President: Josep Maria Bartomeu
4 Champions League Cups
2 FIFA Club World Cups
4 European Super Cups
4 European Winners’ Cup
22 Spanish Leagues
26 Spanish Cups
11 Spanish Super Cups
The founder of FC Barcelona was a Swiss industrialist, Hans Gamper, together with a group of young people, mainly foreigners.
Barça had played in various fields until 1909, year in which the field on Industria street was inaugurated, with a capacity of 6.000 people. The image of the fans, sitting with their backs to the field’s fence is the origin of the nickname “culers”.
The ‘20s represent the first golden age of the club, with players like Ricardo Zamora and Josep Samitier. These successes allowed to inaugurate the Les Corts field in 1922.
These are the years when Barça starts to be identified with Catalonia as proves the booing they did to the Royal March before a friendly match in 1925, right in the midst of General Primo de Rivera’s dictatorship. The incident had important repercussions: the Les Corts field was closed for six months and the President, Hans Gamper, resigned.
A difficult era started in the ‘30s for FC Barcelona, which would last for the following two decades. Recruiting Ladislau Kubala in 1950 was the basis on which a great team was founded, known as “the Barça of the five cups”, the ones they won the following season after the Hungarian star arrived.
In 1957 the Camp Nou stadium is inaugurated as the number of members was continuously growing. During the ‘60s the slogan “mès que un club” (more than a club) started to become popular, referring to the social importance of FC Barcelona.
After a few successful seasons with the Argentinean Helenio Herrera as coach, the strenuous financial situation, due to the building of the Camp Nou stadium, opens an era of decline which would last until the ‘70s, when world class players like Johan Cruyff, Johan Neeskens, Hugo Sotil, Hansi Krankl or Allan Simonsen would come to the Club.
In 1978 Josep Lluis Núñez would become president, and he would stay in this position for two decades. Despite recruiting players like Maradona, Schuster or Lineker, the team never managed to reach again a high level until the arrival of Cruyff as a coach in 1988.
The “Dream Team” of the Dutch coach, with players like Koeman, Guardiola, Stoichkov, Romário, Laudrup, Zubizarreta or Bakero won the first European Cup of the club in 1992, besides four consecutive leagues.
In 2000, after 22 years as president, Núñez resigns and Barça lives its worst sporting era with five years without official titles. When Joan Laporta became president, a profound internal renewal took place in the club, which meant an immediate success with Josep Guardiola as coach and Leo Messi on the pitch. Barça wins three Champions League titles between 2005 and 2011 and is celebrated on a global scale as the best team of the world.
Official name: Camp Nou (formerly Estadi del FC Barcelona)
Inauguration: 24 September 1957
Architects: Francesc Mitjans i Miró, Josep Soteras and Lorenzo García-Barbó
Height: 48 meters
Area: 55.000 square meters
Capacity: 99.354 viewers
Dimensions of the pitch: 105x68m
Cost: 288 million pesetas (old Spanish currency)
Address: Carrer d'Aristides Maillol, 12, Barcelona, 08028, Spain
After the Spanish Civil War finished in 1939, the football stadiums, abandoned during the battle, quickly started recuperating their use. Just as the other clubs of the country, FC Barcelona had a constant growth of members and viewers, which required the successive restructuring of the Les Corts stadium.
From the end of the ‘40s there were already some voices suggesting the need to build a new stadium, even though the following renovations of the Las Corts field grew its capacity to 60.000 spectators.
The sporting success of FC Barcelona, which won the Leagues of the 1947-48 and 1948-49 seasons, together with the recruiting of a world class player like Ladislau Kubala in 1950, managed to convince the management of the club that a new stadium was necessary, in order to answer to the constantly growing demand.
At the end of 1950, the president Agustí Montal y Galobart bought a piece of land not even 1km away from the Las Corts field, on the same street, Travessera de les Corts. However, the opening of the stadium would still be delayed with a few years due to internal disagreements and bureaucratic obstacles. The club’s building commission recommended another place in February 1951 and the official purchase of the terrain would be delayed two years more.
A new president, Francesc Miró-Sans, had to take charge so the project would get recommissioned. At the beginning of 1954, it is decided to go on with the terrain originally bought in 1950. About 60.000 people walked from the old Las Corts field to the new land to celebrate the laying of the first brick for the new stadium on 28 March 1954.
