FC Barcelona history
As one of the biggest and most successful sporting clubs in the world, Barca’s basketball section has played an important role in its legacy. The club first began to add titles to its trophy case in the 1940s, a decade that saw it lift the Copa del Rey five times. Barcelona's next era of greatness came in the 1980s, led by Nacho Solozabal, Chicho Sibilio and Juan Antonio San Epifanio. That stellar group reached the 1984 EuroLeague Final before falling to Banco di Roma, yet it responded by winning the Saporta Cup in both 1985 and 1986, plus the Korac Cup the following season. Despite those successes, Barcelona still longed for EuroLeague glory. The club added Audie Norris and subsequently made it to three straight EuroLeague Final Fours from 1989 to 1991, but lost to eventual champion KK Split each time, including twice in the Championship Game. Another trio of Final Four trips in the 1990s also proved fruitless, before Barca won a second Korac Cup in 1999. EuroLeague glory finally arrived in 2003 when, with the city hosting the Final Four at Palau Sant Jordi, the great Dejan Bodiroga teamed up with Gregor Fucka, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Juan Carlos Navarro under head coach Svetislav Pesic to carry Barca past Benetton Treviso for its first continental crown. In the 2008-09 season, with Xavi Pascual installed as the team's new head coach, Barca won yet another Spanish League title and returned to the Final Four, but it lost to CSKA Moscow in the semifinals. The 2009-10 season was a memorable one as the likes of Navarro, Ricky Rubio, Erazem Lorbek and Pete Mickeal became one of the greatest EuroLeague champions ever with an incredible 20-2 record, overcoming Olympiacos Piraeus in the title game in Paris. Three more Final Four appearances in the next four years were followed by a rare barren run, before the appointment of Jasikevicius as head coach in 2020 sparked an immediate upturn. Powered by stars like Nikola Mirotic, Cory Higgins and Nick Calathes, Barca reached the 2021 EuroLeague Championship Game – losing to Anadolu Efes Istanbul – and won a domestic league and cup double. The 2021-22 season saw Barca lift the Copa del Rey, but a summer of marquee additions followed as the club attempts to end its 13-season wait for a EuroLeague title, with Tomas Satoransky, Nikola Kalinic and Jan Vesely all joining, while Calathes departed for pastures new. One thing is for sure, though: Barca is once again among the favorites to win the EuroLeague, having cemented its place at the top tier of European basketball.