5 Reasons Why FC Barcelona Dominates Soccer (And what you can learn from them)

5 Reasons Why FC Barcelona Dominates Soccer (And What You Can Learn From Them)

FC Barcelona

With their iconic and fascinating tiki-taka style, FC Barcelona has produced football which other teams can only dream about. And Barcelona is arguable the best team ever in world football (you’d probably believe this except if you live in Madrid). El Clásico is coming up this Saturday…. And what a great present for all soccer fans the day before Christmas! 

But what’s so special about FC Barcelona?

And what can you learn from FB Barcelona which you can implement to successfully grow your business or startup?


Messi, La Masia, and Managers

When it comes to the team, FC Barcelona is a pure powerhouse of superstars. Having a superstar like Lionel Messi is of course a massive asset. Not only is he a wiz with the ball. He’s incredible gifted with being able to trick his opponents and score lots of goals. Maybe even better, is when you know that Messi equally acts as a team player with his many assists.

And the line-up of other top quality players just makes this team freaking scary (Iniesta, Neymar, Suarez, Piqué, Jordi Alba… and the list goes on).

Fostering and nurturing their own world class talents in La Masia (FC Barcelona’s Youth Academy), the club can add new players to the team continuously… just to supplement what they already have. Being able to produce talents in-house is obviously also a money-saver.

And on the bench you can’t neglect to have seen some of the best managers of all times like Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola.

Learning: Bring together your A-team with a) world class employees who can execute and deliver, b) razor-sharp managers, and c) a talent pool. With these ingredients, you’ll soon experience a magical cocktail.


The Power of Possession

FC Barcelona is obsessed with ball possession. And for very good reasons:

  • When the team has the ball, the other team obviously can’t score.
  • Ball possession also increases the number of chances and likelihood of winning the game.
  • The other team needs to chase the ball all game long. Consequently, they’ll get more and more exhausted throughout the game, which again increases the number of chances for FC Barcelona.

Learning: You can apply this directly to your business. If the ball is on your hand, you’re in control. So make sure you are always taking the lead. However, sometimes you’re dependent on other persons’ contributions. Agree on a specific date where you’ll get back. This let’s you stay in control, and the other person knows when you’ll be getting back.  


“The 6 Second Rule”… Creating a Winning Strategy

Pep Guardiola has explained his strategy for regaining the ball possession. It’s simple – yet extremely powerful. When we lose the ball, all players follow this instruction: the 3 players nearest the ball chase it for 6 seconds independent of where the other player is on the field.“

The strategy could not be any clearer.

  • It’s easy to remember.
  • It’s easy to execute.
  • And it’s easy to measure if you are executing the strategy or not (in contrast to most organizations).

Right after losing the ball, is also the ideal moment to win it back. At this time the other team has to orient themselves, and is therefore most vulnerable.

Learning: Want your employees to follow your company strategy? Remove all the complexity and vague words from the strategy. Make it as easy to execute as Guardiola’s strategy. Also, if you lose something (maybe you have underdelivered), make sure to make things great again. Do more than is expected from you and you’ll “win back the ball”.


Formation Flexibility

Johan Cruyff was a strong believer in Total Football. A style where players can change positions fluidly throughout the game. This style allows attackers to play as defenders and vice versa. As long as the overall formation remains intact.

This formation flexibility encourages the players to move around. It can confuse the other team on how they should defend. And it adds a new dimension to the team spirit, since it is the whole team’s responsibility to keep the formation intact.

For the Total Football philosophy to work it requires a team of excellence, since the players must be able to play different positions.

Learning: Embrace the qualities of the Total Football philosophy by ensuring that your team is working as single and fluid unit. Allow your team to switch positions as long as the overall formation remains intact – and the company strategy is executed. This will encourage the team to take on any challenge and it fosters a unique team spirit. Nobody should see themselves as too good to be a defender. Even Messi is that every now and then in a game.


A Winning Psychology

Soccer experts will probably mention money, tactics and individual players as the reason for FC Barcelona’s success. But to keep the club among the very best over time, the right culture and mindset is a must. The youth academy fosters unity and a special team spirit. It raises the talents with the right mindset and beliefs needed for success. Something which you may not achieve by just throwing in superstars from around the world. 

Learning: You’re company culture is more important than you probably think. Foster a great team spirit with the urge to win. And focus on relentless execution in order to be victorious.


Apply these Tactics to Grow Your Business

We hope you’ll go out and apply some of these learnings to grow your business.

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