FC Barcelona, popularly known as Barca, is a unique club in the world, both for its commitment to attacking football on the pitch and its social compromise off it. Founded in 1899 by a Swiss Hans Gamper, the Catalan club has always been famous for its spectacular football and the presence of the world's great players, such as Kubala, Maradona, Cruyff, Stoichkov, Romario, Ronaldinho or Messi, who time and again have thrilled one of the biggest fan bases in the world of football.
More than a club Barca proclaim themselves to be 'més que un club' -”more than a club”, which describes their commitment to the wider society. The club is also proud of its democratic character and is a firm defender of rights and freedoms, which come together in its defence of its own Catalan identity and its position as a global phenomena. Over the last few years, with the advance of globalisation, the club's social projection has become stronger with a considerable commitment to helping the world's less fortunate children through its own Foundation. The work on programmes with l’UNICEF, UNESCO and UNHCR/ACNUR are some examples of this solidarity work.
Barca is a club owned and run by its members, all of whom have the same rights and obligations and it is a cause of pride for them to proclaim that theirs is one of the few sporting clubs in the world owned elusively by its members and run on democratic principles. This special model has in no way affected the club's success n the field or its efficient management. The Camp Nou was inaugurated on 24th September 1957 and is the largest stadium in Europe with a 98.787 capacity.The ground, which 10 years ago was awarded UEFA's 5-star status, hosted games in the 1982 World Cup and the 1999 Champions League final, as well as being the venue where Barca's stars regularly show their talent.
In May 2009 Barca won their third Champions League title, beating Manchester United inTome, The win means the club can now boast 3 Champions Leagues, 4 Cup Winners Cups, 3 European Super Cups, 19 Spanish Leagues, 25 Spanish Cups and 8 Spanish Super Cups amongst the many titles they have won.
Barca is also the club with the greatest number of different sports sections. In addition to the football team,there are four professional sections basketball, handball, roller hockey and futsal and eight amateur sections - athletics, rugby, baseball, volleyball, hockey, ice hockey, figure skating and wheelchair basketball. Except for the futsal team, the professional teams have all won their top European competitions. The basketball team won the 2003 Euroleague and many great players have featured gfor the team, including Epi, Solozabal, Audie Norris, Bodiroga, the Gasol brothers who are currently playing in the NBA and Joan Carles Navarro. Barca's handball team dominated the game in the 90s and beyond, when they claimed 7 European Cups and 5 Cup Winners Cups. The roller hockey team have enjoyed similar domination in there time, winning the European Cup 18 times.