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10 Sports Barcelona Competes In That Aren't Soccer
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10 Sports Barcelona Competes In That Aren't Soccer

Picture of Tara Jessop
Updated: 17 November 2016
When it comes to sports, FC Barcelona may dominate the headlines – what else would you expect from one of the most popular and successful teams in the world? – but the Catalan capital has a number of other professional and amateur sports teams.

Basketball

Founded in 1926, the FC Barcelona Bàsquet is the oldest professional basketball team in the Spanish Liga ACB. Having won seven of the past 13 ACB championships, the club are one of the best in Spain and compete well internationally, having won the 2010 Euroleague. One of their most famous players of all times, Pau Gasol, has since gone on to become a six time NBA All-Star.

Pau Gasol with the Lakers
Pau Gasol with the Lakers | © Keith Allison

Handball

A little-known sport in the anglophone world, handball is a popular sport throughout much of the continent where the FC Barcelona Handbol team dominate most of the national and European championships. Founded in the mid 1940s, the team were for a long time overshadowed by other national teams until the arrival of Valero Rivera – considered one of the best handball coaches of all times – who helped the team reach the top of the national and european rankings.

Ice Hockey

Part of the FC Barcelona family, the Barcelona ice hockey team was one of the first seven ice hockey teams to compete in the Spanish ice hockey championships, founded in 1971 and organized for the first time in 1973. The club went through a low in the 80s when they had no professional adult team for two full seasons, choosing instead to focus its efforts on the minor’s team. Mostly composed of amateur players, the team is one of the only to play in the Spanish first division – which is not that surprising given the sport’s relative lack of popularity in Europe.

Roller Hockey

Another team to bear the FC Barcelona name, the FC Barcelona Hoquei team is the most successful hockey club in both Europe and Spain. Founded in the early 40s, the club’s Golden Age came during the 1970s under the coaching of Josep Lorente, a former Barça player himself. They have been crowned champions of the European Cup 21 times and of the Spanish OK Liga 26 times in total, both of which they won for the last time in 2014-2015.

Ice Hockey
Ice Hockey | CCO Pixabay

Futsal

Officially formed in 1978, two years after the team had started playing, the FC Barcelona Futsal club was founded by former FC Barcelona soccer players. Briefly disbanded in 1982/1983, the club was reinstated in 1986 at which point they began competing nationally and internationally, winning the European cup in 1990. The club was relegated to the second division in the early 2000s but returned to the Division of Honour in 2005/2006 and have since won a number of championships. They are currently one of the most successful Spanish teams.

Rugby Union

Founded back in 1924, the FC Barcelona Rugby Union club is one of Spain’s first rugby teams and is today one of the country’s most successful clubs. After a period of trouble during the Civil War, the club underwent a reorganization in the 1940s which led to a rise in its success. By 1969 the club had won 16 Championships of Catalunya and 14 Championship Cups of Spain, but in recent years the club has mostly been relegated to the second division.

Rugby
Rugby | CC0 Pixabay

American Football

A relative newcomer on the Barcelona sporting scene, the Barcelona Búfals are the Catalan capital’s American football club, founded in 1987 and formerly known as the Búfals del Poblenou (a neighbourhood to the north of the city). In 1988 the club confronted neighboring team, the Badalona Dracs, in what was Spain’s first ever national American football game. In that same year, they contributed to the foundation of the Catalan Federation of American Football (FCFA) and are now regular participants in the Spanish National League of American Football.

Wheelchair Basketball

One of the city’s most successful clubs for people with disabilities, the Barcelona Wheelchair Basketball club was founded in 2001, following an agreement with local hospital the Institut Guttman, which had been involved in the promotion of sports for people with physical disabilities since the 1960s. In 2007 the team turned professional and joined the FC Barcelona family, competing in the Division of Honour (first division) for much of the early 2000s. The team is currently in the national second division.

American football
American football | CC0 Pixabay

Athletics

Founded in 1911, the Barcelona Athletics Team is the second oldest club to form part of the FC Barcelona team, behind the soccer team itself. Throughout its history, the club has won many national and international championships, including over 30 Spanish Championships. It has counted among its players many of Spain’s Olympic medallists and is considered one of the best athletics teams in the country.

Volleyball

When it comes to volleyball, it’s Barcelona’s women’s team which really make the headlines. Founded in 1994, following the closure of the former athletics club RCD Espanyol, the FC Barcelona Voleibol club rose to the Division of Honour just a few years later, joining the FC Barcelona family in 2004. The senior team currently competes in the highest national category, the Superligaand, and is considered one of the strongest national teams at the moment.