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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Story Behind a FC Barcelona Football Club

Swiss Champion FC Basel is a popular club in Switzerland, while Barcelona’s popularity is not confined within Spain or Europe; rather they have fans across the world. These two teams are going to face each other on Wednesday in a Champions League match. Well, I am not going to talk about the match or the current form of the two sides in this post. I will share an interesting ues that I found today in British newspaper Guardian’s online edition.

Do you know who took the first initiative of founding Barcelona football club in 1899? Not many of you may know about it. No problem. In fact, I came to know about it just now. The man who founded Barcelona is Hans Gamper, a Swiss by birth, who played professional football for FC Basel and captained the club in domestic league. In 1898, he went to Barcelona to meet his uncle Emili Gaissert and decided to stay in the Catalan city and learn the Catalan language.

Hans Gamper later adopted the Catalan version of his name, Joan Gamper. He decided to set up a club in Barcelona and started the club named ‘FC Barcelona’ from 1899 by giving newspaper advertisement asking for players to join the club. Joan Gamper served as the club’s first president and played about 50 matches for his newly founded club with scoring more than 100 goals. It is believed that he followed the design of FC Basel’s jersey while making design for his new club FC Barcelona and the striking similarity between the jerseys of the two clubs still exists.

After lots of ups and downs, Barcelona finally got over the crisis period. But who knew that the crisis period of Joan Gamper would start pretty soon. He had to leave Spain being identified as a Catalan nationalist and he went back to Switzerland. Last but not the least, he committed suicide in 1930 after losing lots of wealth following the fall of Wall Street in the previous year during the great depressing period in America.

Ahead of the match between FC Basel and Barcelona, an exhibition has been organized by FC Basel at the museum of FC Basel stadium. The exhibition focuses on how Hans Gamper went to Spain before setting up FC Barcelona.

I strongly recommend you to read the article published in Guardian. This is the link of the article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/feedarticle/7900483

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