fc barcelona bleacher report
Bleacher Report’s Guillem Balague has a fascinating new book out, entitled ‘Barca: The Illustrated History of Barcelona’ and published in association with the great club itself, who granted access to Barcelona’s library of historic images.Here are some exclusive images from the book, along with descriptions from Balague.1. Barcelona celebrated their centenary with a match against Brazil in April 1999. Romario and the other stars who featured in Brazil’s World Cup final defeat in 1998 were all present. Barcelona player Rivaldo said he was happy to wear the azulgrana jersey, but country won over club and he wore the yellow of the Selecao.The entertaining game finished 2-2, with goals from Ronaldo and Rivaldo (for Brazil) and Luis Enrique and Phillip Cocu (for Barcelona).The Catalan club has always had a close relationship with Brazil. Between the arrival of the pioneering Fausto Dos Santos in 1931 and Neymar in 2013, 28 Brazilians have joined the club, including Ronaldo, Romario, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Sylvinho and Dani Alves.2. The 1991-92 season was unforgettable. Not only did FC Barcelona win the much sought-after European Cup, but they also clinched the Supercopa and La Liga after severing Real Madrid’s seemingly unassailable eight-point lead in the last few games of the campaign.3. FC Barcelona won the first Spanish league championship, which began in February 1929. Over the four-and-a-half months of the campaign, Barca won 11, drew three and lost four of the 18 matches (20 fewer than nowadays). Real Madrid finished second, two points off the champions’ tally of 25.4.The Barcelona players and fans celebrate beating Real Madrid 2-0 in the 1990 Copa del Rey final. This result may have radically changed the club’s history. Barcelona came out victorious, but it has been written that if the old enemy had won, it could have constituted the end for Johan Cruyff.It was the season before the “Dream Team” era began. Goals by Guillermo Amor and Julio Salinas helped put an end to the dominance of Real Madrid and the Quinta del Buitre on the back of five straight league titles.5. The French club Iris Club Lillois from Lille visited Catalonia in March 1914 and played FC Barcelona in two friendly matches. The visiting side won the first match 6-3 in a game that saw Englishman Jack Greenwell (centre) score one of Barca’s consolation goals.The home side showed a vast improvement in the clubs’ second meeting, triumphing with an emphatic 4-1 victory.6. Two magical years saw two La Liga triumphs (2004-05 and 2005-06) and the club’s second European Cup. The world, the club and even Rijkaard believed that a new era had begun. But the hardest thing of all is staying at the top.7. Josep Segrelles, an artist from Valencia, designed the official poster for the club’s 25th anniversary celebrations. Barca had 12,207 members at the time.8. Barca’s Peruvian star Hugo Sotil scoring against Real Madrid in the historic 5-0 win at the Bernabeu on February 17, 1974. “El Cholo” headed home a Cruyff cross from the right after earning a free-kick. It was the fifth on a jubilant evening.’Barca: The Illustrated History of Barcelona’ by Guillem Balague is published by Carlton Books and was released in early November 2014Read more World Football news on BleacherReport.com
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