Spanish professional soccer club, Barcelona, has been named the greatest team in the world thanks to a unique training system that produced 17 of the squad's current 25 first-line players - including Lionel Messi. In the classification published by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) on Thursday, Barcelona topped the world ranking again. The Spanish club, a symbol of Catalan culture and Catalanism, received 307 points and was placed ahead of the English powerhouse Chelsea with 279. Boca Juniors and Atletico Madrid both claimed the third place with 278 points each.
Barcelona achieved the top global spot in 2011, and also came on top in 2009 and 1997. It is the world's second-richest football club in terms of income, with an annual turnover of €398 million (over USD525 million).The club has a bitter rivalry with Real Madrid, and matches between the two teams are referred to as "El Clasico." They are the current champions of Spain’s Copa del Rey; and have won 21 La Liga, 26 Copa del Rey, 10 Supercopa de Espana, 3 Copa Eva Duarte and 2 Copa de la Liga trophies. Barcelona have also won four UEFA Champions League, a record four UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, four UEFA Super Cup, a record three Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and a record two FIFA Club World Cup trophies. MP/SS