Barcelona (/ˌbɑːrsəˈloʊnə/ BAR-sə-LOH-nə, Catalan: [bəɾsəˈlonə], Spanish: [baɾθeˈlona]) is a city in Spain. It is the capital and largest city of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits, its urban area extends to numerous neighbouring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is home to around 4.8 million people, making it the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres (1,680 feet) high.
Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon as an economic and administrative centre of this Crown and the capital of the Principality of Catalonia. Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean are located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and also many international sport tournaments.
Barcelona is one of the world's leading tourist, economic, trade fair and cultural centres, and its influence in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities. It is a major cultural and economic centre in southwestern Europe, 24th in the world (before Zürich, after Frankfurt) and a financial centre. In 2008 it was the fourth most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world with GDP amounting to €177 billion. In 2012 Barcelona had a GDP of $170 billion; and it was leading Spain in employment rate in that moment.
In 2009 the city was ranked Europe's third and one of the world's most successful as a city brand. In the same year the city was ranked Europe's fourth best city for business and fastest improving European city, with growth improved by 17% per year, and the city has been experiencing strong and renewed growth for the past three years. Since 2011 Barcelona has been a leading smart city in Europe. Barcelona is a transport hub, with the Port of Barcelona being one of Europe's principal seaports and busiest European passenger port, an international airport, Barcelona–El Prat Airport, which handles over 50 million passengers per year, an extensive motorway network, and a high-speed rail line with a link to France and the rest of Europe.
Location within Catalonia
Location within Spain
Location within Europe
|Seat||Barcelona City Hall|
|• Body||Barcelona City Council|
|• Mayor||Ada Colau Ballano (Barcelona en Comú)|
|• City||101.4 km2 (39.2 sq mi)|
|12 m (39 ft)|
|• Density||16,000/km2 (41,000/sq mi)|
|Demonyms||Barcelonan, Barcelonian |
barceloní, -ina (ca)
'barcelonés, -esa (es)
|Area code||+34 (E) 93 (B)|
|INE code||08 0193|
|City budget (2014)||€2.5 billion|
|Official language||Catalan and Spanish|
|Main festitivity||La Mercè|
|Patron saint||Eulalia of Barcelona|
The name Barcelona comes from the ancient Iberian Barkeno, attested in an ancient coin inscription found on the right side of the coin in Iberian script as , in ancient Greek sources as Βαρκινών, Barkinṓn; and in Latin as Barcino, Barcilonum and Barcenona.
Some older sources suggest that the city may have been named after the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca, who was supposed to have founded the city in the 3rd century BC, but there is no evidence that Barcelona was ever a Carthaginian settlement, or that its name in antiquity, Barcino, had any connection with the Barcid family of Hamilcar. During the Middle Ages, the city was variously known as Barchinona, Barçalona, Barchelonaa, and Barchenona.
Internationally, Barcelona's name is wrongly abbreviated to 'Barça'. However, this name refers only to FC Barcelona, the football club. The common abbreviated form used by locals is Barna.
The origin of the earliest settlement at the site of present-day Barcelona is unclear. The ruins of an early settlement have been found, including different tombs and dwellings dating to earlier than 5000 BC. The founding of Barcelona is the subject of two different legends. The first attributes the founding of the city to the mythological Hercules. The second legend attributes the foundation of the city directly to the historical Carthaginian general, Hamilcar Barca, father of Hannibal, who supposedly named the city Barcino after his family in the 3rd century BC, but there is no historical or linguistic evidence that this is true.
In about 15 BC, the Romans redrew the town as a castrum (Roman military camp) centred on the "Mons Taber", a little hill near the contemporary city hall (Plaça de Sant Jaume). Under the Romans, it was a colony with the surname of Faventia, or, in full, Colonia Faventia Julia Augusta Pia Barcino or Colonia Julia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino. Pomponius Mela mentions it among the small towns of the district, probably as it was eclipsed by its neighbour Tarraco (modern Tarragona), but it may be gathered from later writers that it gradually grew in wealth and consequence, favoured as it was with a beautiful situation and an excellent harbour. It enjoyed immunity from imperial burdens. The city minted its own coins; some from the era of Galba survive.
Important Roman vestiges are displayed in Plaça del Rei underground, as a part of the Barcelona City History Museum (MUHBA); the typically Roman grid plan is still visible today in the layout of the historical centre, the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter). Some remaining fragments of the Roman walls have been incorporated into the cathedral. The cathedral, also known as the Basilica La Seu, is said to have been founded in 343.
The city was conquered by the Visigoths in the early 5th century, becoming for a few years the capital of all Hispania. After being conquered by the Arabs in the early 8th century, it was conquered in 801 by Charlemagne's son Louis, who made Barcelona the seat of the Carolingian "Hispanic March" (Marca Hispanica), a buffer zone ruled by the Count of Barcelona.
The Counts of Barcelona became increasingly independent and expanded their territory to include all of Catalonia, although on 6 July 985, Barcelona was sacked by the army of Almanzor. The sack was so traumatic that most of Barcelona's population was either killed or enslaved. In 1137, Aragon and the County of Barcelona merged in dynastic union by the marriage of Ramon Berenguer IV and Petronilla of Aragon, their titles finally borne by only one person when their son Alfonso II of Aragon ascended to the throne in 1162. His territories were later to be known as the Crown of Aragon, which conquered many overseas possessions and ruled the western Mediterranean Sea with outlying territories in Naples and Sicily and as far as Athens in the 13th century. The forging of a dynastic link between the Crowns of Aragon and Castile marked the beginning of Barcelona's decline. The Bank of Barcelona (Taula de canvi), probably the oldest public bank in Europe, was established by the city magistrates in 1401. It originated from necessities of the state, as did the Bank of Venice (1402) and the Bank of Genoa (1407).
The marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile in 1469 united the two royal lines. Madrid became the centre of political power whilst the colonisation of the Americas reduced the financial importance (at least in relative terms) of Mediterranean trade. Barcelona was a centre of Catalan separatism, including the Catalan Revolt (1640–52) against Philip IV of Spain. The great plague of 1650–1654 halved the city's population.
In the 18th century, a fortress was built at Montjuïc that overlooked the harbour. In 1794, this fortress was used by the French astronomer Pierre François André Méchain for observations relating to a survey stretching to Dunkirk that provided the official basis of the measurement of a metre. The definitive metre bar, manufactured from platinum, was presented to the French legislative assembly on 22 June 1799. Much of Barcelona was negatively affected by the Napoleonic wars, but the start of industrialisation saw the fortunes of the province improve. Urban planner Ildefons Cerdà designed the large Eixample district in the 1850s when the medieval city walls around Barcelona's old town were torn down.
During the Spanish Civil War, the city, and Catalonia in general, were resolutely Republican. Many enterprises and public services were "collectivized" by the CNT and UGT unions. As the power of the Republican government and the Generalitat diminished, much of the city was under the effective control of anarchist groups. The anarchists lost control of the city to their own allies, the Communists and official government troops, after the street fighting of the Barcelona May Days. The fall of the city on 26 January 1939, caused a mass exodus of civilians who fled to the French border. The resistance of Barcelona to Franco's coup d'état was to have lasting effects after the defeat of the Republican government. The autonomous institutions of Catalonia were abolished, and the use of the Catalan language in public life was suppressed. Barcelona remained the second largest city in Spain, at the heart of a region which was relatively industrialised and prosperous, despite the devastation of the civil war. The result was a large-scale immigration from poorer regions of Spain (particularly Andalusia, Murcia and Galicia), which in turn led to rapid urbanisation.
In 1992, Barcelona hosted the Summer Olympics. The after-effects of this are credited with driving major changes in what had, up until then, been a largely industrial city. As part of the preparation for the games, industrial buildings along the sea-front were demolished and two miles of beach were created. New construction increased the road capacity of the city by 17%, the sewage handling capacity by 27% and the amount of new green areas and beaches by 78%. Between 1990 and 2004, the number of hotel rooms in the city doubled. Perhaps more importantly, the outside perception of the city was changed making, by 2012, Barcelona the 12th most popular city destination in the world and the 5th amongst European cities.
The death of Franco in 1975 brought on a period of democratisation throughout Spain. Pressure for change was particularly strong in Barcelona, which considered (with some justification) that it had been punished during nearly forty years of Francoism for its support of the Republican government. Massive, but peaceful, demonstrations on 11 September 1977 assembled over a million people in the streets of Barcelona to call for the restoration of Catalan autonomy. It was granted less than a month later.
The development of Barcelona was promoted by two events in 1986: Spanish accession to the European Community, and particularly Barcelona's designation as host city of the 1992 Summer Olympics. The process of urban regeneration has been rapid, and accompanied by a greatly increased international reputation of the city as a tourist destination. The increased cost of housing has led to a slight decline (−16.6%) in the population over the last two decades of the 20th century as many families move out into the suburbs. This decline has been reversed since 2001, as a new wave of immigration (particularly from Latin America and from Morocco) has gathered pace.
On 17 August 2017, a van was driven into pedestrians on La Rambla in the city, killing 14 and injuring at least 100, one of whom later died. Other attacks took place elsewhere in Catalonia. The Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, called the attack in Barcelona a jihadist attack. Amaq News Agency attributed indirect responsibility for the attack to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Barcelona is located on the northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula, facing the Mediterranean Sea, on a plain approximately 5 km (3 mi) wide limited by the mountain range of Collserola, the Llobregat river to the southwest and the Besòs river to the north. This plain covers an area of 170 km2 (66 sq mi), of which 101 km2 (39.0 sq mi) are occupied by the city itself. It is 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of the Pyrenees and the Catalan border with France.
Tibidabo, 512 m (1,680 ft) high, offers striking views over the city and is topped by the 288.4 m (946.2 ft) Torre de Collserola, a telecommunications tower that is visible from most of the city. Barcelona is peppered with small hills, most of them urbanised, that gave their name to the neighbourhoods built upon them, such as Carmel (267 metres or 876 feet), Putget (181 metres or 594 feet) and Rovira (261 metres or 856 feet). The escarpment of Montjuïc (173 metres or 568 feet), situated to the southeast, overlooks the harbour and is topped by Montjuïc Castle, a fortress built in the 17–18th centuries to control the city as a replacement for the Ciutadella. Today, the fortress is a museum and Montjuïc is home to several sporting and cultural venues, as well as Barcelona's biggest park and gardens.
