FC Barcelona Bàsquet
FC Barcelona Bàsquet, known for sponsorship reasons as Regal FC Barcelona, is a Spanish professional basketball team. It is part of the FC Barcelona family and was founded on August 24, 1926. The club has won seven of the last thirteen Liga ACB titles and in 2003 completed a Liga ACB, Cup and Euroleague treble. From 2004 until 2007 they were sponsored by the Winterthur Group, a Swiss insurance company with offices in Barcelona since 1910, which led to the team featuring the birthplace of Joan Gamper, the club's founder, on their shirts. However, in the summer of 2006 the Winterthur Group was taken over by AXA, and in 2007 AXA decided to merge Winterthur's brand into its own, leading to a change in the club name. Starting with the 2008-09 season, the club's sponsorship changed again, this time to Spanish insurer Regal (a division of Liberty Seguros, the Spanish subsidiary of American insurer Liberty Mutual). The team play their home games at Palau Blaugrana which was opened on October 23, 1971. They share the facilities with the roller hockey, five-a-side football and handball teams.
Well-known players that have played with the team have included: Pau Gasol, Rony Seikaly, Marc Gasol, Anderson Varejão, Juan Carlos Navarro, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, Dejan Bodiroga, Gregor Fučka, and Tony Massenburg.
The club entered its first competition in 1927, playing in the Campionat de Catalunya de Basquetbol (Catalonian Basketball Championship). During these early years basketball in Catalonia was dominated by other clubs such as CE Europa, Laietà BC, CB Atlètic Gràcia and Société Patrie and it was not until the 1940s that FC Barcelona became established as a basketball team. During this decade they won six Copas del Generalissimo and were runners-up once. In 1956 they were founding members of the Spanish League and finished as runners-up. In 1959 they won the Spanish basketball's first-ever league and cup double.
Decline in the 1960s
The 1960s and 1970s saw the team in decline. In 1961 the club president Enric Llaudet dissolved the team in spite of its popularity. However, in 1962, the club was reformed after a campaign by the fans. In 1964 the league's Primera División was cut from fourteen teams to eight and the club found themselves in the Segunda División. However they quickly returned to the top division after being crowned Segunda champions in 1965. During the 1970s the club was persistently overshadowed by its rivals Real Madrid and Joventut.
Revival in the 1980s
In the 1980s club president Josep Lluís Nuñez gave the team his full support with the aim of making the club the best in Spain and Europe. His support produced results and during the decade inspired by their coach Aíto García Reneses and players like Epi, Andrés Jiménez, Sibilio, Audie Norris and Solozábal, the club won six Spanish League titles, five Copas del Rey, two European Cup Winners Cups, the Korac Cup and the World Championship. However the European Cup remained elusive. They were, however, runners-up in 1984.
Champions of Europe
The club built on this success during the 1990s, winning a further four Spanish League titles and two Copas del Rey. They were still unable to win the European Cup despite playing in a further four finals in 1990, 1991, 1996 and 1997. They also made a record six Final Four appearances. The star player during this era was Juan Antonio San Epifanio.
Their persistence eventually paid off and in 2003, inspired by Dejan Bodiroga, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Juan Carlos Navarro, they won the Euroleague, beating Benetton Treviso 76-65 in front of a packed Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain.
- Liga ACB (14):
- 1959, 1981, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004.
- Spanish King's Cup (20):
- 1943, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1959, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1994, 2001, 2003, 2007.
- Euroleague (1):
- European Cup Winners' Cup (2):
- 1985 1986.
- Korac Cup (2):
- 1987, 1999.
- European Super Cup (1):
- World Clubs' Cup (Intercontinental Cup) (1):
- Lliga Catalana de Bàsquet (12):
- 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2005.
- Catalunya Cup (6):
- 1942, 1943, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948.
- Prince of Asturias Cup (1):
- Spanish Super Cup (1):