The architects Francesc Mitjans i Miró (cousin of the president) and Josep Soteras Mauri, collaborating with Lorenzo García-Barbón were entrusted to design the new stadium. The three architects of the Camp Nou stadium are also authors of some of the most emblematic buildings of Barcelona of those times, such as the Sabadell-Atlántico bank tower on Balmes-Diagonal (Mitjans i Miró), the Winterthur building in Francesc Macià plaza (Soteras y García-Barbón) or the El Corte Inglés building in Catalonia plaza (García-Barbón).
The project finalized one year later and the construction was awarded to the company Ingar S.A. The building lasted for 18 months and had a final cost of 288 million pesetas (1,73 million euros), four times more than estimated (66,6 million). This extra cost, financed partly through loans and mortgages, meant a great financial difficulty for the entity in the following years.
The Camp Nou stadium was inaugurated on 24 September 1957, coinciding with La Mercè, the biggest celebration of Barcelona, where 90.000 people attended and filled up the stands of the new stadium, still unfinished. The opening match had Barça with its players Ramallets, Basora, Kubala & co., competing against the Varsovia team, and winning with the score 4-2.
The stadium was officially named Estadi del FC Barcelona but ever since its beginnings was popularly known as Camp Nou (‘new field’ in Catalan) as opposed to the old field of Las Corts. At the beginning, the stadium, had a capacity of 93.053 people, which was afterwards extended to reach 99.354 current seats, which make it the stadium with the biggest capacity in Europe.
The stadium has a height of 48 meters and a land area of 55.000 square meters. The pitch has 107x72m. It boasts the maximum UEFA qualification, 5 stars. During its almost 60 years of history, Camp Nou witnesses uncountable victories of Barça, besides hosting great sporting and cultural events.
After crossing the ‘60s decade without much success, the arrival of Johan Cruyff in 1973 made the club popular and visible again.
In 1974, while Spain is still fighting to break the dictatorship of Franco, Barça celebrates its 75 years of existence. On this occasion, they release a new anthem, completely in Catalan language, sang for the first time by a chorus of 3.500 voices before a friendly game against the national team of Eastern Germany, where Barça won 2-1.
With the sporting come-back, the infrastructures are also renovated. Next to the Camp Nou stadium the new skating rink is built and a few meters further the Mini Estadi, for the young team. Also in 1975 electronic scoreboards are installed in the Camp Nou stadium. This is an era of sporting success, with one of the highlights being the European Winners’ Cup in 1979, won in Basel, Switzerland.
In 1982, as the World Cup would get celebrated in Spain, the Camp Nou stadium is going under yet a new renovation. Private boxes, VIP lounges and a new press room are opened, new scoreboards and the third level stand gets enlarged with 22.150 seats, which increases the total capacity up to 115.000 seats.
On 12 May 1982, Barça wins the European Winners’ Cup in their own stadium in front of 100.000 people after defeating the Standard Liège team with 2-1, in the first big match after the new remodeling.
Just a month later, Camp Nou hosts the opening of the World Cup. Again, 100.000 people attend to see the opening match with Argentina and Maradona, the champion of the previous World Cup, four years before. Besides the opening, Camp Nou would host three matches of the group stages and one semifinal.
In the ‘80s the Museum was also opened (1984) and various large scale concerts, given by international megastars like Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson or U2, took place at Camp Nou.
In 1992 Camp Nou hosts the football final of the Barcelona Olympic Games in which Spain gets the gold medal. This same year, the “dream team” of Johan Cruyff wins the first European Cup in the club history.
In 1993-94, Camp Nou is subject to a new renovation project. The pitch gets lowered two meters and a half and the security ditch which was separating the field from the stands is eliminated. The main consequence is that the standing seats are removed, reducing the stadium’s capacity.
In 1998-99 a new press tribune is added, also new seats below the main tribune, new light and sound equipment besides also the renovation of the presidential tribune.
In 1999 the Camp Nou stadium celebrated its 100th anniversary. In honor of the occasion, a friendly game between Barça and the Brazil national team was played, besides the legendary Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Manchester United, which finished with an English win with 2-1 in extra time.
President Joan Laporta organized in 2007 an international contest to remodel the Camp Nou stadium and extend its capacity. Norman Foster, a British architect, won the project; however this was never started. In 2010, the new president Sandro Rosell expressed his intention to reform Camp Nou but he dismissed Foster’s project.
The current board of directors, presided by Josep Maria Bartomeu, continues with the plan of renovating and extending the Camp Nou stadium, to make sure it continues to be a world reference in football stadiums, in which all spectators would enjoy an unforgettable experience, each time they enter the stadium.