The city borders on the municipalities of Santa Coloma de Gramenet and Sant Adrià de Besòs to the north; the Mediterranean Sea to the east; El Prat de Llobregat and L'Hospitalet de Llobregat to the south; and Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Sant Just Desvern, Esplugues de Llobregat, Sant Cugat del Vallès, and Montcada i Reixac to the west. The municipality includes two small sparsely-inhabited exclaves to the north-west.
According to the Köppen climate classification, Barcelona has a maritime Mediterranean climate (Csa), with mild winters and warm to hot summers, while the rainiest seasons are autumn and spring. The rainfall pattern is characterized by a short (3 months) dry season in summer, as well as less winter rainfall than in a typical Mediterranean climate. This subtype, labelled as "Portuguese" by the French geographer George Viers after the climate classification of Emmanuel de Martonne and found in the NW Mediterranean area (e.g. Marseille), can be seen as transitional to the humid subtropical climate (Cfa) found in inland areas such as the Po Valley (e.g. Milan), whose rainfall is greater in summer, a feature of continental climates.
Its average annual temperature is 21.2 °C (70.2 °F) during the day and 15.1 °C (59.2 °F) at night. The average annual temperature of the sea is about 20 °C (68 °F). In the coldest month, January, the temperature typically ranges from 12 to 18 °C (54 to 64 °F) during the day, 6 to 12 °C (43 to 54 °F) at night and the average sea temperature is 13 °C (55 °F). In the warmest month, August, the typical temperature ranges from 27 to 31 °C (81 to 88 °F) during the day, about 23 °C (73 °F) at night and the average sea temperature is 26 °C (79 °F). Generally, the summer or "holiday" season lasts about six months, from May to October. Two months – April and November – are transitional; sometimes the temperature exceeds 20 °C (68 °F), with an average temperature of 18–19 °C (64–66 °F) during the day and 11–13 °C (52–55 °F) at night. December, January and February are the coldest months, with average temperatures around 15 °C (59 °F) during the day and 9 °C (48 °F) at night. Large fluctuations in temperature are rare, particularly in the summer months. Because of the proximity to the warm sea, frosts are very rare in the city of Barcelona. In fact, only 1 day in the last 30 years was recorded with a temperature under the freezing mark, −1 °C (30 °F). Snow is very infrequent.
Barcelona averages 78 rainy days per year (≥ 1 mm), and annual average relative humidity is 72%, ranging from 69% in July to 75% in October. Rainfall totals are highest in late summer and autumn (September–November) and lowest in early and mid-summer (June–August), with a secondary winter minimum (February–March). Sunshine duration is 2,524 hours per year, from 138 (average 4.5 hours of sunshine a day) in December to 310 (average 10 hours of sunshine a day) in July.
|Climate data for Barcelona Can Bruixa – Barcelona (1987–2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||23.8
|Average high °C (°F)||14.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||11.8
|Average low °C (°F)||8.8
|Record low °C (°F)||−1.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||43.7
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)||7.0||5.0||6.2||7.9||7.5||5.5||3.1||5.8||8.0||9.0||6.6||7.0||78.6|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||149||163||200||220||244||262||310||282||219||180||146||138||2,524|
|Source: Generalitat de Catalunya – Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (sunshine hours)|
According to Barcelona's City Council, Barcelona's population as of 1 January 2016 was 1,608,746 people, on a land area of 101.4 km2 (39 sq mi). It is the main component of an administrative area of Greater Barcelona, with a population of 3,218,071 in an area of 636 square kilometres (246 square miles) (density 5,060 hab/km²). The population of the urban area was 4,840,000. It is the central nucleus of the Barcelona metropolitan area, which relies on a population of 5,474,482.
Spanish is the most spoken language in Barcelona (according to the linguistic census held by the Government of Catalonia in 2013) and it is understood almost universally. After Spanish, the Catalan language is the second most spoken one in the city, and it is understood by 95% of the population, while 72.3% can speak it, 79% can read it, and 53% can write it, thanks to the language immersion educational system.
In 1900, Barcelona had a population of 533,000 people, which grew steadily but slowly until 1950, when it started absorbing a high number of people from other less-industrialized parts of Spain. Barcelona's population peaked in 1979 with 1,906,998 people, and fell throughout the 1980s and 1990s as more people sought a higher quality of life in outlying cities in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area. After bottoming out in 2000 with 1,496,266 people, the city's population began to rise again as younger people started to return, causing a great increase in housing prices.
Note: This text is entirely based on the municipal statistical database provided by the city council.
Barcelona is one of the most densely populated cities in Europe. For the year 2008 the city council calculated the population to 1,621,090 living in the 102.2 km2 sized municipality, giving the city an average population density of 15,926 inhabitants per square kilometre with Eixample being the most populated district.
In the case of Barcelona though, the land distribution is extremely uneven. Half of the municipality or 50.2 km2, all of it located on the municipal edge is made up of the ten least densely populated neighbourhoods containing less than 10% of the city's population, the uninhabited Zona Franca industrial area and Montjuïc forest park. Leaving the remaining 90% or slightly below 1.5 million inhabitants living on the remaining 52 square kilometres (20 square miles) at an average density close to 28,500 inhabitants per square kilometre.
Of the 73 neighbourhoods in the city, 45 had a population density above 20,000 inhabitants per square kilometre with a combined population of 1,313,424 inhabitants living on 38.6 km2 at an average density of 33,987 inhabitants per square km. The 30 most densely populated neighbourhoods accounted for 57.5% of the city population occupying only 22,7% of the municipality, or in other words, 936,406 people living at an average density of 40,322 inhabitants per square kilometre. The city's highest density is found at and around the neighbourhood of la Sagrada Família where four of the city's most densely populated neighbourhoods are located side by side, all with a population density above 50,000 inhabitants per square kilometre.
|Largest groups of foreign residents in Barcelona|
In 2016 about 59% of the inhabitants of the city were born in Catalonia and 18.5% coming from the rest of the country. In addition to that, 22.5% of the population was born outside of Spain, a proportion which has more than doubled since 2001 and more than quintupled since 1996 when it was 8.6% respectively 3.9%.
The most important region of origin of migrants is Europe, with many coming from Italy (26,676) or France (13,506). Moreover, many migrants come from Latin American nations as Bolivia, Ecuador or Colombia. Since the 1990s, and similar to other migrants, many Latin Americans have settled in northern parts of the city.
There exists a relatively large Pakistani community in Barcelona with up to twenty thousand nationals. The community consists of significantly more men than women. Many of the Pakistanis are living in Ciutat Vella. First Pakistani migrants came in the 1970s, with increasing numbers in the 1990s.
Other significant migrant groups come from Asia as from China and the Philippines. There is a Japanese community clustered in Bonanova, Les Tres Torres, Pedralbes, and other northern neighbourhoods, and a Japanese international school serves that community.
Most of the inhabitants state they are Roman Catholic (208 churches). In a 2011 survey conducted by InfoCatólica, 49.5% of Barcelona residents of all ages identified themselves as Catholic. This was the first time that more than half of respondents did not identify themselves as Catholic. The numbers reflect a broader trend in Spain whereby the numbers of self-identified Catholics have declined.
The province has the largest Muslim community in Spain, 322,698 people in Barcelona province are of Muslim religion. A considerable number of Muslims live in Barcelona due to immigration (169 locations, mostly professed by Moroccans in Spain). In 2014, 322,698 out of 5.5 million people in the province of Barcelona identified themselves as Muslim, which makes 5.6% of total population.
The city also has the largest Jewish community in Spain, with an estimated 3,500 Jews living in the city. There are also a number of other groups, including Evangelical (71 locations, mostly professed by Roma), Jehovah's Witnesses (21 Kingdom Halls), Buddhists (13 locations), and Eastern Orthodox.
The Barcelona metropolitan area comprises over 66% of the people of Catalonia, one of the richer regions in Europe and the fourth richest region per capita in Spain, with a GDP per capita amounting to €28,400 (16% more than the EU average). The greater Barcelona metropolitan area had a GDP amounting to $177 billion (equivalent to $34,821 in per capita terms, 44% more than the EU average), making it the 4th most economically powerful city by gross GDP in the European Union, and 35th in the world in 2009. Barcelona city had a very high GDP of €80,894 per head in 2004, according to Eurostat. Furthermore, Barcelona was Europe's fourth best business city and fastest improving European city, with growth improved by 17% per year as of 2009.
Barcelona was the 24th most "livable city" in the world in 2015 according to lifestyle magazine Monocle. Similarly, according to Innovation Analysts 2thinknow, Barcelona occupies 13th place in the world on Innovation Cities™ Global Index.
Barcelona has a long-standing mercantile tradition. Less well known is that the city industrialised early, taking off in 1833, when Catalonia's already sophisticated textile industry began to use steam power. It became the first and most important industrial city in the Mediterranean basin. Since then, manufacturing has played a large role in its history.
Borsa de Barcelona (Barcelona Stock Exchange) is the main stock exchange in the northeastern part of the Iberian Peninsula.
Drawing upon its tradition of creative art and craftsmanship, Barcelona is known for its award-winning industrial design. It also has several congress halls, notably Fira de Barcelona – the second largest trade fair and exhibition centre in Europe, that host a quickly growing number of national and international events each year (at present above 50). The total exhibition floor space of Fira de Barcelona venues is 405,000 m2 (41 ha), not counting Gran Via centre on the Plaza de Europa. However, the Eurozone crisis and deep cuts in business travel affected the Council's positioning of the city as a convention centre.
The city is known for hosting well as world-class conferences and expositions, including the 1888 Exposición Universal de Barcelona, the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition (Expo 1929), the 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures and the 2004 World Urban Forum.
