When fascist dictator Franco rose to power in the 1930s, his regime had set about suppressing republicanism in Catalonia and in the Basque region. Even ‘Futbol Club Barcelona’, as we know them today, were told to change their name to the Castilian Spanish version, ‘Club de Fútbol Barcelona’.
Out of such repression, a culture of defiance was born. Republicans looked to the club for a hero and in the 1970s, they found one. Not a Catalan himself, but a Dutchman.