Croatia the Republic of Croatia, is a country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, on the Adriatic Sea. It borders Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east and Herzegovina, Montenegro to the southeast, sharing a maritime border with Italy, its capital, forms one of the country's primary subdivisions, along with twenty counties. Croatia has an area of 56,594 square kilometres and a population of 4.28 million, most of whom are Roman Catholics. Inhabited since the Paleolithic Age, the Croats arrived in the area in the 6th century and organised the territory into two duchies by the 9th century. Croatia was first internationally recognized as an independent state on 7 June 879 during the reign of duke Branimir. Tomislav became the first king by 925, elevating Croatia to the status of a kingdom, which retained its sovereignty for nearly two centuries. During the succession crisis after the Trpimirović dynasty ended, Croatia entered a personal union with Hungary in 1102.
In 1527, faced with Ottoman conquest, the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand I of Austria to the Croatian throne. In October 1918, in the final days of World War I, the State of Slovenes and Serbs, independent from Austria-Hungary, was proclaimed in Zagreb, in December 1918 it was merged into the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes. Following the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, most of the Croatian territory was incorporated into the Nazi-backed client-state which led to the development of a resistance movement and the creation of the Federal State of Croatia which after the war become a founding member and a federal constituent of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On 25 June 1991, Croatia declared independence, which came wholly into effect on 8 October of the same year; the Croatian War of Independence was fought for four years following the declaration. The sovereign state of Croatia is a republic governed under a parliamentary system and a developed country with a high standard of living.
It is a member of the European Union, the United Nations, the Council of Europe, NATO, the World Trade Organization, a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean. As an active participant in the UN peacekeeping forces, Croatia has contributed troops to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan and took a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2008–2009 term. Since 2000, the Croatian government has invested in infrastructure transport routes and facilities along the Pan-European corridors. Croatia's economy is dominated by service and industrial sectors and agriculture. Tourism is a significant source of revenue, with Croatia ranked among the top 20 most popular tourist destinations in the world; the state controls a part of the economy, with substantial government expenditure. The European Union is Croatia's most important trading partner. Croatia provides a social security, universal health care system, a tuition-free primary and secondary education, while supporting culture through numerous public institutions and corporate investments in media and publishing.
The name of Croatia derives from Medieval Latin Croātia. Itself a derivation of North-West Slavic *Xrovat-, by liquid metathesis from Common Slavic period *Xorvat, from proposed Proto-Slavic *Xъrvátъ which comes from Old Persian *xaraxwat-; the word is attested by the Old Iranian toponym Harahvait-, the native name of Arachosia. The origin of the name is uncertain, but is thought to be a Gothic or Indo-Aryan term assigned to a Slavic tribe; the oldest preserved record of the Croatian ethnonym *xъrvatъ is of variable stem, attested in the Baška tablet in style zvъnъmirъ kralъ xrъvatъskъ. The first attestation of the Latin term is attributed to a charter of Duke Trpimir from the year 852; the original is lost, just a 1568 copy is preserved, leading to doubts over the authenticity of the claim. The oldest preserved stone inscription is the 9th-century Branimir Inscription found near Benkovac, where Duke Branimir is styled Dux Cruatorvm; the inscription is not believed to be dated but is to be from during the period of 879–892, during Branimir's rule.
The area known as Croatia today was inhabited throughout the prehistoric period. Fossils of Neanderthals dating to the middle Palaeolithic period have been unearthed in northern Croatia, with the most famous and the best presented site in Krapina. Remnants of several Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures were found in all regions of the country; the largest proportion of the sites is in the river valleys of northern Croatia, the most significant cultures whose presence was discovered include Baden, Starčevo, Vučedol cultures. The Iron Age left traces of the Celtic La Tène culture. Much the region was settled by Illyrians and Liburnians, while the first Greek colonies were established on the islands of Hvar, Korčula, Vis. In 9 AD the territory of today's Croatia became part of the Roman Empire. Emperor Diocletian had a large palace built in Split to which he retired after his abdication in AD 305. During the 5th century, the last de jure Western emperor last Western Roman Emperor Julius Nepos ruled his small realm from the palace after fleeing Italy to go into exile in 475.