Barcelona was the 20th-most-visited city in the world by international visitors and the fifth most visited city in Europe after London, Paris, Istanbul and Rome, with 5.5 million international visitors in 2011. By 2015, both Prague and Milan had more international visitors. With its Rambles, Barcelona is ranked the most popular city to visit in Spain.
Barcelona as internationally renowned a tourist destination, with numerous recreational areas, one of the best beaches in the world, mild and warm climate, historical monuments, including eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 519 hotels as of March 2016 including 35 five star hotels, and developed tourist infrastructure.
Due to its large influx of tourists each year, Barcelona, like many other tourism capitals, has to deal with pickpockets, with wallets and passports being commonly stolen items. For this reason, most travel guides recommend that visitors take precautions in order to ensure their possessions' safety, especially inside the metro premises. Despite its moderate pickpocket rate, Barcelona is considered one of the safest cities in terms of health security and personal safety, mainly because of a sophisticated policing strategy that has dropped crime by 32% in just over three years and has led it to be considered the 15th safest city in the world by Business Insider.
While tourism produces economic benefits, the city is "overrun" ... by "hordes of tourists" according to one report. In early 2017, over 150,000 protesters warned that tourism is destabilizing the city. Slogans included "Tourists go home", "Barcelona is not for sale" and "We will not be driven out". By then, number of visitors had increased from 1.7 million in 1990 to 32 million in a city with a population of 1.62 million, increasing the cost of rental housing for residents and overcrowding the public places. While tourists spent an estimated €30 billion in 2017, they are viewed by some as a threat to Barcelona's identity.
A May 2017 article in England's The Telegraph newspaper included Barcelona among the Eight Places That Hate Tourists the Most and included a comment from Mayor Ada Colau, "We don't want the city to become a cheap souvenir shop [like Venice]". To moderate the problem, the city has stopped issuing licenses for new hotels and holiday apartments; it also fined AirBnb with a €30,000. The mayor has suggested an additional tourist tax and setting a limit on the number of visitors. One industry insider, Justin Francis, founder of the Responsible Travel agency, stated that steps must be taken to limit the number of visitors that are causing an "overtourism crisis" in several major European cities. "Ultimately, residents must be prioritised over tourists for housing, infrastructure and access to services because they have a long-term stake in the city's success.", he said. "Managing tourism more responsibly can help", Francis later told a journalist, "but some destinations may just have too many tourists, and Barcelona may be a case of that".
Industry generates 21% of the total gross domestic product (GDP) of the region, with the energy, chemical and metallurgy industries accounting for 47% of industrial production. The Barcelona metropolitan area had 67% of the total number of industrial establishments in Catalonia as of 1997.
Barcelona has long been an important European automobile manufacturing centre. Formerly there were automobile factories of AFA, Abadal, Actividades Industriales, Alvarez, America, Artés de Arcos, Balandrás, Baradat-Esteve, Biscúter, J. Castro, Clúa, David, Delfín, Díaz y Grilló, Ebro trucks, Edis, Elizalde, Automóviles España, Eucort, Fenix, Fábrica Hispano, Auto Academia Garriga, Fábrica Española de Automóviles Hebe, Hispano-Suiza, Huracán Motors, Talleres Hereter, Junior SL, Kapi, La Cuadra, M.A., Automóviles Matas, Motores y Motos, Nacional Custals, National Pescara, Nacional RG, Nacional Rubi, Nacional Sitjes, Automóviles Nike, Orix, Otro Ford, Partia, Pegaso, PTV, Ricart, Ricart-España, Industrias Salvador, Siata Española, Stevenson, Romagosa y Compañía, Garaje Storm, Talleres Hereter, Trimak, Automóviles Victoria, Manufacturas Mecánicas Aleu.
Today, the headquarters and a large factory of SEAT (the largest Spanish automobile manufacturer) are in one of its suburbs. There is also a Nissan factory in the logistics and industrial area of the city. The factory of Derbi, a large manufacturer of motorcycles, scooters and mopeds, also lies near the city.
As in other modern cities, the manufacturing sector has long since been overtaken by the services sector, though it remains very important. The region's leading industries are textiles, chemical, pharmaceutical, motor, electronic, printing, logistics, publishing, in telecommunications industry and culture the notable Mobile World Congress, and information technology services.
The traditional importance of textiles is reflected in Barcelona's drive to become a major fashion centre. There have been many attempts to launch Barcelona as a fashion capital, notably Gaudi Home.
Beginning in the summer of 2000, the city hosted the prestigious Bread & Butter urban fashion fair until 2009, when its organisers announced that it would be returning to Berlin. This was a hard blow for the city as the fair brought €100 m to the city in just three days.
Since 2009, The Brandery, an urban fashion show, has been held in Barcelona twice a year until 2012. According to the Global Language Monitor's annual ranking of the world's top fifty fashion capitals Barcelona was named as the seventh most important fashion capital of the world right after Milano and before Berlin in 2015.
As the capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia, Barcelona is the seat of the Catalan government, known as the Generalitat de Catalunya; of particular note are the executive branch, the parliament, and the High Court of Justice of Catalonia. The city is also the capital of the Province of Barcelona and the Barcelonès comarca (district).
Barcelona is governed by a city council formed by 41 city councillors, elected for a four-year term by universal suffrage. As one of the two biggest cities in Spain, Barcelona is subject to a special law articulated through the Carta Municipal (Municipal Law). A first version of this law was passed in 1960 and amended later, but the current version was approved in March 2006. According to this law, Barcelona's city council is organised in two levels: a political one, with elected city councillors, and one executive, which administrates the programs and executes the decisions taken on the political level. This law also gives the local government a special relationship with the central government and it also gives the mayor wider prerogatives by the means of municipal executive commissions. It expands the powers of the city council in areas like telecommunications, city traffic, road safety and public safety. It also gives a special economic regime to the city's treasury and it gives the council a veto in matters that will be decided by the central government, but that will need a favourable report from the council.
The Comissió de Govern (Government Commission) is the executive branch, formed by 24 councillors, led by the Mayor, with 5 lieutenant-mayors and 17 city councillors, each in charge of an area of government, and 5 non-elected councillors. The plenary, formed by the 41 city councillors, has advisory, planning, regulatory, and fiscal executive functions. The six Commissions del Consell Municipal (City council commissions) have executive and controlling functions in the field of their jurisdiction. They are composed by a number of councillors proportional to the number of councillors each political party has in the plenary. The city council has jurisdiction in the fields of city planning, transportation, municipal taxes, public highways security through the Guàrdia Urbana (the municipal police), city maintenance, gardens, parks and environment, facilities (like schools, nurseries, sports centres, libraries, and so on), culture, sports, youth and social welfare. Some of these competencies are not exclusive, but shared with the Generalitat de Catalunya or the central Spanish government. In some fields with shared responsibility (such as public health, education or social services), there is a shared Agency or Consortium between the city and the Generalitat to plan and manage services.
The executive branch is led by a Chief Municipal Executive Officer which answers to the Mayor. It is made up of departments which are legally part of the city council and by separate legal entities of two types: autonomous public departments and public enterprises.
The seat of the city council is on the Plaça de Sant Jaume, opposite the seat of Generalitat de Catalunya. Since the coming of the Spanish democracy, Barcelona had been governed by the PSC, first with an absolute majority and later in coalition with ERC and ICV. After the May 2007 election, the ERC did not renew the coalition agreement and the PSC governed in a minority coalition with ICV as the junior partner.
Since 1987, the city has been divided into 10 administrative districts (districtes in Catalan, distritos in Spanish):
The districts are based mostly on historical divisions, and several are former towns annexed by the city of Barcelona in the 18th and 19th centuries that still maintain their own distinct character. Each district has its own council led by a city councillor. The composition of each district council depends on the number of votes each political party had in that district, so a district can be led by a councillor from a different party than the executive council.
Barcelona has a well-developed higher education system of public universities. Most prominent among these is the University of Barcelona (established in 1450), a world-renowned research and teaching institution with campuses around the city. Barcelona is also home to the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, and the newer Pompeu Fabra University, and, in the private sector the EADA Business School founded in 1957, became the first Barcelona institution to run manager training programmes for the business community. IESE Business School, as well as the largest private educational institution, the Ramon Llull University, which encompasses internationally prestigious schools and institutes such as the ESADE Business School. The Autonomous University of Barcelona, another public university, is located in Bellaterra, a town in the Metropolitan Area. Toulouse Business School and the Open University of Catalonia (a private Internet-centred open university) are also based in Barcelona.
The city has a network of public schools, from nurseries to high schools, under the responsibility of a consortium led by city council (though the curriculum is the responsibility of the Generalitat de Catalunya). There are also many private schools, some of them Roman Catholic. Most such schools receive a public subsidy on a per-student basis, are subject to inspection by the public authorities, and are required to follow the same curricular guidelines as public schools, though they charge tuition. Known as escoles concertades, they are distinct from schools whose funding is entirely private (escoles privades).
The language of instruction at public schools and escoles concertades is Catalan, as stipulated by the 2009 Catalan Education Act. Spanish may be used as a language of instruction by teachers of Spanish literature or language, and foreign languages by teachers of those languages. An experimental partial immersion programme adopted by some schools allows for the teaching of a foreign language (English, generally) across the curriculum, though this is limited to a maximum of 30% of the school day. No public school or escola concertada in Barcelona may offer 50% or full immersion programmes in a foreign language, nor does any public school or escola concertada offer International Baccalaureate programmes.
Barcelona's cultural roots go back 2000 years. Since the arrival of democracy, the Catalan language (very much repressed during the dictatorship of Franco) has been promoted, both by recovering works from the past and by stimulating the creation of new works. Barcelona is designated as a world-class city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network. The has also been part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a City of Literature since 2015.
