With an exciting style of play and huge success on the field over the last decade, Barcelona is arguably the most popular soccer teams in the world. The Catalan club is well-known for their red and blue jerseys which according to some stories they stole from Switzerland’s FC Basel.
In October of 2016, Barcelona extended their contract with Nike for an additional 10-years and reportedly for a record $170 million per year. The deal starts ahead of the 2018/19 season.
In November 2016, Barcelona signed a 4-year sponsorship deal with Rakuten worth $58.7 Million per season with an option to extend for a 5th season. The deal begins before the 2017/18 campaign and includes additional bonuses of $1.6 million for winning La Liga and $5.3 million for winning the UEFA Champions League.
Barcelona FC is well-known for their soccer jersey. The traditional blue and red vertical stripes are instantly recognized and even copied by other teams. The jersey was also renowned for not having a jersey sponsor for decades but that all changed in 2006. Let's take a look back at the history of Barca’s jersey sponsors.
Barcelona’s motto ‘més que un club’ which means ‘more than a club’ was first used in 1968 by newly elected club president Narcís Serra. The motto speaks to the heart and soul of the club and all its members and is seen written proudly on the seating and around the Camp Nou. The fans of the club, known as ‘Los Cules,’ regularly hold colored placards up before big matches which together write out the motto to reinforce the idea of team work and that the fans are part of the club.
After outgrowing their original soccer stadium, Camp de les Corts, Barcelona moved into the Camp Nou or ‘New Camp’ in 1957. The ground was intended to be called Estadi del FC Barcelona in tribute to their host club but the popularity of the Camp Nou name was never displaced and now is known around the world for one of the top soccer cathedrals.
Barcelona played their first match at the Camp Nou on September 24, 1957 against a club team from Warsaw. The match was part of a larger opening ceremony that included the academy sides playing matches at the old Les Corts stadium, a mass with a blessing by the Archbishop of Barcelona, Gregorio Modrego, and dignitaries from the city and nation attending the match.
Fittingly the home side won the match 4-2 with Eulogio Martínez scoring the first goal at the new stadium. 22 players featured for Barcelona in that opening match with a different 11 used for each half. At halftime, 10,000 doves were released.
Spanish poet Josep M. de Sagarra wrote a sonnet, 'Azul Grana', celebrating the new stadium.
Barcelona and their legendary players like Lionel Messi, Johan Cruyff, Diego Maradona, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto’o, Deco, Luis Figo, Ronaldo, Thierry Henry and many others have allowed the stadium to live up to the fanfare of the opening over the decades.
While the focus of most fans is on the home Barca side, the events on the field at this spectacular stadium in Gaudi’s city go far beyond the city limits.
The venue has hosted 2 UEFA Champions League finals (1988/89 and 1998/99) and the first European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972.
Internationally, the Camp Nou hosted 5 matches (the most of any venue) at the 1982 FIFA World Cup including the opening match, 3 group stage matches, and 1 semi-final. The venue was the largest for Espana 82 with a capacity of 120,000.
It also hosted the football competition at the 1992 Summer Olympics.
The stadium has gone through other renovations and currently seats 99,354. The grass surface features a field that is 115 yards by 74 yards and will no doubt feature many more great players and great matches.
Great Matches Played at the Camp Nou
Argentina 0 – 1 Belgium – 1982 FIFA World Cup
Poland 2 – 3 Spain – 1992 Summer Olympics Gold Medal Final
Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich – 1999 UEFA Champions League Final
Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid – La Liga 2010/11 Campaign
Barcelona 4-0 AC Milan – 2013 UEFA Champions League Round of 16
Barcelona 6-1 Paris Saint-Germain -2017 UEFA Champions League Round of 16
As you would expect from a club that after 118 years is still on top, Barcelona’s top five greatest players includes several of the world’s all-time greats. From the beginning of the 1900s to today, some of the world’s best have spent some of their most productive years in Barca’s iconic blue and white jerseys and WorldSoccerShop.com looks at some of the best of the best.
Barca’s Top 5 Club Legends
Paulino Alcantara (1912-1916, 1918-1927) - Barcelona Jersey #9
Ronaldinho (2003-2008) - Barcelona Jersey #10
Ladislao Kubala (1950-1962) - Barcelona Jersey #9
Xavi (1998-2015) - Barcelona Jersey #6
Lionel Messi (2004-Present) - Barcelona Jersey #10
Hristo Stoichkov (1990-1998) - Barcelona Jersey #8
Johan Cruyff (1973-1978) - Barcelona Jersey #14
Michael Laudrup (1989-1994) - Barcelona Jersey #9
Carlos Puyol (1999-2014) - Barcelona Jersey #5
Andres Iniesta (2001-present) - Barcelona Jersey #8