Barcelona Sporting Club
Founded in 1925 and based in the populated city of Guayaquil, Barcelona Sporting Club is one of the strongest teams in the Ecuadorian football league. Tied with El Nacional for the most title wins, numbering to 13, Club Sport Emelec is their main rival. Against the same team, Barcelona plays the immensely popular Clasico del Astillero, or The Shipyard Classic. Barcelona also has the most number of appearances in the Copa Libertadores, and has been runner-up in 1990 and 1998.
Founded by Spanish immigrants from Barcelona, Eutimio Perez and Catalonia, Barcelona was founded after FC Barcelona, though both have the same logo. By the 1940s Barcelona began to emerge as a strong contender when they beat teams like Deportivo Cali and Millonarios. But despite many wins in local championship they were yet to prove themselves in the South American Club tournaments. In 1971 they went all out, and hired some prominent international players including Brazilian Jose Paes, former World Cup Player Pedro Leon, and Ecuadorian legend Alberto Spencer, who is the all time goal scorer if Copa Libertadores, even higher than Pele. This move resulted in Barcelona reaching the semi-finals, when they beat three-time Libertadores champions Estudiantes de La Plata, 1-0. Despite this they did not reach the finals, though their efforts were noticed.
The circumstances repeated the following year, when once again they reached the semi-finals in the 1982 Copa Libertadores but failed to enter the finals. Following Barcelona went into 11 years of disappointing performances, with no wins and no qualifications for the Libertadores Cup.
In the 1980s Barcelona bagged most of its championship titles, and appeared in the Copa Libertadores two times. Also in 1987, their new stadium Estadio Monumental was completed and had a capacity of seating 55,000 people. The 1990s were the team’s highest point, and more international players were added to the team, including Argentine World Cup champion, Marcelo Trobbiani, Uruguayan Marcelo Saralegui and another Argentine, Alberto Acosta. Their successful period included winning the Intercontinental Cup against F.C. Barcelona in Tokyo as well as previous Libertadores Cup champions Colo-Colo, from Chile.
An unfortunate event that stood out during this period was the death of Carlos Munoz, age 29, in a car accident. Following this, the teams last league title win was in 1997, after which they appeared in the Libertadores final in 1998, but lost out to the Brazilian team Vasco Da Gama. In the same year, Don Balon, a famous football magazine from Spain, released the top 40 clubs in the world, in which Barcelona was numbered 10, and soon became a world famous club.
With team colors of yellow, red and black, Barcelona is an immensely popular club in Ecuador, with over 97,745 registered members. Ecuadorian Manuel Uquillas is the team’s top scorer with nearly 86 goals to his credit. Their 13 Primera A championship wins were in 1960, 1963, 1966, 1970-71, 1980-81, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1995 and 1997. They were runner-up 11 times, and have also won the Campeonato Professional de Guayaquil championship five times, in 1955, 1961, 1963, 1965 and 1967, and were runner-up in the same six times.
Some of the team’s prominent players include Pedro Leon, Alberto Acosta, Cyril Makanaky, Hugo Brizuela, Janio Pinto, Jorge Guagua, Diego Quintana, Oscar Bagui, Rolando Zarate and many others.
Having played in four stadiums Barcelona began their football career in the Estadio George Capwell, which it shared with Emelec. Later they moved on to Estadio Modelo, a new stadium, which was also shared with Patria and Emelec. After this period work began on Barcelona’s own stadium, which was completed in 1987, and could seat 90,000 people.
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