Barcelona has many venues for live music and theatre, including the world-renowned Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house, the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, the Teatre Lliure and the Palau de la Música Catalana concert hall. Barcelona also is home to the Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra (Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, usually known as OBC), the largest symphonic orchestra in Catalonia. In 1999, the OBC inaugurated its new venue in the brand-new Auditorium (L'Auditori). It performs around 75 concerts per season and its current director is Eiji Oue. It is home to the Barcelona Guitar Orchestra, directed by Sergi Vicente. The major thoroughfare of La Rambla is home to mime artists and street performers. Yearly, two major pop music festivals take place in the city, the Sónar Festival and the Primavera Sound Festival. The city also has a thriving alternative music scene, with groups such as The Pinker Tones receiving international attention.
El Periódico de Catalunya, La Vanguardia and Ara are Barcelona's three major daily newspapers (the first two with Catalan and Spanish editions, Ara only in Catalan) while Sport and El Mundo Deportivo (both in Spanish) are the city's two major sports daily newspapers, published by the same companies. The city is also served by a number of smaller publications such as Ara and El Punt Avui (in Catalan), by nationwide newspapers with special Barcelona editions like El Pais (in Spanish, with an online version in Catalan) and El Mundo (in Spanish), and by several free newspapers like 20 minutos and Què (all bilingual).
Barcelona's oldest and main online newspaper VilaWeb is also the oldest one in Europe (with Catalan and English editions).
Several major FM stations include Catalunya Ràdio, RAC 1, RAC 105 and Cadena SER. Barcelona also has a local TV stations, BTV, owned by city council. The headquarters of Televisió de Catalunya, Catalonia's public network, are located in Sant Joan Despí, in Barcelona's metropolitan area.
Barcelona has a long sporting tradition and hosted the highly successful 1992 Summer Olympics as well as several matches during the 1982 FIFA World Cup (at the two stadiums). It has hosted about 30 sports events of international significance.
FC Barcelona is a sports club best known worldwide for its football team, one of the largest and the second richest in the world. It has 72 national trophies (while finishing 46 times as runners-up) and 17 continental prizes (with being runners-up 11 times), including five UEFA Champions League trophies out of eight finals and three FIFA Club World Cup wins out of four finals. It is the only male football team in the world to accomplish a single season sextuple. FC Barcelona also has professional teams in other sports like FC Barcelona Regal (basketball), FC Barcelona Handbol (handball), FC Barcelona Hoquei (roller hockey), FC Barcelona Ice Hockey (ice hockey), FC Barcelona Futsal (futsal) and FC Barcelona Rugby (rugby union), all at one point winners of the highest national and/or European competitions. The club's museum is the second most visited in Catalonia. The matches against cross-town rivals RCD Espanyol are of particular interest, but there are other Barcelonan football clubs in lower categories, like CE Europa and UE Sant Andreu. FC Barcelona's basketball team has a noted rivalry in the Liga ACB with nearby Joventut Badalona.
Barcelona has three UEFA elite stadiums: FC Barcelona's Camp Nou, the largest stadium in Europe with a capacity of 99,354; the publicly owned Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, with a capacity of 55,926; used for the 1992 Olympics; and Estadi Cornellà-El Prat, with a capacity of 40,500. Furthermore, the city has several smaller stadiums such as Mini Estadi (also owned by FC Barcelona) with a capacity of 15,000, Camp Municipal Narcís Sala with a capacity of 6,563 and Nou Sardenya with a capacity of 7,000. The city has a further three multifunctional venues for sports and concerts: the Palau Sant Jordi with a capacity of 12,000 to 24,000 (depending on use), the Palau Blaugrana with a capacity of 7,500, and the Palau dels Esports de Barcelona with a capacity of 3,500.
Several road running competitions are organised year-round in Barcelona: the Barcelona Marathon every March with over 10,000 participants in 2010, the Cursa de Bombers in April, the Cursa de El Corte Inglés in May (with about 60,000 participants each year), the Cursa de la Mercè, the Cursa Jean Bouin, the Milla Sagrada Família and the San Silvestre. There's also the Ultratrail Collserola which passes 85 kilometres (53 miles) through the Collserola forest. The Open Seat Godó, a 50-year-old ATP World Tour 500 Series tennis tournament, is held annually in the facilities of the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona. Each Christmas, a swimming race across the port is organised. Near Barcelona, in Montmeló, the 107,000 capacity Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya racetrack hosts the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix, the Catalan motorcycle Grand Prix, the Spanish GT Championship and races in the GP2 Series. Skateboarding and cycling are also very popular in Barcelona; in and around the city there are dozens of kilometers of bicycle paths.
|FC Barcelona||Primera División||Football||Camp Nou||1899||100,000|
|RCD Espanyol||Primera División||Football||Estadi Cornellà-El Prat||1900||40,500|
|CE Europa||Tercera División||Football||Nou Sardenya||1907||7,000|
|FC Barcelona Bàsquet||Primera División||Basketball||Palau Blaugrana||1926||7,585|
|FC Barcelona Handbol||Primera División||Handball||Palau Blaugrana||1942||7,585|
|FC Barcelona Ice Hockey||Primera División||Ice hockey||Palau de Gel||1972||1,256|
|FC Barcelona Hoquei||Primera División||Roller hockey||Palau Blaugrana||1942||7,585|
|FC Barcelona Futsal||Primera División||Futsal||Palau Blaugrana||1986||7,585|
|FC Barcelona Rugby||Primera División||Rugby union||CDMVdHT||1924||no data|
|Barcelona Dragons||World League||American football||Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys||1991 (withheld)||56,000|
|Barcelona Búfals||Primera División||American football||Camp Municipal Narcís Sala||1987||6,550|
Barcelona is also home to numerous social centres and illegal squats that effectively form a shadow society mainly made up of the unemployed, immigrants, dropouts, anarchists, anti-authoritarians and autonomists. Peter Gelderloos estimates that there around 200 squatted buildings and 40 social centres across the city with thousands of inhabitants, making it one of the largest squatter movements in the world. He notes that they pirate electricity, internet and water allowing them to live on less than one euro a day. He argues that these squats embrace an anarcho-communist and anti-work philosophy, often freely fixing up new houses, cleaning, patching roofs, installing windows, toilets, showers, lights and kitchens. In the wake of austerity, the squats have provided a number of social services to the surrounding residents, including bicycle repair workshops, carpentry workshops, self-defense classes, free libraries, community gardens, free meals, computer labs, language classes, theatre groups, free medical care and legal support services. The squats help elderly residents avoid eviction and organise various protests throughout Barcelona. Notable squats include Can Vies and Can Masdeus. Police have repeatedly tried to shut down the squatters movement with waves of evictions and raids, but the movement is still going strong.
Barcelona is served by Barcelona-El Prat Airport, about 17 km (11 mi) from the centre of Barcelona. It is the second-largest airport in Spain, and the largest on the Mediterranean coast, which handled more than 50.17 million passengers in 2018, showing an annual upward trend. It is a main hub for Vueling Airlines and Ryanair, and also a focus for Iberia and Air Europa. The airport mainly serves domestic and European destinations, although some airlines offer destinations in Latin America, Asia and the United States. The airport is connected to the city by highway, metro (Airport T1 and Airport T2 stations), commuter train (Barcelona Airport railway station) and scheduled bus service. A new terminal (T1) has been built, and entered service on 17 June 2009.
Some low-cost airlines, also use Girona-Costa Brava Airport, about 90 km (56 mi) to the north, Reus Airport, 77 km (48 mi) to the south, or Lleida-Alguaire Airport, about 150 km (93 mi) to the west, of the city. Sabadell Airport is a smaller airport in the nearby town of Sabadell, devoted to pilot training, aerotaxi and private flights.
The Port of Barcelona has a 2000-year-old history and a great contemporary commercial importance. It is Europe's ninth largest container port, with a trade volume of 1.72 million TEU's in 2013. The port is managed by the Port Authority of Barcelona. Its 10 km2 (4 sq mi) are divided into three zones: Port Vell (the old port), the commercial port and the logistics port (Barcelona Free Port). The port is undergoing an enlargement that will double its size thanks to diverting the mouth of the Llobregat river 2 kilometres (1 mile) to the south.
The Barcelona harbour is the leading European cruiser port and a most important Mediterranean turnaround base. In 2013, 3,6 million of pleasure cruises passengers used services of the Port of Barcelona.
The Port Vell area also houses the Maremagnum (a commercial mall), a multiplex cinema, the IMAX Port Vell and one of Europe's largest aquariums – Aquarium Barcelona, containing 8,000 fish and 11 sharks contained in 22 basins filled with 4 million litres of sea water. The Maremagnum, being situated within the confines of the port, is the only commercial mall in the city that can open on Sundays and public holidays.
Barcelona is a major hub for RENFE, the Spanish state railway network. The city's main Inter-city rail station is Barcelona Sants railway station, whilst Estació de França terminus serves a secondary role handling suburban, regional and medium distance services. Freight services operate to local industries and to the Port of Barcelona.
RENFE's AVE high-speed rail system, which is designed for speeds of 310 km/h (193 mph), was extended from Madrid to Barcelona in 2008 in the form of the Madrid–Barcelona high-speed rail line. A shared RENFE-SNCF high-speed rail connecting Barcelona and France (Paris, Marseilles and Toulouse, through Perpignan–Barcelona high-speed rail line) was launched in 2013. Both these lines serve Barcelona Sants terminal station.
Besides RENFE's services, other rail services in the Barcelona area are operated by the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC), owned by the Catalan government. The FGC operates largely commuter rail services, but also carries freight to the Port of Barcelona, as well as a number of rack railways and funiculars and three of the lines of the Barcelona Metro (see local public transport below). Other suburban services are operated by Rodalies de Catalunya over RENFE tracks.
Barcelona lies on three international routes, including European route E15 that follows the Mediterranean coast, European route E90 to Madrid and Lisbon, and European route E09 to Paris. It is also served by a comprehensive network of motorways and highways throughout the metropolitan area, including A-2, A-7/AP-7, C-16, C-17, C-31, C-32, C-33, C-60.
The city is circled by three half ring roads or bypasses, Ronda de Dalt (B-20) (on the mountain side), Ronda del Litoral (B-10) (along the coast) and Ronda del Mig (separated into two parts: Travessera de Dalt in the north and the Gran Via de Carles III), two partially covered fast highways with several exits that bypass the city.