The period ends with Avar and Croat invasions in the first half of the 7th century and destruction of all Roman towns. Roman survivors retreated to more favourable sites on the coast and mountains; the city of Dubrovnik was founded by such survivors from Epidaurum. The ethnogenesis of Croats is uncertain an
The EuroLeague, known as the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague for sponsorship reasons, is the top-tier European professional basketball club competition, organized by Euroleague Basketball since 2000. Introduced in 2000, the competition replaced the FIBA EuroLeague, run by FIBA since 1958; the FIBA European Champions Cup and the EuroLeague are considered to be the same competition, with the change of name being a re-branding. The EuroLeague is one of the most popular indoor sports leagues in the world, with an average attendance of 8,780 for league matches in the 2017–18 season; that was the fifth-highest of any professional indoor sports league in the world, the second-highest of any professional basketball league in the world, only behind the National Basketball Association. The EuroLeague title has been won by 21 different clubs, 13 of which have won the title more than once; the most successful club in the competition is Real Madrid, with ten titles. Real Madrid are the current champions, having defeated Fenerbahçe in the 2018 final.
The FIBA European Champions Cup was established by FIBA and it operated under its umbrella from 1958 until the summer of 2000, concluding with the 1999–00 season. That was. FIBA had never trademarked the "EuroLeague" name though it had used that name for the competition since 1996. Euroleague Basketball appropriated the name, since FIBA had no legal recourse to do anything about it, it was forced to find a new name for its championship series. Thus, the following 2000–2001 season started with two separate top European professional club basketball competitions: the FIBA SuproLeague and the brand new Euroleague 2000–01 season; the rift in European professional club basketball showed no signs of letting up. Top clubs were split between the two leagues: Panathinaikos, Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv, CSKA Moscow and Efes Pilsen stayed with FIBA, while Olympiacos, Kinder Bologna, Real Madrid Teka, FC Barcelona, Paf Wennington Bologna, Benetton Treviso, AEK and Tau Cerámica joined Euroleague Basketball. In May 2001, Europe had two continental champions, Maccabi of the FIBA SuproLeague and Kinder Bologna of the Euroleague.
The leaders of both organizations realized the need to come up with a unified competition. Although only a year old, Euroleague Basketball negotiated from a position of strength and dictated proceedings. FIBA had no choice but to agree to Euroleague Basketball's terms; as a result, European club competition was integrated under Euroleague Basketball's umbrella and teams that competed in the FIBA SuproLeague during the 2000–01 season joined it as well. In essence, the authority in European professional basketball was divided over club-country lines. FIBA stayed in charge of national team competitions, while Euroleague Basketball took over the European professional club competitions. From that point on, FIBA's Korać Cup and Saporta Cup competitions lasted only one more season before folding, when Euroleague Basketball launched the ULEB Cup, now known as the EuroCup. In November 2015, Euroleague Basketball and IMG agreed on 10-year joint venture. Both Euroleague Basketball and IMG will manage the commercial operation, the management of all global rights covering both media and marketing.
The deal was worth €630 million guaranteed over 10 years, with projected revenues reaching €900 million. On 26 July 2010, Turkish Airlines and Euroleague Basketball announced a €15 million strategic agreement to sponsor the top European basketball competition across the globe. According to the agreement, starting with the 2010–11 season, the top European competition would be named Turkish Airlines Euroleague Basketball; the EuroLeague Final Four would be named the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four, whereby the new league title would appear in all media accordingly. This title partnership was set to run for five seasons, with the option of extending it to an additional five. On 23 October 2013, Turkish Airlines and Euroleague Basketball agreed to extend their partnership, up until 2020. FIBA era: FIBA European Champions Cup: FIBA European League: FIBA EuroLeague: FIBA SuproLeague: Euroleague Basketball era: Euroleague:. EuroLeague:.*There were two separate competitions during the 2000–01 season.
The SuproLeague, organized by FIBA, the Euroleague, organized by Euroleague Basketball. The EuroLeague operated under a tournament system, from its inaugural 1958 season, through the 2015–16 season. FIBA European Champions Cup: The champions of European national domestic leagues, the current European Champions Cup title holders, competing against each other, played in a tournament system; the league culminated with either a single game final, or a 2-game aggregate score finals. FIBA European Champions Cup: The champions of European national domestic leagues, competing against each other, played in a tournament system; the league culminated with a Final Four. FIBA European League: The champions of the European national domestic leagues, the current European League title holders, along with some of the other biggest teams from the most important national domestic leagues, played in a tournament system; the league culminated with a Final Four. FIBA EuroLeague: The champions of th
FIBA Europe is a zone within the International Basketball Federation which includes all 50 national European basketball federations. FIBA Europe is one of five Regions of FIBA and is responsible for controlling and developing the sport of basketball in Europe. Among many tasks, this includes promoting and directing international competition at the club and national team levels, as well as governing and appointing European international referees. FIBA Europe is an international federation whose membership consists of the national basketball federations of Europe, of which there are 50 members; the highest decision making body is the Board of FIBA Europe which consists of 25 persons elected by the National Federations. The Board of FIBA Europe meets twice a year and is the executive body which represents all 50 Federations that make up the membership of FIBA Europe. All 50 federations meet once a year at the General Assembly of FIBA Europe; the current Board members are: Until January 1, 2015, the position was titled as a Secretary General.
