the three best players in the world every year.
Furthermore, in addition to helping FC Barcelona, LA Masia has also helped the national Spanish side. NY Times noted in the 23-man squad that helped Spain win the FIFA World Cup in 2010, 9 players had come from La Masia.
What's more, apart from churning out world-class players, La Masia has produced one of the best modern-day coaches at Pep Guardiola. La Masia graduates are influencing it from the field as well.
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