(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) When FC Barcelona (Futbol Club Barcelona) was founded in 1899, little did its members realise that it would soon grow to become one of the biggest football clubs in the world. Now worth $4.07 billion, the club continues to lead a strong legacy with current President Josep Maria Bartomeu and head coach Ernesto Valverde, while representing Catalan culture and Catalanism.
There are few clubs in the world that have been honoured with awards as received by FC Barcelona. It is a reigning champion across the biggest sporting events - notably the FIFA Club World Cup acquired in 2009, 2011 and 2015, and the European Cup in 1992, 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2015.
It doesn't take a sports enthusiast to identify FC Barcelona as one of the most renowned professional football clubs in the world. Looking at individual records, the club is home to some of the top players on the field, namely Lionel Messi, who holds titles ranging from leading scorer in history (485 goals in 516 games) to player with most Golden Boots and Ballon d'Ors. Messi, who known for his sensational footwork and gameplay, is the rightfully club's highest paid player as of 2018, earning 365,000 (around Dh1.7 million) per week, followed by striker Luis Suarez, who earns 290,000 (Dh1.3 million).
Besides Messi, legends are synonymous to FC Barcelona as the club proudly hosts the best players in football from defender Dani Alves, striker Ronaldinho and mid-fielder Xavi Hernndez, to choice goalkeeper Victor Valds, Diego Armando Maradona, and the young sensation, Neymar.
Armed with the slogan, "More than a Club", the group goes beyond sports to indulge in social commitments. Its dedication to UNICEF to help underprivileged children is one among those that are widely known.
Did you know?
Proudly boasting its significant blue jerseys with red stripes, FC Barcelona not only specialises in men's and women's football, but also focuses on beach soccer, basketball, wheelchair basketball, rugby, futsal and volleyball. However, its achievements in the world of football are notably celebrated by fans and enthusiasts across the globe.
The official Barcelona anthem is called "Cant del Bara", written by Jaume Picas and Josep Maria Espins.
FC Barcelona is currently world's richest football club in terms of evenue.
It enjoys one of the largest social media following in the world among sports teams.
Lionel Messi is the highest paid player in FC Barcelona with earnings of 365,000 (around Dh1.7 million) per week, as of 2018.
Creating an identity
FC Barcelona comprises of four distinct traits that garnered a loyal fan base from across the globe:
It holds firm roots in Catalonia with an aim to promote its integrated, multicultural, fair and caring features.
It embraces universality, where its club anthem expresses the spirit of unity regardless of origin. This is demonstrated by the dedication displayed by FC Barcelona members and supporter clubs in over 50 countries.
Last but not the least, the club imbues democracy where members have the right to choose the leadership, a feature that rarely exists in big European clubs.
Farhana Chowdhury Raised in Dubai, Farhana is an avid writer and traveller with a strong interest in Japanese and Korean culture. Her hobbies revolve around anime, PVC figures, and cosplay.