FIBA EuroBasket, the continental championship played every four years and biennially. Men's Women's FIBA European Championship for Small Countries FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship, the continental championship for players aged fewer than 20 years played annually FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship, the continental championship for players aged fewer than 18 years played annually FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship, the continental championship for players aged fewer than 16 years played annually FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship for Women, the continental championship for women aged fewer than 20 years played annually FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship for Women, the continental championship for women aged fewer than 18 years played annually FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship for Women, the continental championship for women aged fewer than 16 years played annually FIBA Europe 3x3 Championships, the continental championship for men and women in 3x3 FIBA Europe Under-18 3x3 Championships, the continental championship for men and women aged fewer than 18 years in 3x3 Men's Basketball Champions League FIBA Europe CupWomen's EuroLeague Women, first-tier women's professional league EuroCup Women, second-tier women's professional league FIBA Europe SuperCup Women, contested between the winners of the two aforementioned women's leaguesNote: The men's EuroLeague and EuroCup are not operated by FIBA Europe, but rather by Euroleague Basketball.
Both competitions play under FIBA rules. EuroChallenge EuroCup Challenge Korać Cup Ronchetti Cup Saporta Cup SuproLeague This section shows the position of the men's national team of the FIBA Europe members, as of 26 February 2019. Monaco is the only member, not ranked as they did not play any FIBA competition in the last eight years. FIBA Europe Men's Player of the Year Award FIBA Europe Young Men's Player of the Year Award FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year Award FIBA Europe Young Women's Player of the Year Award European national basketball league rankings FIBA Europe official website
PBC CSKA Moscow
PBC CSKA Moscow is a Russian professional basketball team based in Moscow, Russia. The club is a member of the EuroLeague. CSKA won two titles between 2006 and 2008, in Europe's principal club competition, the EuroLeague, making the final in all four seasons, has advanced to the EuroLeague Final Four 16 times in the 21st century. CSKA is dominating in winning all but one titles up-to-date. With 7 EuroLeague championships, one NEBL championship, 49 home league championships, 7 home cups and 9 VTB United League titles in total, CSKA is the most successful basketball team in Russia, is one of the most successful basketball teams in Europe. In Euroleague in 2006 CSKA won its first title in a long time, defeating Maccabi 73-69 in the final in Prague. Next year the team lost in the 2007 final 93–91 to Panathinaikos on the Greens' home floor, the Nikos Galis Olympic Indoor Hall in Athens. In 2008, they won a rematch of the 2006 final against Maccabi 91–77 in Madrid. In 2009, they lost a rematch of the 2007 final against Panathinaikos 73–71 in Berlin.
The club competed in 8 consecutive EuroLeague Final Fours from 2003 to 2010, an all-time record. CSKA won its last up-to-date title in 2016, after beating Fenerbahçe in the final, by a score of 101–96, in overtime. Well-known players that have played for the club over the years include: Sergei Belov, Gennadi Volnov, Viktor Zubkov, Yuri Korneev, Vladimir Andreev, Anatoly Myshkin, Stanislav Yeryomin, Ivan Edeshko, Alzhan Zharmukhamedov, Sergei Tarakanov, Rimas Kurtinaitis, Vladimir Tkachenko, Sergei Bazarevich, Sasha Volkov, Andrei Kirilenko, Trajan Langdon, Darius Songaila, Gordan Giriček, Dragan Tarlać, Marcus Brown, Ramūnas Šiškauskas, Theo Papaloukas, Nenad Krstić, Miloš Teodosić, J R Holden and Nando de Colo. Alexander Gomelsky, the legendary basketball coach, worked in CSKA for nearly 20 years, turning it into a powerhouse. Nowadays, CSKA has the reputation for being one of the richest sports clubs in Europe, having been owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, being owned by Norilsk Nickel.
