FC Barcelona: Top 20 Reasons They Are the La Liga Team of the Week
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FC Barcelona is the latest team to be included as the La Liga BBVA Team of the Week.
The honor arrives for La Blaugrana as they prepare to face AC Milan at the first leg of the Group of 16 UEFA Champions League.
The reasons are mixed with the illustrious events and people who are part of Barca's history. An attempt to cover all of La Blaugrana's history is not possible.
A decision was made to document some of the Barca events and people in a slideshow. It was presented in a chronological order from past- to present-day Barca.
An invitation is sent to the B/R readers to enjoy this dedication to one of the greatest teams in Europe.
20. Joan Gamper
A wreath being placed at the graveside of FC Barcelona founder Joan Gamper (Courtesy of FC Barcelona)
FC Barcelona was founded in 1899 by Joan Gamper as well as others from Catalonia, Spain and other countries. The beginnings of the club came at a time when football was beginning in Spain.
Gamper was the main reason that FC Barcelona is what it is today. He was the leader of Barca for 25 years during its good and bad times.
Gamper was one of Barca's players, directors and President. Under his leadership, the club grew in membership and stature including a 1928 Spanish Cup victory.
Unfortunately, Gamper committed suicide in 1930 at the age of 52 secondary to personal problems according to the FC Barcelona website. La Blaugrana remember him every year by visiting his grave.
19. Paulino Alcantara
Paulino Alcantara (Courtesy of RPAlcatara10)
Paulino Alcantara was one of the first Filipino football players to play for FC Barcelona. According to the FC Barcelona website, Alcantara scored 369 goals within 357 matches during the 1911/12 season.
The website commented about Alcantara scoring one goal per match. It was even reported that Alcantara's shot could rip through the net.
18. Ricardo Zamora
Ricardo Zamora (Courtesy of Mas Que Un Club h/t RTVE)
17. Josep Samitier
Josep Samitier (Courtesy of Mas Que Un Club h/t TV 3 Catalonia/Spain)
Josep Samitier was another who left his mark with FC Barcelona during the 1920s. According to the Barca website, Samitier was known for his style of play on the field.
Samitier eventually returned to Barca as manager after World War II. During his period as manager, FC Barcelona won the 1944/45 Spanish League.
16. More Than a Club
More Than a Club (Courtesy of FC Barcelona)
The motto of FC Barcelona is “More Than a Club”. The team views its players, managers and supporters as one big family.
La Blaugrana’s motto was put to the test during the Spanish Civil War and afterwards. The club survived the war and emerged stronger than ever.
The official YouTube video from FC Barcelona talks about the players, the history, the achievements and the supporters. The meaning of the motto is actually felt in Barca's matches or in the reunion of its different supporter clubs.
15. Cesar Rodriguez
Cesar Rodriguez (Courtesy of mesqueunclub1899 f/t TV3)
Cesar Rodriguez was the leading scorer for FC Barcelona with 232 goals until last year. Rodriguez played in 1939 as well as the 40s and 50s.
Rodriguez won the Eva Duarte Cup two times, the Spanish Cup three times and the League five times. Rodriguez was a powerful kicker and header during the 433 matches he played for Barca.
Rodriguez later served La Blaugrana in the capacity as manager during the 1963/64 season. According to the Barca website, his era as manager did not meet with success.
We will get to who broke Rodriguez's record at the end of the slideshow.
14. Gonzalvo III
Gonzalvo III: FC Barcelona 4-2 Valencia Spanish Cup 1951/52 (Courtesy of Mas Que Un Club with h/t to TV 3)
Gonzalvo III was loyal to FC Barcelona during the 1950s. Gonzalvo III's loyalty was so great that he refused offers from Torino to sign with them.
This is a trait that is not apparent in today's sports world.
13. Sandor Kocsis
Sandor Kocsis (Courtesy of VPG English)
Sandor Kocsis left Hungary in 1956 and signed with FC Barcelona. He is remembered by La Blaugrana for his abilities as a goalkeeper and his positive attitude.
12. Joan Manuel Asensi
Joan Manuel Asensi, Johan Cruyff and Hugo Sotil: Real Madrid 0-5 FC Barcelona 1973/74 (Courtesy of Futbolteco TV with h/t to Marca)
Joan Manuel Asensi signed with FC Barcelona from Elche in the year 1970. During his career with Barca, Asensi scored 125 goals within 484 matches.
Asensi won one La Liga, two Spanish Cups and one Cup Winner's Cup before signing with Puebla in 1980.
11. Michael Laudrup
Warren Little/Getty Images
Michael Laudrup scored 93 goals within 288 matches when at Barca from 1989 to 1994. He also won trophies such as the Copa Catalunya, La Liga, and the European Cup.
The FC Barcelona website praised Laudrup's ability to pass and execute assists with ease. Even though Laudrup signed for Real Madrid, he is one of the reasons Barca is a success.
Laudrup is currently the manager of Swansea City in England.
10. Frank Rijkaard
Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
Frank Rijkaard managed FC Barcelona from 2003 to 2008. During his era, Barca won the Copa Catalonia, the UEFA Champions League, the Spanish Super Cup and La Liga.
Rijkaard accomplished 112 victories for La Blaugrana in La Liga. Rijkaard recorded 167 victories in 283 official matches.
