Why are Barcelona fans known as ‘Culés’?

Barcelona have had a long and proud history as Spanish football’s most successful club.

The club has won 96 major domestic and European honours, one more than fierce rivals Real Madrid.

Barcelona was formed in 1899 by Swiss student Joan Gamper, and now has a total value of over $4 billion.

One factor that has underpinned their consistent presence of one of the world’s most elite clubs over the years has been the loyalty and sheer number of their fans.

The fans are often referred to as ‘Les Culés’ as a collective, or simply ‘Culés’. But how did this name come about?

The origin of ‘Les Culés’

During Barcelona’s formative years, they played in several different grounds. That was mainly due to what the official Barcelona website explains as a lack of large open-air spaces in the city and economic instability.

However, they did eventually find a permanent home in 1908 – Camp de la Industria.

The club built a two-level grandstand on the side of the ground that was closest to the nearby street, with the stadium able to house up to 6,000 spectators as a result.

Outside the ground, people walking by could see the backsides of the fans sitting in the grandstand, and eventually began to call them ‘Culés’, which translates into those that show their backsides.

The club’s fans adopted this term and began to use it to describe themselves.

In 1922, Barcelona left the stadium and moved to the Les Cortes, which had an initial capacity of 22,000.

The stadium was a long-term vision of Joan Gamper. His ambition had been to secure Barcelona its own stadium.

It naturally attracted even more ‘Culés’ to come and watch the team in action. Barcelona’s support has grown steadily ever since, to the point where it became – and still remains – one of the largest clubs in world football.

They moved to Camp Nou in 1957 – the biggest football stadium in Spain.

It currently has a capacity of 99,354, although back in 1982 – when the stadium had standing sections – it was able to welcome its record attendance of 120,000 for the World Cup.

Watch ElClásico between Real Madrid and Barcelona this Saturday 10 April at 8pm on LaLigaTV, available from just £6.99 a month via Premier Sports and Amazon Prime Video Channels.

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