CSKA was founded on 29 April 1923 known as OPPV, when on that day soldiers and sportsmen fought in football against each other for the first place of Moscow. "OPPV", which means Опытно-показательная военно-спортивная площадка всевобуча, a department in the General military education service, was the first central sports department of the Red Army. It was based on the pre-revolutionary "Community of Amateur Skiers"; the first success of the basketball department came at the 1924 Soviet League championship, played between cities, not clubs. Two more titles followed in 1928 and 1935. In 1938, the Soviet League championship was played between clubs, CSKA under the name CDKA debuted there. Stalin's son, Vasily founded the club VVS MVO, with CDKA merging with it. By the end of the Great Patriotic War, CSKA established itself as one of the most respected Soviet basketball teams. In 1953 and 1954, the club was renamed CDSA, between 1955–60, it was known as CSK MO, in 1960, it received its current name CSKA.
CSKA won the FIBA European Champions Cup title, in 1961, 1963, 1969, 1971. They won the Soviet League championship 24 times. CSKA won the Russian League title, every year from 1992, through 2000, every year from 2003 to 2008. CSKA made the 1996 EuroLeague Final Four, they made the 2001 SuproLeague Final Four, the 2003 EuroLeague Final Four, the 2004 EuroLeague Final Four, the 2005 EuroLeague Final Four, before winning the EuroLeague championship at the 2006 EuroLeague Final Four. In the 2004–05 season, the team became the first in the history of the EuroLeague to go through the regular-season phase undefeated, during the 2004–05 EuroLeague season, before the 2005 EuroLeague Final Four, it had only lost to one team: FC Barcelona. Though CSKA lost in the semifinals on their home court to Spanish League club TAU Cerámica, to Panathinaikos, of the Greek League, in the third-place game; that sent them to the 2nd grade teams in the EuroLeague draw, although they finished the league with the best record.
That same year they lost a game in the finals series of the Russian League, but they got the Russian League crown. In 2006, CSKA qualified by finishing third in their group, they finished at the top of their Top 16 group, being denied a perfect record at Tau, in their final game. CSKA entered the 2006 EuroLeague Final Four on a roll, as the only club to sweep their best-of-three quarterfinal series, by defeating Turkish Super League power Efes Pilsen, they defeated Barça in the EuroLeague semis, before defeating the high-powered offense of Maccabi Tel Aviv, of the Israeli Super League, in the final, on April 30 though the overall record of Maccabi's games with CSKA Moscow favored the Israeli club. The following year, they nearly repeated as EuroLeague champions, but wound up facing Panathinaikos in the final, on the Greek team's home floor, OAKA Indoor Hall, designated more than a year earlier as the site for that year's Final Four. Panathinaikos won a fought battle. In 2008, their EuroLeague championship win at the 2008 EuroLeague Final Four, put them in sole possession of second place for overall top-tier level European-wide titles.
Only Real Madrid, with eight titles, had won more than CSKA's six titles
Panathinaikos B. C. known as Panathinaikos, or by its current name Panathinaikos B. C. OPAP for sponsorship reasons, is the professional basketball team of the major Athens-based multi-sport club Panathinaikos A. O, it is owned by the billionaire Giannakopoulos family. The parent athletic club was founded in 1908, while the basketball team was created in 1919, being one of the oldest in Greece. Alongside Aris, they are the only un-relegated teams with participation in every Greek First Division Championship until today. Panathinaikos has developed into the most successful basketball club in Greek basketball's history, one of the most successful clubs in European basketball, creating its own dynasty, they have won six EuroLeague Championships, thirty-six Greek Basket League Championships, nineteen Greek Cups, one Intercontinental Cup and two Triple Crowns. They hold the record for most consecutive Greek League titles, as they are the only team to have won nine consecutive championships, as well as for the most consecutive Greek Basketball Cup titles from 2012 to 2017.