The city's main arteries include Diagonal Avenue, which crosses it diagonally, Meridiana Avenue which leads to Glòries and connects with Diagonal Avenue and Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, which crosses the city from east to west, passing through its centre. The famous boulevard of La Rambla, whilst no longer an important vehicular route, remains an important pedestrian route.
Barcelona is served by a comprehensive local public transport network that includes a metro, a bus network, two separate modern tram networks, a separate historic tram line, and several funiculars and aerial cable cars. Most of these networks and lines form a coordinated fare system, administered by the Autoritat del Transport Metropolità (ATM), although they are operated by a number of different bodies. This integrated public transport is divided into different zones (1 to 6) and depending on usage various Integrated Travel Cards are available.
The largely underground Barcelona Metro network comprises twelve lines, identified by an "L" followed by the line number as well as by individual colours. Eight of these lines are operated on dedicated track by the Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB), whilst four lines are operated by the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) and some of them share tracks with that company's commuter lines.
Another company, TRAMMET, operates the city's two modern tram networks, known as Trambaix and Trambesòs. The historic tram line, the Tramvia Blau, connects the metro (L7, operated by FGC) to the Funicular del Tibidabo (operated by TMB). The Funicular de Tibidabo climbs the Tibidabo hill, as does the Funicular de Vallvidrera (FGC). The Funicular de Montjuïc (TMB) climbs the Montjuïc hill. The city has two aerial cable cars: the Montjuïc Cable Car (to the Montjuïc castle) and the Port Vell Aerial Tramway that runs via Torre Jaume I and Torre Sant Sebastià over the port.
Buses in Barcelona are a major form of public transport, with extensive local, interurban and night bus networks. Most local services are operated by the TMB, although some other services are operated by a number of private companies, albeit still within the ATM fare structure. A separate private bus line, known as Aerobús, links the airport with the city centre, with its own fare structure.
Barcelona has a metered taxi fleet governed by the Institut Metropolità del Taxi (Metropolitan Taxi Institute), composed of more than 10,000 cars. Most of the licences are in the hands of self-employed drivers. With their black and yellow livery, Barcelona's taxis are easily spotted, and can be caught from one of many taxi ranks, hailed on street, called by telephone or via app.
On 22 March 2007, Barcelona's City Council started the Bicing service, a bicycle service understood as a public transport. Once the user has their user card, they can take a bicycle from any of the more than 400 stations spread around the city and use it anywhere the urban area of the city, and then leave it at another station. The service has been a success, with 50,000 subscribed users in three months.
The Barri Gòtic (Catalan for "Gothic Quarter") is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. Many of the buildings date from medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. Catalan modernista architecture (related to the movement known as Art Nouveau in the rest of Europe) developed between 1885 and 1950 and left an important legacy in Barcelona. Several of these buildings are World Heritage Sites. Especially remarkable is the work of architect Antoni Gaudí, which can be seen throughout the city. His best-known work is the immense but still unfinished church of the Sagrada Família, which has been under construction since 1882 and is still financed by private donations. As of 2015, completion is planned for 2026.
Barcelona was also home to Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion. Designed in 1929 for the International Exposition for Germany, it was an iconic building that came to symbolise modern architecture as the embodiment of van der Rohe's aphorisms "less is more" and "God is in the details." The Barcelona pavilion was intended as a temporary structure and was torn down in 1930 less than a year after it was constructed. A modern re-creation by Spanish architects now stands in Barcelona, however, constructed in 1986.
|Name||Park Güell||Palau Güell||Casa Milà||Casa Vicens|
|Code, year||320-001, 1984||320–002, 1984||320–003, 1984||320–004, 2005|
|Name||Sagrada Família||Casa Batlló||Palau de la Música Catalana||Hospital de Sant Pau|
|Code, year||320-005, 2005||320–006, 2005||804–001, 1997||804–002, 1997|
Barcelona has a great number of museums, which cover different areas and eras. The National Museum of Art of Catalonia possesses a well-known collection of Romanesque art, while the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art focuses on post-1945 Catalan and Spanish art. The Fundació Joan Miró, Picasso Museum, and Fundació Antoni Tàpies hold important collections of these world-renowned artists, as well as the Can Framis Museum, focused on post-1960 Catalan Art owned by Fundació Vila Casas. Several museums cover the fields of history and archaeology, like the Barcelona City History Museum (MUHBA), the Museum of the History of Catalonia, the Archeology Museum of Catalonia, the Barcelona Maritime Museum, and the privately owned Egyptian Museum. The Erotic museum of Barcelona is among the most peculiar ones, while CosmoCaixa is a science museum that received the European Museum of the Year Award in 2006. The FC Barcelona Museum has been the most visited museum in the city of Barcelona, with 1,506,022 visitors in 2013.
Barcelona contains sixty municipal parks, twelve of which are historic, five of which are thematic (botanical), forty-five of which are urban, and six of which are forest. They range from vest-pocket parks to large recreation areas. The urban parks alone cover 10% of the city (549.7 ha or 1,358.3 acres). The total park surface grows about 10 ha (25 acres) per year, with a proportion of 18.1 square metres (195 sq ft) of park area per inhabitant.
Of Barcelona's parks, Montjuïc is the largest, with 203 ha located on the mountain of the same name. It is followed by Parc de la Ciutadella (which occupies the site of the old military citadel and which houses the Parliament building, the Barcelona Zoo, and several museums); 31 ha or 76.6 acres including the zoo), the Guinardó Park (19 ha or 47.0 acres), Park Güell (designed by Antoni Gaudí; 17.2 ha or 42.5 acres), Oreneta Castle Park (also 17.2 ha or 42.5 acres), Diagonal Mar Park (13.3 ha or 32.9 acres, inaugurated in 2002), Nou Barris Central Park (13.2 ha or 32.6 acres), Can Dragó Sports Park and Poblenou Park (both 11.9 ha or 29.4 acres), the Labyrinth Park (9.10 ha or 22.5 acres), named after the garden maze it contains. There are also several smaller parks, for example, the Parc de Les Aigües (2 ha or 4.9 acres). A part of the Collserola Park is also within the city limits. PortAventura World, one of the largest resort in Europe, with 5,837,509 visitors per year, is located one hour's drive from Barcelona. Also, within the city lies Tibidabo Amusement Park, a smaller amusement park in Plaza del Tibidabo, with the Muntanya Russa amusement ride.
Barcelona beach was listed as number one in a list of the top ten city beaches in the world according to National Geographic and Discovery Channel. Barcelona contains seven beaches, totalling 4.5 kilometres (2.8 miles) of coastline. Sant Sebastià, Barceloneta and Somorrostro beaches, both 1,100 m (3,610 ft) in length, are the largest, oldest and the most-frequented beaches in Barcelona.
The Olympic Harbour separates them from the other city beaches: Nova Icària, Bogatell, Mar Bella, Nova Mar Bella and Llevant. These beaches (ranging from 400 to 640 m (1,310 to 2,100 ft) were opened as a result of the city restructuring to host the 1992 Summer Olympics, when a great number of industrial buildings were demolished. At present, the beach sand is artificially replenished given that storms regularly remove large quantities of material. The 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures left the city a large concrete bathing zone on the eastmost part of the city's coastline. Most recently, Llevant is the first beach to allow dogs access during summer season.
Other forms of co-operation and city friendship similar to the twin city programmes exist to many cities worldwide.
[Karl Heinz Muller, the entrepreneur behind B&B in announcing the move in a press conference held on January 23, 2009 said] No llores Barcelona, levántate y haz algo [don't cry Barcelona, get up and do something about it] Barcelona in Europe is a metropolis of fashion.
The 1992 Summer Olympic Games (Spanish: Juegos Olímpicos de Verano de 1992; Catalan: Jocs Olímpics d'estiu de 1992), officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event celebrated in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain from July 25 to August 9, 1992.
Beginning in 1994, the International Olympic Committee decided to hold the games in alternating even-numbered years; as a result, the 1992 Summer Olympics were the last competition to be staged in the same year as the Winter Olympics. The games were the first to be unaffected by boycotts since 1972 and the first summer games since the end of the Cold War.Ballon d'Or
The Ballon d'Or (French pronunciation: [balɔ̃ dɔʁ]; "Golden Ball") is an annual football award presented by France Football. It has been awarded since 1956, although between 2010 and 2015, an agreement was made with FIFA and the award was temporarily merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year, and known as the FIFA Ballon d'Or. However, the partnership ended in 2016 and the award was reversed back to Ballon d'Or, while FIFA also reverted to its own separate annual award (now named The Best FIFA Men's Player).
Conceived by sports writer Gabriel Hanot, the Ballon d'Or award honours the male player deemed to have performed the best over the previous year, based on voting by football journalists. Originally it was an award for players from Europe. In 1995 the Ballon d'Or was expanded to include all players from any origin that have been active at European clubs. The award became a global prize in 2007 with all professional footballers from around the world being eligible.Camp Nou
Camp Nou (Catalan pronunciation: [ˌkamˈnɔw], "new field", often referred to as the Nou Camp in English) is the home stadium of FC Barcelona since its completion in 1957.
