FC Barcelona won the UEFA Champions League for the second time by defeating English club Arsenal 2-1 in May 2006 with late goals from Samuel Eto'o and Juliano Belletti. In a dramatic final, Barcelona were losing 1-0 to Arsenal with less than 15 minutes remaining, but the intervention of Sweden’s Henrik Larsson proved decisive as he created the two goalscoring opportunities. Barcelona are the only team to have played in Europe in every season since European competitions began in the 1950s and during that time they have won 11 trophies.
Barcelona also won Spain’s La Liga and the Supercopa de Espana in 2005 and 2006, at the expense of their great rivals Real Madrid, and when the Laureus qualifying year ended on January 31, 2007 they were leading the La Liga championship once again.
Since 2003, a combination of new President Joan Laporta and new manager Frank Rijkaard has seen Barcelona develop into the leading team in Europe, with the acquisition of outstanding attacking players like Ronaldinho, Deco and Eto’o, experienced professionals such as Rafael Márquez and Giovanni van Bronckhorst and home grown players like Carle Ouyol, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Lionel Messi and Victor Valdés. For the 2006/07 season, Barcelona have been reinforced by Eidur Gudjohnsen, Gianluca Zambrotta and Lilian Thuram.