Panathinaikos counts one more championship, that took place in 1921 and was organized by YMCA, but it is not recognized by HEBA, because it was before the creation of Hellenic Basketball Federation. The team plays its home games at the O. A. C. A. Olympic Indoor Hall, which has a maximum capacity of 19,250 for basketball games. Among the many well-known top class players that have played with the club over the years, are: Dominique Wilkins, Fragiskos Alvertis, Byron Scott, Nikos Galis, John Salley, Dimitris Diamantidis, Antonio Davis, Stojko Vranković, Dino Rađja, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, Dejan Bodiroga, Oded Kattash, Ramūnas Šiškauskas, Panagiotis Giannakis, Fanis Christodoulou, Alexander Volkov, Marcelo Nicola, Hugo Sconochini, Željko Rebrača, Antonis Fotsis, İbrahim Kutluay, John Amaechi, Nikola Peković, Jaka Lakovič, Pepe Sánchez, Kostas Tsartsaris, Mike Batiste, Nick Calathes, Vassilis Spanoulis, Dejan Tomašević, Byron Dinkins, Ferdinando Gentile, Sani Bečirovič, Darryl Middleton, Lazaros Papadopoulos, Žarko Paspalj, Nikos Chatzivrettas, Dimos Dikoudis, Tiit Sokk, Sofoklis Schortsanitis, Jason Kapono, Marcus Banks, Arijan Komazec, Edgar Jones, Romain Sato, Johnny Rogers, Tony Delk, Drew Nicholas, Stéphane Lasme, Roko Ukić, Robertas Javtokas, Jonas Mačiulis, Ioannis Bourousis, James Gist and Keith Langford.
Such players, the successful management of former long-time presidents Pavlos Giannakopoulos and Thanasis Giannakopoulos, the long-time guidance of the most successful coach in EuroLeague history, Željko Obradović, have made Panathinaikos the most successful team in Europe over the last two-and-a-half decades. Panathinaikos is the only team on the European continent to win as many as 6 EuroLeague titles, since the establishment of the modern era EuroLeague Final Four format in 1988, they have finished one time as EuroLeague runners-up in 2001. They have participated in eleven EuroLeague Final Fours in total. Panathinaikos hold a long-term rivalry with Olympiacos, matches between the two teams are referred to as the "Derby of the eternal enemies". Panathinaikos started as a football club in 1908. In 1919, basketball was still unknown in Greece. During that period Giorgos Kalafatis with other athletes participated in the Inter-Allied Games in Paris and attended basketball games between the Allies of World War I.
When he returned to Greece with the necessary equipment, he set up the Panathinaikos basketball club, led by Apostolos Nikolaidis. In 1919, PAO played their first match against X. A. N. Thessaloniki, another club pioneer of basketball in Greece, a match which took place at the Panathenaic Stadium. In 1937, Kalafatis managed to create a new Panathinaikos team that, during the following year, tried to catch up with established clubs like the YMCA, Ethnikos G. S. Athens, Panionios and Iraklis. Angelos Fillipou, Nikos Mantzaroglou and Dimitrakos were the ringleaders of the group and were joined by Telis Karagiorgos, Thymios Karadimos, Giorgos Bofilios, Philipos Papaikonomou, Petros Polycratis and Nikos Polycratis. During the German occupation that followed, Dimitris Giannatos was executed by the Nazis for his resistance action. In 1946 and 1947, Panathinaikos emerged champions, with the help of players like Ioannis Lambrou, Missas Pantazopoulos, Stelios Arvanitis and Jack Nicolaidis. In 1950 and 1951, Panathinaikos emerged as champions once again with the help of great athletes Faidon Matthaiou and Nikos Milas.
In 1954, the club would repeat the success, however the next five years would prove fruitless, the club, despite its strength, would have to be renewed. In 1961, Panathinaikos won the Greek League championship with new leaders Georgios Vassilakopoulos, Stelios Tavoularis and Petros Panagiotarakos. In 1962, Panathinaikos made the repeat, was again the Greek League champion; that was the year that PAO took part for the first time in a European-wide competition, as they faced Hapoel Tel Aviv in the FIBA European Champions Cup 1961–62 season. On 23 November 1963, Panathinaikos beat Olympiacos, by a score of 90-48, in the Mantellos Cup, a tournament, replaced by the Greek Cup, which made its first appearance in 1976. In 1967, Panathinaikos were crowned Greek League champions, with Giorgos Kolokithas in their r
FC Barcelona Bàsquet
FC Barcelona Bàsquet currently known as FC Barcelona Lassa or Barça Lassa for sponsorship reasons, is a Spanish professional basketball club. It is a part of the FC Barcelona multi sports club, was founded on 24 August 1926, which makes it the oldest club in the Liga ACB; the club competes domestically in the EuroLeague. Two times European champions, Barça completed a triple crown in 2003 by winning the season's league and EuroLeague; the team plays its home games at Palau Blaugrana, opened on 23 October 1971. They share the facilities with the roller hockey and handball teams of the club; some of the well-known players that have played with the team included Pau Gasol, Rony Seikaly, Marc Gasol, Anderson Varejão, Juan Carlos Navarro, Jaka Lakovič, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, Dejan Bodiroga, Gianluca Basile, Ricky Rubio, Juan Antonio San Epifanio, Saša Đorđević, Tony Massenburg. FC Barcelona Lassa has a reserve team, called FC Barcelona Bàsquet B, that plays in the Spanish 2nd-tier LEB Oro; the club entered its first competition in 1927.
