It is a part of the life, perhaps, of each Spaniard.
Every time when the match of favorite team takes place, obsessed fans occupy stadiums, all street bars where you can hear from time to time numerous shouts during the dangerous moments of a game. Spaniards begin to play a ball since childhood – on sports grounds, on the beach, in the yard, and on walls of the commercial organizations or ancient historical buildings. It is quite often possible to see the wall plate with the crossed-out ball. The signature means that a ball shouldn’t be played on this wall. Amateur football clubs are absolutely everywhere. They can consist of friends and employees of some small cafe in the dormitory area. Friendly matches between clubs “Pedro’s Bar” and “Julian’s Cafeteria” take place nearly every day. Popularity of football in the country is so great that there is even a separate TV channel “Barca TV” devoted to Barcelona club in Catalonia.
Spanish football history dates back to the end of XIX centrury with the birthplace in the Basque Country. Bilbao was the principal port and the most important industrial center of Spain in those days. Migrants arrived from all over the Europe including England. British labourers marked the beginning of the national football history. They brought here, as well as to many other corners of the Earth, a game under the name “football”. Such workers pulled together and created “Football Club Bilbao” at the beginning of the 1890th currently known as “Atletic Bilbao”. It is one of the most titled Spanish clubs. It was officially founded on July 18, 1898.
However, the actual history of Spanish football has started with the formation of football club RC Recreativo de Huelva – the oldest in the country. Recreativo was founded on December 23, 1889 by the two Scots Alexander Mackay and Robert Russell Ross – the doctors working at the mines of the RioTinto company. The team is often called “El Decano” (oldest) cause of its very long history.
Barcelona was founded in November 29, 1899 by a group of the Swiss, British, Spanish and Catalan football players led by Joan Gamper. The club became one of the main Catalonian symbols. There is even a slogan “El Barça es más que un club” (Barca is more, than club). Barcelona fans are known as “culés”.
The history of Spanish football goes back to the 1896th year when the “Football Sky” club was created and became the predecessor of well-known “Real of Madrid”. An official date of the Madrid club foundation considered March 6, 1902. Brothers Juan Padros and Julian Palasios created a new club under the name “Madrid Football Club”. One of the most prominent dates in the national football history – June 29, 1920 when Alfonso XIII of Spain granted the title the club “Royal”. It sounds in Spanish as “Real” from where the modern name of the club has come from.
With the foundation of the first several professional clubs, championships and tournaments began to take place in Spain. The first tournament in the Spanish football history was the Makaya Cup (Copa Macaya). It was played in December, 1900 between 4 Catalan clubs. The initiative of holding a tournament belonged to the president of the Barcelonian club “Spain” Alfonso Macaya. The Cup became the predecessor of “Campionat de Catalunya” which is held until nowadays. It became the winner of the Copa Macaya.
The first national competition in the history was the Copa de la Coronación or the Madrid Contest. It was played between 5 clubs from various cities of the country from May 13 to May 16, 1902 in Madrid. The tournament was held in honor of the crowning of Alfonso XIII of Spain. Biskaya won over Barcelona in the finals.
The successful start of Copa de la Coronación became an incentive to create the annual national championship. The annual event became historical in 1903 and so far the Cup of Spain is being played until nowadays (Copa del Rey — the Royal cup). It means that the tournament is the oldest one in the Spanish history. Before the foundation of the Spanish football League in 1928, the Cup competitions played a role of the national championship. The selection of teams was carried out by local or regional football associations. The Cup of the King is currently played between the clubs of Primera (the top division), all teams of Segunda A (the second division), Segunda B (the third division) and La Tercera (the fourth division).
Barcelona takes the first place in the Spanish football history by the number of victories. Athletic Bilbao won a bit less often, and Real Madrid lags behind Athletic Bilbao and takes the third place among the winners.
The Royal Spanish football federation was founded in 1909. It took control and management over the Spanish football. The headquarters were located in Madrid. It joined FIFA in 1913, UEFA – in 1954.
The football Championship was founded in 1928 by the Royal football federation of Spain. It became one more major football tournament after Copa del Rey. Unlike the King’s Cup where all four division clubs could take part, the championship of Spain allowed teams only from the top division. Therefore it is known now as Primera or La Liga. According to the history (taking into account stats of 2016-2017), Real Madrid became the champions – 32 times, Barcelona – 24.
Winners of Copa del Rey and La Liga collide in the two-match the Spanish Super Cup (The Supercopa de España). The winner is determined by the total number of goals after two matches. Real Madrid and Barcelona are also the most titled teams in the Super Cup. They won the tournament 8 and 10 respectively.
There are some more minor tournaments as well, such as: the Cup of Catalonia, Segunda A and B, La Tercera or friendly tournaments.
The interesting phenomenon of Spanish football is the counteraction of two strongest clubs – Real Madrid and Barcelona called El Clasico or Derby. A great struggle between the clubs representing the largest cities: Madrid and Barcelona – started long time ago. The majority of El Clasico matches were held at home stadiums and it became the best-known in Spain. Native stadium of Barcelona is the biggest by the capacity in Europe – a five star stadium Camp Nou. The home arena of Real is also a five star stadium in Madrid – “Santiago Bernabéu”.