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Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781780725543

Price: £12.99

ON SALE: 23rd June 2022

Genre: Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure

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‘This is a masterfully written history of the world’s greatest football club. Més que un book!’ – GARY LINEKER

From the bestselling co-author of Soccernomics comes the story of how FC Barcelona became the most successful football club in the world – and how that envied position now hangs in the balance.

Barça is not just the world’s most popular sports club, it is simply one of the most influential organisations on the planet. With almost 250 million followers on social media and 4 million visitors to its Camp Nou stadium each year, there’s little wonder its motto is ‘More than a club’. But it was not always so. In the past three decades, Barcelona has transformed from regional team to global powerhouse, becoming a model of sporting excellence and a consistent winner of silverware.

Simon Kuper unravels exactly how these transformations took place. He outlines the organisational structure behind the club’s business decisions, and details the work of its coaches, medics, data analysts and nutritionists who have revolutionised the sporting world. And, of course, he studies the towering influence of the club’s two greatest legends, Johan Cruyff and Lionel Messi.

Like many leading global businesses, FC Barcelona closely guards its secrets, granting few outsiders a view behind the scenes. But, after decades of writing about the sport and the club, Kuper was given unprecedented access to the inner sanctum and to the people who strive daily to keep Barcelona at the top.

Erudite, personal, and capturing all the latest successes and upheavals, his portrait of this incredible institution goes beyond football to understand Barça as a unique social, cultural, and political phenomenon.

“I began my research thinking I was going to be explaining Barca’s rise to greatness, and I have, but I’ve also ended up charting the decline and fall.”


'Ultimately this superb book is about far more than football - it's about Spain, about Catalan culture, about the psychology of management, about developing youngsters, and crucially about the three remarkable men who have shaped the modern game - Cruyff, Messi and Guardiola.'
Daily Mail
'This is a masterfully written history of the world's greatest football club. Més que un book!'
'Simon Kuper's Barça has it all: riveting storytelling, superb analysis, non-partisan investigation and, perhaps best of all, it's shot through with Simon's wonderfully dry humour. Simply unmissable.'
AMY RAPHAEL, author of 'A Game of Two Halves'
The chapters devoted to Cruyff, who played for the club and then transformed it as a manager, are essential reading for anyone interested in innovation or high performance. The book is both a debunking and a restoration.
Ed Smith, The New Statesman
One of the best sports books I have read. About so much more: politics, Spain, elites in business... brilliant on Cruyff and Ajax, Messi... quite outstanding.
Simon expertly charts the path from Cruyff to present-day Barça, showing how Messi, in his own way, represents an update on the Cruyffian style. His approach to a wealth of information about the club, along with his knowledge and passion for football, make for a really great book.
JORDI PUNTÍ, author of 'Messi: Lessons in Style'
What is the point of football, Simon Kuper asks? It makes our lives a little happier than they would be without it. And the point of this book? It makes our lives even happier. Kuper has written a great story, a history and an autobiography, a work of philosophy and gossip. It is the best book about sport, any sport, that I have read in a long time. An outright joy. An instant classic.
BILL BUFORD, author of 'Among Thugs'
Simon's writing has been an indispensable part of football's landscape for the better part of the last three decades. His access to Barça has enabled him to tell a story that no one else can about the biggest club in the world, and its biggest star. This book both chronicles and analyses an era in football history that we're lucky to have witnessed, and that may never be matched.'
BILLY BEANE, the inspiration behind 'Moneyball'
'Rich value here: five books for the price of one. Much more than a mightily well-researched chronicle of the rise and decline of FC Barcelona, Simon Kuper's Barça offers a masterclass on football, a brilliantly perceptive, anecdote-rich anatomy of the game's greatest team, greatest player, greatest coach and most influential figure.'
John Carlin
'The best football book of 2021.'
Matt Dickinson, The Times