The remaining 116 matches were divided between 52 losses and 64 draws. FC Barcelona scored 544 goals and conceded 254 in these official matches.
Ronaldinho: England vs. Brazil
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Ronaldinho was with FC Barcelona from 2003 to 2008 before signing with AC Milan. During this period, he contributed to victories in the La Liga, the UEFA Champions League, the Copa Catalonia and the Spanish Super Cup.
Ronaldinho received the 2005 Ballon D'Or and the 2004/05 FIFA World Player award. Ronaldinho scored two of the three goals in a match against Real Madrid celebrated on November 19, 2005, at the Santiago Bernabeu.
8. Andoni Zubizarreta
Andoni Zubizarreta (Courtesy of FC Barcelona)
Andoni Zubizarreta was with FC Barcelona from 1986 to 1994 as their goalkeeper. Zubizarreta conceded 435 goals within 490 matches during his time with Barca.
Zubizarreta won the following cups for Barca: Copa Catalunya (twice), Spanish Super Cup (twice), Copa Del Rey (twice), European Cup and European Super Cup. Zubizarreta won the UEFA Cup Winners Cup with Barca as well.
Zubizarreta is currently the FC Barcelona Technical Director.
7. Carles Rexach
Michael Steele/Getty Images
Carles Rexach was an aggressive forward during the1970s. He scored 197 goals in 656 matches until retiring in 1981.
He continued as manager of FC Barcelona four times in the 1980s and 90s. Rexach was instrumental in FC Barcelona's victory against Real Sociedad and Athletic Club Bilbao.
Rexach participated in almost every section of FC Barcelona including a position as Technical Secretary.
6. Johan Cruyff
David Ramos/Getty Images
Johan Cruyff started his career with FC Barcelona in 1973. Soon after his arrival, Cruyff was instrumental in the Barca victory in La Liga for the 1973-74 season.
It was the first time in 14 years that Barca won La Liga during that period. Cruyff scored 83 goals within 227 matches.
Cruyff was instrumental in winning La Copa Del Rey before leaving Barca in 1978. Cruyff returned as manager in 1988 and remained until 1996.
Cruyff achieved the following victories in his era: Spanish Super Cups (three times), Spanish Cup, four La Liga titles, European Cup and one UEFA Cup Winners Cup.
His period was characterized by players such as Hristo Stoichkov and Pep Guardiola.
5. Hristo Stoichkov
Hristo Stoichkov arrived at La Blaugrana from CSKA Sofia in 1990. He was the only Barca forward to win the Golden Boot, the European Cup and the Ballon DÓr.
Stoichkov was passionate about FC Barcelona according to the website. He scored 162 times in 336 matches for Barca.
Stoichkov participated and won the Copa Catalunya, Copa Del Rey and Spanish Super Cups. He participated in winning five La Liga titles for Barca.
Stoichkov left FC Barcelona in 1998 and is currently the coach of the Bulgarian team PFC Litex Lovech.
4. Pep Guardiola
Christof Koepsel/Getty Images
Pep Guardiola was a Barca player of the 1990s who became manager from 2008 to 2012. During the 1990s, Guardiola won six La Liga titles, the Copa Del Rey (twice) and the European Cup trophy.
Guardiola's period as manager was marked with the use of the 4-3-3 formation. Guardiola also refined the tiki-taka concept set by Johan Cruyff.
Under Guardiola, FC Barcelona signed Cesc Fabregas during the 2011 Summer transfer window. Barca won the UEFA Champions League, Spanish Super Cup, Copa del Rey and La Liga.
Guardiola received the following awards: IFFHS Coach of the Year, FIFA Coach of the Year and LFP Coach of the Year. He received the 2011 Medal of Honor from the Catalonian Parliament.
Guardiola resigned as FC Barcelona manager in 2012 and took a one-year rest. In the beginning of 2013, The Telegraph reported that Guardiola was appointed manager of Bayern Munich and is set to start in the 2013/14 season.
3. Tito Vilanova
David Ramos/Getty Images
Tito Vilanova replaced Pep Guardiola as La Blaugrana coach last summer. He continued the path of Guardiola with Barca currently in first place in the 2012-13 La Liga table.
Vilanova is an example of FC Barcelona bravery outside of the field as well. He is struggling against cancer of the parotid gland and managing Barca at the same time.
Vilanova deserves our support and applause on and off the field.
2. FC Barcelona 7-1 Bayer Leverkusen UEFA Champions League March 7, 2012
FC Barcelona vs. Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Champions League on March 7, 2012
David Ramos/Getty Images
Lionel Messi scored five goals during the match and Cristian Tello scored two for Barca. Karim Bellarabi scored one too late for Leverkusen in the last minute.
The result: FC Barcelona 7-1 Bayer Leverkusen
1. Lionel Messi
David Ramos/Getty Images
Messi is a four-time recipient of the Ballon D'Or and scored 92 goals within the year 2012. In scoring the most goals, Messi broke Gerd Muller's record of 85 registered four decades ago.
He broke Cesar Rodriguez's record (232) of scoring more goals for Barca. Messi also participated in the Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Club World Cup and the Copa Del Rey.
An attempt was made to identify most of the reasons why FC Barcelona is the latest La Liga BBVA Team of the Week. It was not an easy task selecting the reasons.
My thanks to the B/R readers for the time spent viewing the slideshow. I want to convey my best wishes until next time.