With a seating capacity of 99,354, it is the largest stadium in Spain and Europe, and the third largest football stadium in the world in capacity. It has hosted two European Cup/Champions League finals in 1989 and 1999, two UEFA Cup Winners' Cup finals, four Inter-Cities Fairs Cup final games, five UEFA Super Cup final games, four Copa del Rey finals, two Copa de la Liga final games, twenty-one Supercopa de España final games, five matches including the opening game of the 1982 FIFA World Cup, two out of four matches at the 1964 European Nations' Cup and the football competition final at the 1992 Summer Olympics.Catalonia
Catalonia (; Catalan: Catalunya [kətəˈluɲə]; Aranese: Catalonha [kataˈluɲɔ]; Spanish: Cataluña [kataˈluɲa];) is an autonomous community in Spain on the northeastern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. Catalonia consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second-most populated municipality in Spain and the core of the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union. It comprises most of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia (with the remainder Roussillon now part of France's Pyrénées-Orientales, Occitanie). It is bordered by France (Occitanie) and Andorra (Andorra la Vella, Encamp, Escaldes-Engordany, La Massana and Sant Julià de Lòria) to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, and the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon to the west and Valencia to the south. The official languages are Catalan, Spanish, and the Aranese dialect of Occitan.In the late 8th century, the counties of the March of Gothia and the Hispanic March were established by the Frankish kingdom as feudal vassals across and near the eastern Pyrenees as a defensive barrier against Muslim invasions. The eastern counties of these marches were united under the rule of the Frankish vassal, the count of Barcelona, and were later called Catalonia. In 1137, Catalonia and the Kingdom of Aragon were united by marriage under the Crown of Aragon, and the Principality of Catalonia developed its own institutional system, such as courts (parliament), and constitutions, becoming the base for the Crown of Aragon's naval power, trade and expansionism in the Mediterranean. In the later Middle Ages, Catalan literature flourished. During the last Medieval centuries natural disasters, social turmoils and military conflicts affected the Principality. Between 1469 and 1516, the king of Aragon and the queen of Castile married and ruled their kingdoms together, retaining all of their distinct institutions and legislation.
During the Franco-Spanish War (1635–1659), Catalonia revolted (1640–1652) against a large and burdensome presence of the royal army in its territory, being briefly proclaimed a republic under French protection. Within a brief period France took full control of Catalonia, until it was largely reconquered by the Spanish army. Under the terms of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, the Spanish Crown ceded the northern parts of Catalonia, mostly the County of Roussillon, to France. During the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714), the Crown of Aragon sided against the Bourbon Philip V of Spain; following Catalan defeat on 11 September 1714, Philip V, inspired by the model of France imposed a unifying administration across Spain, enacting the Nueva Planta decrees, suppressing the main Catalan institutions and rights like in the other realms of the Crown of Aragon. This led to the eclipse of Catalan as a language of government and literature, replaced by Spanish. Along the 18th century, Catalonia experienced economic growth, reinforced in the late quarter of the century when the Castile's trade monopoly with American colonies ended.
In the 19th century, Catalonia was severely affected by the Napoleonic and Carlist Wars. In the second half of the century, Catalonia experienced significant industrialisation. As wealth from the industrial expansion grew, Catalonia saw a cultural renaissance coupled with incipient nationalism while several workers movements appeared. In 1914, the four Catalan provinces formed a commonwealth, and with the return of democracy during the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939), the Generalitat of Catalonia was restored as an autonomous government. After the Spanish Civil War, the Francoist dictatorship enacted repressive measures, abolishing Catalan self-government and banning the official use of the Catalan language again. After a first period of autarky, from the late 1950s through to the 1970s Catalonia saw rapid economic growth, drawing many workers from across Spain, making Barcelona one of Europe's largest industrial metropolitan areas and turning Catalonia into a major tourist destination. Since the Spanish transition to democracy (1975–1982), Catalonia has regained considerable autonomy in political, educational, environmental, and cultural affairs and is now one of the most economically dynamic communities of Spain. In the 2010s there has been growing support for Catalan independence.
On 27 October 2017, the Catalan Parliament declared independence from Spain following a disputed referendum. The Spanish Senate voted in favour of enforcing direct rule by removing the entire Catalan government and calling a snap regional election for 21 December. On 2 November of the same year, the Spanish Supreme Court imprisoned 7 former ministers of the Catalan government on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds, while several others, including the President Carles Puigdemont, fled to other European countries.Cesc Fàbregas
Francesc "Cesc" Fàbregas Soler (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈsɛsk ˈfaβɾəɣəs], Spanish: [ˈfaβɾeɣas]; born 4 May 1987) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Ligue 1 club Monaco and the Spain national team.
Fàbregas came through La Masia, Barcelona's youth academy, leaving at 16 when he was signed by Premier League club Arsenal in September 2003. Following injuries to key midfielders in the early part of the 2004–05 season, he went on establish himself in the team. He broke several of the club's records in the process, earning a reputation as one of the best players in his position, and won the FA Cup in 2005. After a protracted transfer saga, Fàbregas left London on 15 August 2011 to return to Barcelona in a deal worth up to £35 million. During his three-year spell at the Camp Nou, Fàbregas played alongside Xavi and Andrés Iniesta and won a La Liga title, the Copa del Rey, the FIFA Club World Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and two Spanish Super Cups. He returned to London in June 2014 to Arsenal's cross-town rivals Chelsea for a fee of £30 million, and in his first year there he helped to secure League Cup and Premier League triumphs.
Internationally, Fàbregas made his debut for the Spanish national team in March 2006. He represented his country in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2008, 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, 2010 World Cup, Euro 2012, 2013 Confederations Cup, the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016. He was a key figure in Spain's European Championship victories in 2008 and 2012 and their 2010 World Cup triumph in which he supplied the pass for Andrés Iniesta's winning goal in the final. On 12 October 2015, Fàbregas earned his 100th cap for Spain.Copa del Rey
The Campeonato de España–Copa de Su Majestad el Rey, commonly known as Copa del Rey or simply La Copa, is an annual knockout football competition in Spanish football, organized by the Royal Spanish Football Federation.
The competition was founded in 1903, thus making it the oldest Spanish football competition. Copa del Rey winners qualify for the following season's UEFA Europa League. If they have already qualified for Europe through their league position, then the Europa League spot is given to the highest-place team in the league who has not yet qualified.
Barcelona is the most successful club in the competition as well as the current cup holders, winning their fourth consecutive and 30th overall title against Sevilla in the 2018 final held at the Wanda Metropolitano.El Clásico
El Clásico (Spanish pronunciation: [el ˈklasiko]; Catalan: El Clàssic, pronounced [əl ˈklasik]; "The Classic") is the name given in football to any match between fierce rivals Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Originally it referred only to those competitions held in the Spanish championship, but nowadays the term has been generalized, and tends to include every single match between the two clubs: UEFA Champions League, Copa del Rey, etc. Other than the UEFA Champions League Final, it is considered one of the biggest club football games in the world, and is among the most viewed annual sporting events. A fixture known for its intensity, it has featured memorable goal celebrations from both teams, often involving mocking the opposition.The rivalry comes about as Madrid and Barcelona are the two largest cities in Spain, and they are sometimes identified with opposing political positions, with Real Madrid viewed as representing Spanish nationalism and Barcelona viewed as representing Catalan nationalism. The rivalry is regarded as one of the biggest in world sport. The two clubs are among the richest and most successful football clubs in the world; in 2014 Forbes ranked Barcelona and Real Madrid the world's two most valuable sports teams. Both clubs have a global fanbase; they are the world's two most followed sports teams on social media.Real Madrid leads the head to head results in competitive matches with 95 wins to Barcelona's 93, while Barcelona leads in total matches with 113 wins to Real Madrid's 99. Along with Athletic Bilbao, they are the only clubs in La Liga to have never been relegated.FC Barcelona
Futbol Club Barcelona (Catalan pronunciation: [fubˈbɔl ˈklub bəɾsəˈlonə] (listen)), known simply as Barcelona and colloquially as Barça ([ˈbaɾsə]), is a professional football club based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
Founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, English and Catalan footballers led by Joan Gamper, the club has become a symbol of Catalan culture and Catalanism, hence the motto "Més que un club" ("More than a club"). Unlike many other football clubs, the supporters own and operate Barcelona. It is the third-most valuable sports team in the world, worth $4.07 billion, and the world's third-richest football club in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of €648.3 million. The official Barcelona anthem is the "Cant del Barça", written by Jaume Picas and Josep Maria Espinàs.Domestically, Barcelona has won 25 La Liga, 30 Copa del Rey, 13 Supercopa de España, 3 Copa Eva Duarte, and 2 Copa de la Liga trophies, as well as being the record holder for the latter four competitions. In international club football, Barcelona has won 20 European and World titles: 5 UEFA Champions League titles, a record 4 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, a joint record 5 UEFA Super Cup, a record 3 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, and a joint record 3 FIFA Club World Cup. Barcelona was ranked first in the International Federation of Football History & Statistics Club World Ranking for 1997, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2015 and currently occupies the second position on the UEFA club rankings. The club has a long-standing rivalry with Real Madrid; matches between the two teams are referred to as El Clásico.
Barcelona is one of the most widely supported teams in the world, and the club has one of the largest social media following in the world among sports teams. Barcelona players have won a record number of Ballon d'Or awards (11), with recipients including Johan Cruyff, as well as a record number of FIFA World Player of the Year awards (7), with winners including Ronaldo, Romário, Ronaldinho, and Rivaldo. In 2010, three players who came through the club's youth academy (Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta, and Xavi) were chosen as the three best players in the world in the FIFA Ballon d'Or awards, an unprecedented feat for players from the same football school.
Barcelona is one of three founding members of the Primera División that have never been relegated from the top division since its inception in 1929, along with Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid. In 2009, Barcelona became the first Spanish club to win the continental treble consisting of La Liga, Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League, and also became the first Spanish football club to win six out of six competitions in a single year, by also winning the Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup. In 2011, the club became European champions again and won five trophies. This Barcelona team, which won 14 trophies in just 4 years under Pep Guardiola, is considered by some in the sport to be the greatest team of all time. By winning their fifth Champions League trophy on 6 June 2015, Barcelona became the first European club in history to achieve the continental treble twice. The highest paid sports team in the world, in November 2018 Barcelona became the first sports team with average first-team pay in excess of £10m ($13.8m) per year.Gerard Piqué
Gerard Piqué Bernabéu (Catalan: [ʒəˈɾaɾt piˈke βəɾnəˈβew], Spanish: [ɟʝeˈɾaɾ piˈke βeɾnaˈβeu]; born 2 February 1987) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Barcelona.
