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More than a club

In 2006, FC Barcelona won football's European Cup for the second time in their history. Their victory in the continent's premier competition crowned two years of success which had seen the team win the affections of millions of neutral fans with their flamboyant attacking play. Toru Morimoto followed the club as they won two successive Spanish league titles as well as the Champions League trophy.

Formed in 1899, Barça has become, as its motto says, much more than a football club. It is a social institution, political force and the focus of Catalan national pride. 'El Clasico', the derby against Real Madrid, is an explosive symbol of the rivalry between Catalonia and Castile. During the period of Franco's dictatorship, the Catalan language and culture were systematically oppressed, and Barça's stadium, Camp Nou, became the only place where Catalan national identity could be publicly expressed without fear of reprisal.

Uniquely in the upper echelons of world football, Barça is owned by its fans. Over 100,000 members, the very people who fill the stadium to its rafters for each game, own the club and democratically elect its president. This connection with the people has helped the club to partially resist the rampant commercialism which has taken over modern day football - its shirt, in the colours of Catalonia, remains untainted by a sponsorship logo. Instead, in recent seasons the club themselves have sponsored UNICEF.Morimoto was at the pitch side as superstar players like Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto'o and Henrik Larsson scored the goals which won La Liga. But he also met and photographed the supporters, the lifeblood of the club. One of his most striking pictures is of a little girl gazing through a fence at her heroes in training.
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