Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sepanyol, Spanyol, Spain... Champion

Spain Football History...

Football is the most popular sport in Spain. The Real Federación Española de Fútbol is the national governing body and it organizes La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Spain national football team. Modern football was introduced to Spain in the late 1800s by a combination of mostly British immigrant workers, visiting sailors and Spanish students returning from Britain.

The oldest football club in Spain is Huelva Recreation Club, formed on December 23 1889 by Dr. Alexander Mackay and British workers employed by the Rio Tinto Company. Although Gimnàstic de Tarragona was formed in 1886 and Sevilla FC in 1890, the clubs did not form an actual football team until 1914 and 1905, respectively. The first official football game played in Spain took place in Seville on March 8, 1890 at 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 Huelva team, 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 Seville team 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.

Barcelona and Real Madrid are the most successful Spanish clubs, in both the national league and continental competitions. They have won a combined 12 European Cups/Champions League titles and were runners-up 3 times each. Real Madrid is the most successful in Europe, having won it a record 9 times and the Europe Cup twice, while FC Barcelona was the only team to achieve a Sextuple, in the year 2009. In La Liga's 80-year history (sans the 3 seasons that the league was suspended due to the civil war), Barça and Real Madrid have won 50 titles between them. Over the years, Spanish clubs have won the Europe Cup Winners' Cup 7 times and Europe Cup 5 times.

Uniform kit...

Spain's traditional kit is a red jersey with yellow trim accompanied by dark blue shorts and socks while their traditional away kit is either a full white kit with red and yellow trim or a yellow jersey with dark blue shorts and socks. Their current home kit is a lighter red than usual along with light blue shorts and red socks, similar to the older 2006 kit. A third kit is sometimes used and is usually blue with red and yellow trim (used currently as change kit). Spain's kit is currently designed by Adidas. Rather than displaying the logo of the Spanish football federation, Spain's jersey traditionally features the Coat of arms of Spain over the left breast.

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