- Football in Spain
Fútbol is the most popular sport in
Spain. The Real Federación Española de Fútbolis the national governing body and it organizes La Liga, the Copa del Reyand the Spain national football team. Modern football was introduced to Spainin the late 1800s by a combination of mostly British immigrant workers and visiting sailors and Spanish students returning from Britain.
The oldest football club in
Spainis "Huelva Recreation Club", formed on December 231889 by "Dr. Alexander Mackay" and British workers employed by the Rio Tinto Company. Although Gimnàstic de Tarragonawas formed in 1886and Sevilla FCin 1890, the clubes did not form an actual football team until 1914 and 1905, respectively. The first official football game played in Spaintook place in Sevilleon March 8 1890at the "Tablada Hippodrome". "Huelva Recreation Club" played against Sevilla FC, a team made up of workers from the "Seville Water Works". With the exception of two Spanish players on the Huelvateam, all the players on both teams were British. This is the reason why the team is called Sevilla FC(football club) and not Sevilla CF (club de fútbol, in Spanish correct way). The Sevilleteam won 2-0.
In the Basque Country during the early 1890s, British shipyard workers and miners formed "Bilbao Football Club" and Basque students returning from Britain founded the "Athletic Club" in 1898. This early British influence was reflected in the use of English names such as "Recreation Club", "Athletic Club" and "Football Club".
Campionat de Catalunya
Cataloniaalso began to produce a number of football clubs including "Palamós Foot-Ball Club" founded in 1898 and "Catala SC" and "Foot-Ball Club Barcelona", both founded in 1899. Several clubs also emerged with a reference to " Spain" in their title. These included "Hispania AC" and Sociedad Española de Football, both formed in 1900, and "FC Espanya". Soon there were enough clubs to organise a league and in December 1900, "Alfons Macaya", the president of "Hispania AC", offered a trophy. The "Copa Macaya" eventually evolved into the "Campionat de Catalunya", the first league championship ever played in Spain.
Copa del Rey
Several clubs also emerged in
Madrid, most notably "Madrid Football Club", formed in 1902. In the same year, Carlos Padrós, later president of "Madrid FC", suggested a football competition to celebrate the coronation of Alfonso XIII. Four other teams entered the "Copa del Ayuntamiento de Madrid", later to develop into the Copa del Rey. These included FC Barcelona, Club Español de Fútbol, Club Vizcaya and New Foot-Ball de Madrid. The competition featured the first recorded game between FC Barcelonaand Madrid FC, with the former emerging 3-1 winners. Club Vizcaya, which consisted of players from both basque teams, eventually beat FC Barcelonain the final. Alfonso XIIIsubsequently became the patron of many Spanish football clubs, granting them permission to use "Real" in their names. Among the many clubs to add the prefix to their name was Madrid FC, who subsequently became Real Madrid.
Within Spain, regional teams, most notably, the Catalan XI, the Euskadi XI, and even the Galician XI began to compete against each other from 1915 onwards. Despite not been officially recognised by
FIFA, these teams continue to play today. The Spain national football team, commonly referred to as "la selección" made their international debut at the 1920 Olympic Games in Belgiumand came away with the silver medal. Spanish football turned professional in 1926.
In April 1927 Alvaro Trejo, a director at
Arenas Club de Getxo, first proposed the idea of a national league in Spain. After much debate about the size of the league and who would take part, the RFEF eventually agreed on the ten teams who would form the first "Primera Division" in 1928. FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, Arenas Club de Getxoand Real Uniónwere all selected as previous winners of the Copa del Rey. Athletic Madrid, RCD Español and CE Europaqualified as Copa del Reyrunners-up and Racing Santanderqualified through a knockout competition against Sevilla FC. Only three of the founding clubs, Real Madrid, FC Barcelonaand Athletic Bilbao, have never been relegated from the "Primera Division".
Spain women's national football team
List of Spanish Regional Football Federations
* Spain national under-18 football team
*es icon [http://www.lfp.es/ Official La Liga Site]
*es icon [http://www.rfef.es/ Official RFEF Site]
*es icon [http://www.marca.es/ Marca]
*es icon [http://www.as.com/ As]
*es icon [http://www.elmundodeportivo.es/ El Mundo Deportivo]
*es icon [http://www.sport.es/ Sport]
*en icon [http://www.soccer-spain.com/ Soccer Spain]
*en icon [http://www.resultsfromfootball.com/primeradivision-seasons.html Primera Division]
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