During these early years basketball in Catalonia was dominated by other clubs such as CE Europa, Laietà BC, CB Atlètic Gràcia and Société Patrie and it was not until the 1940s that FC Barcelona became established as a basketball team. During this decade they were runners-up once. In 1956 they finished as runners-up. In 1959 they won cup double; the 1960s and 1970s saw the team in decline. In 1961 the club president Enric Llaudet dissolved the team in spite of its popularity. However, in 1962, the club was reformed after a campaign by the fans. In 1964 the league's Primera División was cut from fourteen teams to eight and the club found themselves in the Segunda División after not finishing between the two first qualified teams in the relegation playoffs; however they returned to the top division after being crowned Segunda champions in 1965. During the 1970s the club was persistently overshadowed by its rivals Joventut. In the 1980s club president Josep Lluís Núñez gave the team his full support with the aim of making the club the best in Spain and Europe.
His support produced results and during the decade inspired by their coach Aíto García Reneses and players like Juan Antonio San Epifanio, Andrés Jiménez, Audie Norris and Solozábal, the club won six Spanish championships, five Spanish cups, two European Cup Winners' Cups, the Korać Cup and the World Championship. However the European Cup remained elusive, ending as runners-up in 1984; the club built on this success during the 1990s, winning a further four Spanish championships and two Spanish cups. They were still unable to win the European Cup despite playing in a further four finals in 1990, 1991, 1996 and 1997, they made a record six EuroLeague Final Four appearances. The star player during this era was Juan Antonio San Epifanio, their persistence paid off and in 2003, inspired by Dejan Bodiroga, Gregor Fučka, Šarūnas Jasikevičius and Juan Carlos Navarro, they won the EuroLeague, beating Benetton Treviso 76–65 in front of a packed Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona. They repeated the feat in 2010, defeating Olympiacos by a wide 86–68 in Paris, that October, they made further history when they beat the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers – including Kobe Bryant and FCB Bàsquet alumnus and Barcelona native Pau Gasol – 92-88 at the Palau Sant Jordi as part of the 2010 NBA Europe Live Tour.
The match was notable for being both a match-up between the reigning NBA and EuroLeague champions and the first time a European team had won against a defending NBA champion. Two FCB Bàsquet players in that game – captain Navarro and point guard Ricky Rubio – either had or went on to play in the NBA. In the following years, Barcelona would stay on top of Spanish basketball, playing all league and cup finals against rival Real Madrid. From 2012 till 2014, Barcelona managed to reach the Euroleague Final Four. However, it could not reach further than the semifinals. Barcelona won the Spanish Championship in 2014, but the next few seasons became absolute disasters, both in the Euroleague, the Spanish League. From 2004 until 2007 the club was sponsored by the Winterthur Group, a Swiss insurance company with offices in Barcelona since 1910, which led to the team featuring the birthplace of Joan Gamper, the club's founder, on their shirts. In 2006 the Winterthur Group was taken over by AXA. In the 2008–09 season, the club's sponsorship changed to Spanish insurer Regal.
This sponsorship finished in June 2013. FC Barcelona Banca Catalana 1993–1997 Winterthur FC Barcelona 2004–2007 AXA FC Barcelona 2007–2008 Regal FC Barcelona 2008–2011 FC Barcelona Regal 2011–2013 FC Barcelona Lassa 2015–2019 Sol de Baix Sports Complex Les Corts Court, located next to Les Corts football stadium Palau Sant Jordi, after 1992 used for home games Palau Blaugrana Nou Palau Blaugrana Managers since 1974: Spanish LeagueWinners: 1958–59, 1980–81, 1982–83, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2013–14 Runners-up: 1957, 1971–72, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1981–82, 1983–84, 1985–86, 1990–91, 1993–94, 1999–00, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2009–10, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16Spanish CupWinners
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection