Club profile: FC Barcelona

Jul 01, 2014 by Print
FC Barcelona celebrates - EB13
FC BarcelonaReigning Spanish League champion FC Barcelona was once again in the mix for the title in every competition in which it competed last season and that will be the goal as it enters a new campaign. Barcelona won its Turkish Airlines Euroleague Top 16 group and was the first team to reach the Final Four after sweeping Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul in their best-of-five playoffs series. Once in the Final Four, however, Barcelona suffered its worst-ever loss in European competitions, 62-100, against archrival Real Madrid in the semifinal. Back in Spain, Barcelona also lost two domestic finals – the Copa del Rey and Supercup – to Madrid, but finished the season on a high by knocking off Madrid in the Spanish League finals with living legend Juan Carlos Navarro picking up MVP honors. The club began its haul of trophies in the 1940s, a decade that saw it lift the Copa del Rey five times. Barcelona’s next era of greatness came in the 1980s, led by Nacho Solozabal, Chicho Sibilio and Juan Antonio "Epi" San Epifanio. Barcelona reached the 1984 Euroleague final before falling to Roma and then won the Saporta Cup in both 1985 and 1986 plus the Korac Cup the following season. Despite its successes, Barcelona still longed for Euroleague glory. The club added Audie Norris and made it to three straight Euroleague Final Fours from 1989 to 1991, but lost to eventual champion Split each time – including twice in the final. Barcelona returned three more times to the Final Four in the 1990s alone, but came up short each time. In 1999 Barcelona added a second Korac Cup, but 2000 brought with it more Final Four disappointment. It all changed in 2003, with the city hosting the Final Four at Palau Sant Jordi, the great Dejan Bodiroga teamed with Gregor Fucka, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Navarro under Coach Svetislav Pesic to carry Barca past Benetton Treviso for its first Euroleague crown. Barcelona returned to the Final Four again in 2006 and won the Copa del Rey in 2007. In 2008-09, with Xavi Pascual in his first full season as head coach, Barcelona won yet another Spanish League title and returned to the Final Four, but lost again to CSKA. The 2009-10 season was a memorable one for Barcelona as the likes of Navarro, Ricky Rubio, Erazem Lorbek and Pete Mickeal helped make the team among the best Euroleague champions ever with an incredible 20-2 record. Panathinaikos stopped Barcelona in the 2011 playoffs, preventing the club from returning to a Palau Sant Jordi Final Four. And another Greek club, Olympiacos, knocked Barca out in the 2012 Final Four in Istanbul. Barcelona remained the dominant force at home; it won the Spanish double - league and Copa titles - in 2011, another league trophy in 2012, the Copa in 2013 and the Spanish championship last season. Barcelona has been to the Final Four a record 14 times since 1988, including five of the last six years. Barcelona will make sure it is reloaded this season and ready to fight for a third continental crown.
Turkish Airlines Euroleague: Final Four
Spanish League: Champion
Spanish Cup: Finalist