In Spain, football, as it is commonly known, or in the United States as soccer, is the most popular sport above all others. With the weather more on the fairer side most of the time, the Spanish national football team triumphed in both training and ended up winning the FIFA World Cup in 2010 and went on to be successful in the UEFA European championship and multiple Olympic tournaments. The traditional Spanish word for football is actually “futbol.”
19th Century “Futbol”
Football initially came to the shores of Spain in the late 1900s as an imported game from the British Isles where it was embraced so well it became the traditional game of the people. Spanish students studying in British schools and colleges loved the game so much they brought the knowledge of the “beautiful game” into Spain from the British Isles while at the same time visiting sailors brought a love for the football culture to the country from their own homelands. In his 2003 book “Morbo (which was the Story of Spanish Football,) Phil Ball stated, “that the oldest official Spanish football club, Huelva Recreation Club, was formed at the end of 1889 by British immigrants working at the Spanish Rio Tinto Company.”
Creation of the Games and Clubs
Looking back in history we see that in 1890, Spain’s first official football game was initially played in the town of Seville. The opposing teams were Huelva Recreation Club and Sevilla FC, with most of the players on both teams being actually being British. Sevilla FC, like the club Gimnàstic de Tarragona that formed in 1886, did not form a regular team until the beginning of the 20th century. Sevilla FC’s team officially formed in 1905 and Gimnàstic de Tarragona formed in 1914. The official Madrid Football Club was then formed in 1902 and in the early 1900s other teams sprung up, including Club Vizcaya, FC Barcelona, New Foot-Ball de Madrid and Club Español de Fútbol.
Olympics and the League
Other original Spanish teams initially began competing against one another in 1915. The now traditional national team, commonly known as “La Selección,” played at the Olympic Games for the first time in 1920, winning a silver medal. In later times from 1926, football became recognized as a professional sport in Spain setting their place firmly into the professional arena. A national football “league” was first proposed in 1927, and 10 Spanish teams were then ultimately admitted into the league’s First or “Primera” Division during the year of 1928. These first main league teams were Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, Athletic Madrid, Real Sociedad, Racing Santander, RCD Español, Arenas Club de Getxo, CE Europa and Real Unión. These events have gone into the history books and firmly established in Spain’s hall of fame forever.
International Stage Success
Spain’s national football team has had many international successes since its first silver medal in the 1920 Olympics and has gone on from strength to strength since then.
“Spain has show the world some of the most entertaining flair in football winning the 2010 Wold Sup in South Africa with a super goal from Andrés Iniesta. They are always worth a punt with a skilful side and some beautiful football played” – Spanish football fans Energy Bet – Bonus Code
In 1950, the team which was placed fourth in the FIFA World Cup and in 1964 it went on to win the UEFA European Championship further establishing its prominence in the ranks which are standing steady today. Spain was runner-up in the UEFA championship in 1984 going on to winning the Olympic gold medal in 1992 which was yet another milestone on the world stage. The team in addition to this has now been extremely successful in the 21st century, winning silver at the 2000 Olympics, winning again at the 2008 UEFA European Championship and placing third in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. In 2010, Spain won the FIFA World Cup for the first time quite a remarkable journey which is now chiselled in stone forever.