A product of Barça's cantera, La Masia, Piqué initially left the club for Manchester United in 2004, where he remained for four years, before returning to Barça under Pep Guardiola's leadership, helping the club win trebles in 2008–09 and 2014–15. He is one of four players to have won the UEFA Champions League two years in a row with different teams, the others being Marcel Desailly, Paulo Sousa and Samuel Eto'o.Piqué has also represented Spain, making his debut on 11 February 2009. He played an integral role in the Spain team that won the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012.La Liga
The Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Primera División, commonly known as La Liga (La Liga Santander for sponsorship reasons with Santander), is the men's top professional football division of the Spanish football league system. Administered by the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional (English: National Professional Football League), also known as the Liga de Fútbol Profesional (LFP), La Liga is contested by 20 teams, with the three lowest-placed teams relegated to the Segunda División and replaced by the top two teams in that division plus the winner of a play-off.
62 teams have competed in La Liga since its inception. Nine teams have been crowned champions, with Real Madrid winning the title a record 33 times and Barcelona 25 times. Barcelona won the inaugural La Liga in 1929 with Athletic Bilbao claiming several titles in the league's early years. Barcelona and Real Madrid dominated the championship in the 1950s, winning four La Liga titles each throughout the decade. Real Madrid dominated La Liga from the 1960s through the 1980s, when Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, and Real Sociedad won the league twice in those years. From the 1990s onward, Barcelona has dominated La Liga, winning 15 titles. Although Real Madrid has been prominent, winning 8 titles, La Liga has also seen other champions, including Atlético Madrid, Valencia, and Deportivo de La Coruña. In the 2010s, Atlético Madrid has become an increasingly stronger team, forming a trio alongside Real Madrid and Barcelona.
According to UEFA's league coefficient, La Liga has been the top league in Europe over the last five years and has led Europe for more years (21) than any other country. It has also produced the continent's top-rated club more times (21) than any other league, more than double that of second-placed Serie A. Its clubs have won the most UEFA Champions League (18), UEFA Europa League (11), UEFA Super Cup (15), and FIFA Club World Cup (7) titles, and its players have accumulated the highest number of Ballon d'Or awards (22), The Best FIFA Men's Player including FIFA World Player of the Year (19) and UEFA Men's Player of the Year including UEFA Club Footballer of the Year (11).
La Liga is one of the most popular professional sports leagues in the world, with an average attendance of 26,983 for league matches in the 2017–18 season. This is the sixth-highest of any domestic professional sports league in the world and the third-highest of any professional association football league in the world, behind the Bundesliga, and the Premier League.Lionel Messi
Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini (Spanish pronunciation: [ljoˈnel anˈdɾez ˈmesi] (listen); born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward and captains both Barcelona and the Argentina national team. Often considered the best player in the world and regarded by many as one of the greatest players of all time, Messi has won a record-tying five Ballon d'Or awards, four of which he won consecutively, and a record five European Golden Shoes. He has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, where he has won a club record 32 trophies, including nine La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League titles, and six Copas del Rey. Both a prolific goalscorer and a creative playmaker, Messi holds the records for most official goals scored in La Liga (400), a La Liga season (50), a club football season in Europe (73), a calendar year (91), El Clásico (26), most hat-tricks in the UEFA Champions League (8), as well as those for most assists in La Liga (162) and the Copa América (11). He has scored over 660 senior career goals for club and country.
Born and raised in central Argentina, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency as a child. At age 13, he relocated to Spain to join Barcelona, who agreed to pay for his medical treatment. After a fast progression through Barcelona's youth academy, Messi made his competitive debut aged 17 in October 2004. Despite being injury-prone during his early career, he established himself as an integral player for the club within the next three years, finishing 2007 as a finalist for both the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year award, a feat he repeated the following year. His first uninterrupted campaign came in the 2008–09 season, during which he helped Barcelona achieve the first treble in Spanish football. At 22 years old, Messi won the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year award by record voting margins.
Three successful seasons followed, with Messi winning three consecutive FIFA Ballons d'Or, including an unprecedented fourth. His best campaign statistically to date was the 2011–12 season, in which he set the La Liga and European records for most goals scored in a single season, while establishing himself as Barcelona's all-time top scorer in official competitions in March 2012. The following two seasons, Messi finished twice second for the Ballon d'Or behind Cristiano Ronaldo, his perceived career rival. Messi regained his best form during the 2014–15 campaign, breaking the all-time goalscoring records in both La Liga and the Champions League in November 2014, and led Barcelona to a historic second treble.
An Argentine international, Messi is his country's all-time leading goalscorer. At youth level, he won the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, finishing the tournament with both the Golden Ball and Golden Shoe, and an Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics. His style of play as a diminutive, left-footed dribbler drew comparisons with compatriot Diego Maradona, who declared the teenager his successor. After making his senior debut in August 2005, Messi became the youngest Argentine to play and score in a FIFA World Cup during the 2006 edition, and reached the final of the 2007 Copa América, where he was named young player of the tournament. As the squad's captain from August 2011, he led Argentina to three consecutive finals: the 2014 World Cup, for which he won the Golden Ball, and the 2015 and 2016 Copas América. After announcing his international retirement in 2016, he reversed his decision and led his country to qualification for the 2018 World Cup.Luis Suárez
Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz (American Spanish: [ˈlwis ˈswaɾes]; born 24 January 1987) is a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays as a striker for Spanish club Barcelona and the Uruguay national team. Often regarded as one of the best players in the world, Suárez has won 17 trophies in his career, including five league titles and a UEFA Champions League title at club level, and a Copa América with Uruguay. A prolific goalscorer, Suárez has won two European Golden Shoes,
an Eredivisie Golden Boot, a Premier League Golden Boot, as well as ending the six-year dominance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo by winning La Liga's Pichichi Trophy in 2016. He has scored over 400 senior career goals for club and country.Suárez began his career as a youth player for Nacional in 2003. At age 19, he relocated to the Netherlands to play for Groningen, before transferring to Ajax in 2007. He won his first trophy in 2010, the KNVB Cup, finishing the season as the league's top scorer and was named Dutch Footballer of the Year. A year later, he helped Ajax secure the Eredivisie title, and scored his 100th Ajax goal. In January 2011, Suárez transferred to Liverpool, and won the League Cup in his first full season. In 2014, he was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year as well as winning the Premier League Golden Boot, and sharing the European Golden Shoe with Cristiano Ronaldo before moving to Barcelona in a transfer worth €82.3 million (£64.98 million), making him one of the most expensive players in football history.In his first season at Barcelona, Suárez starred in an attacking trio alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar, helping the club win a historic second continental treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League. Messi, Suárez, Neymar (dubbed MSN), scored a total of 122 goals that season, the most for an attacking front three in Spanish football history. In his second season at the club, Suárez won his first Pichichi Trophy as well as his second European Golden Shoe, for which he became the first player since 2009 to win both awards other than Messi or Ronaldo. He ended the season with a total of 40 league goals, 14 of which came in his last five matches, and 16 assists, becoming the first player in history to top La Liga in both goals and assists.Suárez is Uruguay's all-time leading goalscorer. At the 2010 FIFA World Cup he played an important role in Uruguay's fourth-place finish, scoring three goals, as well as controversially blocking a goal-bound extra time header with his hands during the quarter-final against Ghana. At the 2011 Copa América, Suárez scored four goals as Uruguay won a record fifteenth Copa América, and he was named Player of the Tournament. At the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Suárez scored his 40th international goal before he was suspended from the tournament after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini. Suárez has been a source of controversy throughout his career. As well as his goal-line handball, he has also bitten opponents on three separate occasions. He has also been accused of and admitted to diving, and in 2011, the FA found him guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra, a decision Suárez disputes.Neymar
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (Brazilian Portuguese: [nejˈmaʁ dɐ ˈsiwvɐ ˈsɐ̃tus ˈʒũɲoʁ]; born 5 February 1992), commonly known as Neymar Jr. or simply Neymar, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a forward for French club Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazil national team. Considered one of the best players in the world, he is known for his dribbling, finishing, skill, pace, and ability to play with both feet.
Neymar came into prominence at an early age at Santos, where he made his professional debut aged 17. He helped the club win two successive Campeonato Paulista championships, a Copa do Brasil, and the 2011 Copa Libertadores, Santos' first Copa Libertadores since 1963. Neymar was twice named the South American Footballer of the Year, in 2011 and 2012, before moving to Europe to join Barcelona. As part of Barça's attacking trio with Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez, he won the continental treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League, and came third for the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2015 for his performances. He followed this up by attaining a domestic double in the 2015–16 season. In August 2017, Neymar transferred from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in a move worth €222 million, making him the most expensive player ever. In France, he claimed a domestic treble of Ligue 1, Coupe de France, and Coupe de la Ligue, and was voted as the Ligue 1 Player of the Year.With 60 goals in 96 matches for Brazil since debuting at age 18, Neymar is the third highest goalscorer for his national team, trailing only Pelé and Ronaldo. He was a key player in Brazil's victories at the 2011 South American Youth Championship, where he finished as leading goalscorer, and the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, where he won the Golden Ball as player of the tournament. His participation in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2015 Copa América was cut short by injury and a suspension, respectively, but, the following year, he captained Brazil to their first Olympic gold medal in men's football at the 2016 Summer Olympics, and two years later, featured at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Off the pitch, he ranks among the world's most prominent sportsmen; SportsPro named him the most marketable athlete in the world in 2012 and 2013, and ESPN cited him as the world's fourth-most famous athlete in 2016. In 2017, Neymar was listed by Time to be one of the most influential people in the world, and in 2018, France Football ranked him as the world's third highest paid footballer, earning €81.5m ($95m) for a calendar year in combined income from salaries, bonuses, and endorsements.Pep Guardiola
Josep "Pep" Guardiola Sala (Catalan pronunciation: [ʒuˈzɛb ɡwəɾðiˈɔlə]; born 18 January 1971) is a Spanish professional football coach and former player who is the manager of Premier League club Manchester City. He is considered to be one of the greatest and most successful managers of all time. He also holds the record for the most consecutive league wins in La Liga, Bundesliga and Premier League.Guardiola was a creative and technically gifted defensive midfielder who usually played in a deep-lying playmaker's role. He spent the majority of his career with Barcelona, forming a part of Johan Cruyff's Dream Team that won the club's first European Cup in 1992, and four successive Spanish league titles from 1991 to 1994. He later captained the team from 1997 until his departure from the club in 2001. After leaving Barcelona, Guardiola had stints with Brescia and Roma in Italy, Al-Ahli in Qatar, and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico. He was capped 47 times for the Spanish national team and appeared at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, as well as at UEFA Euro 2000. He also played friendly matches for Catalonia.
