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Nov 12, 2006

Futbol Club Barcelona, also known as FC Barcelona, or Barça, is a sports club based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, English and Catalan footballers led by Joan Gamper. The club has become a Catalan institution, hence the motto Més que un club (More than a club) .

The fans of FC Barcelona are known as culers (or culés). In September 2006, the number of socis (club members/owners) reached 151,127, while the number of penyes (officially-registered supporter clubs) reached 1782 worldwide as of June 2006.

The club's main stadium is the Camp Nou. Barça is best known for its La Liga football team, and the reserve football team, FC Barcelona B. The senior team was among the founding members of La Liga in 1928, and, together with Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, they have never been relegated from the Primera División. The club were also the first La Liga champions and are currently champions of both Spain and Europe.

The club includes three other professional sports teams, that compete at basketball (Winterthur FCB), handball (FC Barcelona-Cifec) and rink hockey (FC Barcelona Sorli Discau). There are also a number of prominent amateur sports teams that compete at futsal, rugby union, women's basketball, women's football and wheelchair basketball. These include FCB Rugby, UB-Barça and FC Barcelona-Institut Guttman. Other amateur teams represent the club at ice hockey, athletics, baseball, cycling, field hockey, figure skating, and volleyball.

Barça have to date refused to allow commercial sponsorship logos on their football shirts. However, since 2005 they have worn the TV3 logo of Televisió de Catalunya on the left arm. On 14 July 2006 the club announced a five year agreement with UNICEF which includes having the UNICEF logo on their shirts. The agreement will see Barcelona donating US$1.9 million per year to UNICEF. These new look shirts were first worn in the Champions League game against Levski Sofia on Tuesday 12th September 2006.

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