Barça stuns the world
Under Josep Guardiola, the team improved even further. Playing with the same style that Cruyff had introduced, Guardiola was a firm supporter of basing his team around the club's own youth system and promoted several young talents to the first team, and the result was the greatest Barça team ever.
The greatest international recognition of this came when the FIFA Ballon d'Or nominations in 2010 shortlisted Xavi, Iniesta and Messi for the honour, all three of whom had grown up at La Masia, the residence where young sportspeople of all ages are trained and educated.
This team was the culmination of everything that FC Barcelona stands for, and produced an amazing string of major titles, including two Champions Leagues and three Spanish Leagues, plus the long-awaited Clubs World Cup, which was finally won in 2009, that extraordinary year when Barcelona won all six major trophies, something unprecedented in the history of European football.
Barça broke all kinds of records, played memorable matches and won just about every title on offer. But the finest hour for Guardiola's side came at Wembley, when the world was enchanted by the kind of football that dreams are made of. The world's press bestowed praise on this extraordinary side that had written one of the most incredible chapters in the history of the game.
But it wasn't just the football team that was collecting honours. The basketball, handball and roller hockey teams also won further European titles, and the futsal team won the League for the first time ever. That latest conquest meant that the Club set a new record in 2010-11 by winning 16 professional titles. Never before had FC Barcelona won so much silverware in a single season.
Josep Guardiola substituted Frank Rijkaard after two trophy-less seasons
He applied the same style that he had learned in his playing days at the Club, based on attack, possession and combination plays. And it worked to perfection.
In his first season, Guardiola won all three major titles. 2009 was the year that Barça won an amazing six trophies. That success continued over the next two seasons, meaning that Barça had won 10 of the 13 competitions it was involved in.
Guardiola set new standards for world football. But his Barça team was not just about what it did on the field, for it also made other important contributions to society.
FC Barcelona went to the Olympic Stadium in Rome in search of their third major title of the season, after already winning the League and Cup double
Guardiola was missing several key defenders against a Manchester United side that looked in control until Eto'o’s goal changed everything. From then on, Barça were vastly superior, and Messi added a second to make it 2-0.
On May 27, 2009 Barça not only won the Champions League against the defending champions, but also became the first Spanish club to win the League, Copa del Rey and Champions League in the same season.
Josep Guardiola’s first year as manager was nothing short of astonishing
The team won every trophy at stake, a total of six, and in authoritative fashion. Nobody could argue that every one of those titles was thoroughly deserved.
The year ended with plenty of cause for celebration, following the most successful year in club history.
May 13 Copa del Rey
May 16 League
May 27 Champions League
August 23 Spanish Supercup
August 28 European Supercup
December 19 Clubs World Cup
Sandro Rosell took over the FC Barcelona presidency on the back of a distinguished career in the business and football worlds
He had previously been on the FCB Board in 2003, as part of Laporta's team. It was he who was behind the signing of Ronaldinho.
Rosell's campaign slogan was "We are all Barça", and he based his ideas on listening hard to the members' needs for two years. In 2010, he was named the new president of FC Barcelona following a landslide victory, getting a 61.35% share of the vote, the biggest ever. Sandro Rosell thus became the most highly voted president in Club history
Barça made history when Xavi, Iniesta and Messi were announced as the three FIFA Ballon d’Or 2010 finalists
All three places on the podium were to be taken by players produced at La Masia. The journalists, coaches and captains that had named the trio thus showed their admiration for the amazing Barça style.
It was the first time all three candidates had been produced by the same club, and was fine recognition for everything that is done at La Masia. Three terrific players, who had been trained not just to play great football but also to show effort and humility and to respect fair play, were officially accredited as the three best players in the world for 2010.
On May 28, 2011, Barça lifted the European Cup trophy for the fourth time
The venue was the new Wembley, the same place where they had won their first title in 1992 under Johan Cruyff, so there was added symbolism for the occasion.
After winning a difficult and very high profile semi final with Real Madrid, Barça faced Manchester United in the final, the same team they had beaten two years earlier in Rome. Barça were by far the better team and cruised to a 3-1 win with one goal from each of the strikers: Pedro, Messi and Villa.
It was an exhibition unlike anything seen before in a European final. The whole world watched in awe and the press was unanimous in its praise for the incredible Barcelona team.