History of the futsal section
The futsal section was officially founded in September 1978. Two years earlier, however, there was already a futsal team playing while wearing the Barça shirt. It was a group of former professional football players who began meeting to play futsal matches. It was around the time the game began to catch on in Catalonia, towards the middle of the 1970s. In the first official tournament, The Christmas Trophy, Barça played and became the champions.
SUCCESS FROM THE START
In September 1978, FC Barcelona officially formed the section and joined the Catalan Third Division. The team’s play was spectacular and, after a great season, they ascended one category. Then, just as quickly, they went from Second to the First Division in 1979/80. Once in the top flight, Barça became the champions in their first two seasons in the top flight.
GOODBYE AND HELLO
The following season, the Board took the decision to dissolve the section. Four years later, with the creation of the current system of competition, in which the Division of Honour is the highest category, the Club re-launched the section. Its first steps in this second life were once again positive. In the 1987/88 season Barça were runners-up in the Copa del Rey, a title they would win the next season. A year later, in 1989/90, FC Barcelona clinched its first European trophy, the European Futsal Cup Winners Cup. Barça beat the Italian champs AC Roma at the Palau Blaugrana 3-1, to claim the title.
After three years of good results — Barça finished third the following two seasons and were semi-finalists in 1993/94 — the team began to plummet in the table. It had a lot to do with economics, as the Club was forced to cut the budget and the team ended up of being formed with players from the youth teams. Despite their willingness, the team was relegated for the 1997/98 season. After two seasons in the Silver Division, Barça returned to the top flight. But three years later, in 2002/03, they were demoted again.
THIRD TIME’S A CHARM
Getting back into the first division was no easy task. With Xavi Closas behind the bench, Barça finished second in the regular season. After moving past the first round against Arenas Gáldar, Barça fell to Muebles Caloto. The following season was worse. Despite finishing atop group B, the group led by Closas was upset by Gestesa Guadalajara in first round. The following season, 2005/06, their reward finally came by beating Gáldar. Marc Carmona, ex-FCB futsal player and former Catalan national team coach, and who had previously joined the Club as technical secretary, was the architect of that promotion. Barça were back in the top category after beating Grupo Pinar Córdoba in the first round and topping Colegios Arenas Gáldar in a wild fifth game, 5–4 to take the series.
NEW PROFESSIONAL SPORT
Having achieved a promotion, the Club set out to put the team into the elite. The section was immediately professionalized and a commitment was made to attract the best player: Javi Rodríguez. Spain’s best futsal player and captain of the Spanish national team accepted Barça’s offer and left Playas de Castellón after nine years there to lead a new era. In its first season Barça achieved their goal of securing another year in the top flight.
SETTLING IN AND WINNING: THE FIRST UEFA FUTSAL CUP
Over the next three years the team established itself among the best in Spain, but kept running into an impenetrable wall in the league playoffs and had to settle for two Copas de Catalunya. In the 2010/11 season the team finally broke out, winning all four competitions that came into play: the League, the Spanish Cup, the Copa del Rey and the Copa Catalunya.
These would be the first titles of a new era of domination. Barça would go on to win three league titles, three Spanish Cups and four Copas del Rey, all consecutively. FCB also won their first UEFA Futsal Cup. It happened in 2012 in Lleida, after a Final Four that saw them beat Sporting Clube in the semis (5-1) and the powerful Dinamo Moscow in the final (3-1). Wilde, Lin and Torras scored the goals that brought Barça their first European Cup.
In 2014 they won their second UEFA Futsal Cup. This time the team led by Fernandao, Wilde and Torras again beat Dinamo Moscow, (5-2) in a Final Four played in Bakú, Azerbaijan. The team’s continental dominations could have been even greater if in 2013 and 2015 they had not fallen to Kairat in both Final Fours.