After retiring as a player, Guardiola briefly coached Barcelona B, with whom he won a Tercera División title, and assumed control of the first-team in 2008. In his first season as the first team manager, he guided Barcelona to a treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League. In doing so, Guardiola became the youngest manager to win the aforementioned European competition. The following campaign, he led Barcelona to four trophies, including winning his second Spanish league title as manager. In 2011, after leading the club to another La Liga and Champions League double, Guardiola was awarded the Catalan Parliament's Gold Medal, their highest honour. The same year, he was also named the FIFA World Coach of the Year. In Guardiola's final season at Barcelona, he again won four trophies, before departing in 2012. He ended his four-year Barcelona stint with 14 honours, a club record.
After a sabbatical period, Bayern Munich announced Guardiola would join the club as manager in 2013. In his first season at the club, he won four trophies, including a double of Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal. Guardiola won seven trophies during his three-year tenure in Germany; winning the Bundesliga every season he was there, as well as two domestic doubles. He left the Bavarians for Manchester City in 2016, and guided them to a Premier League title in his second campaign in charge, breaking numerous domestic records as the team became the first to attain 100 league points.Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho Correia (Brazilian Portuguese: [fiˈlipi kowˈtʃĩɲu]; born 12 June 1992) is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder or winger for Spanish club Barcelona and the Brazilian national team.
Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Coutinho showed prodigious talent and excelled in Vasco da Gama's youth system. He was signed by Italian club Inter Milan in 2008 for €4 million and subsequently loaned back to Vasco, where he became a key player. He made his debut for Inter Milan in 2010 and was seen as the "future of Inter", and was later loaned to La Liga club Espanyol in 2012.
In January 2013, he was signed by Premier League club Liverpool for £8.5 million. He flourished at Anfield, where his combination of vision, passing, dribbling and bending long-range strikes earned him the nickname "The Magician" from Liverpool fans and teammates. After he was named in the 2015 PFA Team of the Year, Brazilian legend Pelé tipped Coutinho for a "great future". In January 2018, Coutinho transferred to Barcelona in a record transaction fee reportedly worth €142 million ($170 million), which would make him the world's third most expensive player.Coutinho made his senior international debut in 2010, and has earned over 40 caps for Brazil. He was part of the Brazilian squad at the 2015 Copa América, the Copa América Centenario in 2016, and made his World Cup debut at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.RCD Espanyol
Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol de Barcelona (Catalan pronunciation: [rəˈjal ˈklub dəpuɾˈtiw əspəˈɲɔl də βəɾsəˈlonə]; Royal Spanish Sports Club of Barcelona), commonly known as RCD Espanyol, or simply as Espanyol, is a professional sports club based in Cornellà de Llobregat, Spain.
Founded in 1900, the club plays in La Liga, the highest division of Spanish football and play their home games at the RCDE Stadium, which holds up to 40,500 spectators. Espanyol have won Copa del Rey four times, most recently in 2006, and reached the UEFA Cup final in 1988 and 2007. The team competes in the Barcelona Derby against FC Barcelona.Real Madrid CF
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol (Spanish pronunciation: [reˈal maˈðɾið ˈkluβ ðe ˈfuðβol]; "Royal Madrid Football Club"), commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain.
Founded on 6 March 1902 as the Madrid Football Club, the club has traditionally worn a white home kit since inception. The word real is Spanish for "royal" and was bestowed to the club by King Alfonso XIII in 1920 together with the royal crown in the emblem. The team has played its home matches in the 81,044-capacity Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in downtown Madrid since 1947. Unlike most European sporting entities, Real Madrid's members (socios) have owned and operated the club throughout its history.
The club was estimated to be worth €3.47 billion ($4.1 billion) in 2018, and in the 2016–17 season it was the second highest-earning football club in the world, with an annual revenue of €674.6 million. The club is one of the most widely supported teams in the world. Real Madrid is one of three founding members of La Liga that have never been relegated from the top division since its inception in 1929, along with Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona. The club holds many long-standing rivalries, most notably El Clásico with Barcelona and El Derbi with Atlético Madrid.
Real Madrid established itself as a major force in both Spanish and European football during the 1950s, winning five consecutive European Cups and reaching the final seven times. This success was replicated in the league, where the club won five times in the space of seven years. This team, which consisted of players such as Alfredo Di Stéfano, Ferenc Puskás, Francisco Gento and Raymond Kopa, is considered by some in the sport to be the greatest team of all time. In domestic football, the club has won 64 trophies; a record 33 La Liga titles, 19 Copa del Rey, 10 Supercopa de España, a Copa Eva Duarte, and a Copa de la Liga. In European and worldwide competitions, the club has won a record 26 trophies; a record 13 European Cup/UEFA Champions League titles, two UEFA Cups and four UEFA Super Cups. In international football, they have achieved a record seven club world championships.Real Madrid was recognised as the FIFA Club of the 20th Century on 11 December 2000, and received the FIFA Centennial Order of Merit on 20 May 2004. The club was also awarded Best European Club of the 20th Century by the IFFHS on 11 May 2010. In June 2017, the team succeeded in becoming the first club to win back to back Champions Leagues, then made it three in a row in May 2018, extending their lead atop the UEFA club rankings.Ronaldinho
Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (born 21 March 1980), commonly known as Ronaldinho (Brazilian Portuguese: [ʁonawˈdʒĩɲu]) or Ronaldinho Gaúcho, is a Brazilian former professional footballer and ambassador for Barcelona. He played mostly as an attacking midfielder, but was also deployed as a forward or a winger. He played the bulk of his career at European clubs Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and A.C. Milan as well as playing for the Brazilian national team. Often considered one of the best players of his generation and regarded by many as one of the greatest of all time, Ronaldinho won two FIFA World Player of the Year awards and a Ballon d'Or. He was renowned for his technical skills and creativity; due to his agility, pace and
dribbling ability, as well as his use of tricks, feints, overhead kicks, no-look passes and accuracy from free-kicks.
Ronaldinho made his career debut for Grêmio, in 1998. At age 20, he moved to Paris Saint-Germain in France before signing for Barcelona in 2003. In his second season with Barcelona, he won his first FIFA World Player of the Year award, as Barcelona won La Liga. The season that followed is considered one of the best in his career as he was instrumental in Barcelona winning the UEFA Champions League, their first in fourteen years, as well as another La Liga title, giving Ronaldinho his first career double. After scoring two spectacular solo goals in El Clásico, Ronaldinho became the second Barcelona player, after Diego Maradona in 1983, to receive a standing ovation from Real Madrid fans at the Santiago Bernabéu. Ronaldinho also received his second FIFA World Player of the Year award, as well as the Ballon d'Or.
Following a second-place La Liga finish to rivals Real Madrid in the 2006–07 season and an injury plagued 2007–08 season, Ronaldinho departed Barcelona to join Milan. He then returned to Brazil to play for Flamengo in 2011 and Atlético Mineiro a year later where he won the Copa Libertadores, before moving to Mexico to play for Querétaro and then back to Brazil to play for Fluminense in 2015. Ronaldinho accumulated numerous other individual awards in his career. He was included in the UEFA Team of the Year and the FIFA World XI three times, named UEFA Club Footballer of the Year in 2006 and the South American Footballer of the Year in 2013, and was named in the FIFA 100, a list of the world's greatest living players compiled by Pelé.
At international level, Ronaldinho played 97 matches for the Brazil national team, scoring 33 goals and representing his country in two FIFA World Cups. He was an integral part of the 2002 FIFA World Cup-winning team in Korea and Japan, starring alongside Ronaldo and Rivaldo in an attacking trio, scoring two goals, including a free-kick from 40 yards out against England, registering two assists and being named in the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team. As captain, he led Brazil to their second Confederations Cup title in 2005 and was named Man of the Match in the final. Ronaldinho scored three goals in the tournament, taking his total to nine, making him the competition's joint all-time leading goalscorer.Sagrada Família
The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (Catalan pronunciation: [səˈɣɾaðə fəˈmili.ə]; Spanish: Basílica y Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia; English: Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family) is a large unfinished Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926). Gaudí's work on the building is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in November 2010 Pope Benedict XVI consecrated and proclaimed it a minor basilica, as distinct from a cathedral, which must be the seat of a bishop.
In 1882, construction of Sagrada Família started under architect Francisco de Paula del Villar. In 1883, when Villar resigned, Gaudí took over as chief architect, transforming the project with his architectural and engineering style, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Gaudí devoted the remainder of his life to the project, and he is buried in the crypt. At the time of his death at age 73 in 1926, when he was run down by a tram, less than a quarter of the project was complete.Relying solely on private donations, Sagrada Familia's construction progressed slowly and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War. In July 1936, revolutionaries set light to the crypt and broke their way into the workshop, partially destroying Gaudí’s original plans, drawings and plaster models, which led to 16 years work to piece together the fragments of the master model. Construction resumed to intermittent progress in the 1950s. Since commencing construction in 1882, advancements in technologies such as computer aided design and computerised numerical control (CNC) have enabled faster progress and construction passed the midpoint in 2010. However, some of the project's greatest challenges remain, including the construction of ten more spires, each symbolising an important Biblical figure in the New Testament. It is anticipated that the building can be completed by 2026—the centenary of Gaudí's death.
The basilica has a long history of dividing the citizens of Barcelona: over the initial possibility it might compete with Barcelona's cathedral, over Gaudí's design itself, over the possibility that work after Gaudí's death disregarded his design, and the 2007 proposal to build a tunnel of Spain's high-speed rail link to France which could disturb its stability. Describing Sagrada Família, art critic Rainer Zerbst said "it is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art", and Paul Goldberger describes it as "the most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages".