Futbol Club Barcelona was founded in 1899. Being the symbol of Catalan culture, “Barca” play their home games at Camp Nou in the heart of the capital of Catalonia. For many years, the club played without shirt sponsors, only wearing their traditional red and blue colors. In 2006, Barcelona began wearing the UNICEF logo on the front of their uniform. The five-year agreement also included the club donating 1.5 million Euros per year to the organization. However, when Barcelona signed a new sponsorship deal with Qatar Sports Investments prior to the 2011-12 season, they replaced the charity logo with a commercial logo for the first time in the club’s history.
In 2009, Barcelona had a remarkably successful year, winning a record six out of six titles. Much of the success were credited to influential players Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta and Xavi, all three coming from the youth academy. While Iniesta and Xavi embodied the famous tiki-taka passing style in midfield, Messi would often provide the goals up front. Oftentimes credited as the best player in the world, Messi is currently Barcelona’s all-time top scorer.
Since Barcelona is the pride of Catalonia, the club has a historical rivalry with Spanish capital club Real Madrid. While fans of Barcelona proudly wave their Catalonian flags in games between the two, fans of Real Madrid do the same with the Spanish flag.
Aside from politics, Barca and Real are also the two richest clubs in the world, with a global fanbase only matched by English team Manchester United. The annual “derby”, more commonly known as “El Clásico”, is one of the most watched sporting events on television. Since their first challenge, back in 1929, Barca and Real have played against each other more than 200 times in various competitions. The Catalan club have a slight edge over their rival in terms of most wins, even though Real remain the club with most Spanish league titles.