Anyone who is a fan of Barcelona FC will tell you that supporting this team isn’t just about football. But rather it helps them to maintain a connection with the regions historical struggle to retain not only its culture but also its identity.
Throughout the time when General Franco was in charge of the country he chose to persecute the region because its people were so independent minded. When it came to football he favoured Real Madrid and as Barcelona’s team was owned by its fans so it became a symbol to the people of Catalyuna of their resistance and to remain a democratic region.
Yet although Franco may be long gone and the region is largely autonomous now Barcelona FC love to play heavily on their history. They still like to project an image that they are the underdog who is willing to fight for what is right.
The club itself was formed back in 1899 by Hans Kamper who placed an advertisement in a local paper, stating that he wanted to form a football club. As he received a number of positive responses to it a meeting was held and with 11 players in attendance the team was created.
The real reason of course why it is you feel the spirit of football in Barcelona is because unlike so many other major football clubs these days it is still owned and operated by its supporters. Certainly over the years the club has become one of Spain’s most successful and also is now one of the world’s most supported.
Although it has proven to be favoured there is one period in its life that seems to really optimise what the club stands for. It harks back to the time when the Dutch football legend “Johan Cruyff” became manager of the what is now referred to as Barcelona FC’s “Dream Team”. In fact the style of football that was played back then is something that is still used by the team to play and which of course has helped them to remain at the top of their game. However their loss at the weekend to their main rivals “Real Madrid” is something that you’ll find very few fans of the club talking about.
However it wasn’t that he helped the team to come what they are today that makes Johan Cruyff such a hero to the supporters. It is that he chose to defy the bans that Franco placed on the people of the use of Catalan names. In fact to show his defiance Cruyff chose to call his son after the patron saint of the region.
If you have the chance I would highly recommend you visit FC Barcelona’s stadium when a game is being played. It may be the third biggest stadium in the world, yet you will feel the spirit of football in Barcelona as its supporters come together to celebrate what they love the most.