By population, Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union. Spains capital and largest city is Madrid, other urban areas include Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Bilbao. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago, in the Middle Ages, the area was conquered by Germanic tribes and later by the Moors. Spain is a democracy organised in the form of a government under a constitutional monarchy. It is a power and a major developed country with the worlds fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP. Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the span is the Phoenician word spy. Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean the land where metals are forged, two 15th-century Spanish Jewish scholars, Don Isaac Abravanel and Solomon ibn Verga, gave an explanation now considered folkloric. Both men wrote in two different published works that the first Jews to reach Spain were brought by ship by Phiros who was confederate with the king of Babylon when he laid siege to Jerusalem. This man was a Grecian by birth, but who had given a kingdom in Spain. He became related by marriage to Espan, the nephew of king Heracles, Heracles later renounced his throne in preference for his native Greece, leaving his kingdom to his nephew, Espan, from whom the country of España took its name. Based upon their testimonies, this eponym would have already been in use in Spain by c.350 BCE, Iberia enters written records as a land populated largely by the Iberians, Basques and Celts. Early on its coastal areas were settled by Phoenicians who founded Western Europe´s most ancient cities Cadiz, Phoenician influence expanded as much of the Peninsula was eventually incorporated into the Carthaginian Empire, becoming a major theater of the Punic Wars against the expanding Roman Empire. After an arduous conquest, the peninsula came fully under Roman Rule, during the early Middle Ages it came under Germanic rule but later, much of it was conquered by Moorish invaders from North Africa. In a process took centuries, the small Christian kingdoms in the north gradually regained control of the peninsula. The last Moorish kingdom fell in the same year Columbus reached the Americas, a global empire began which saw Spain become the strongest kingdom in Europe, the leading world power for a century and a half, and the largest overseas empire for three centuries. Continued wars and other problems led to a diminished status. The Napoleonic invasions of Spain led to chaos, triggering independence movements that tore apart most of the empire, eventually democracy was peacefully restored in the form of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Spain joined the European Union, experiencing a renaissance and steady economic growth
Athletic Club, also commonly known as Athletic Bilbao, is a professional football club, based in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. They are known as Los Leones because their stadium was built near a church called San Mamés, mammes was a semi-legendary early Christian thrown to the lions by the Romans. Mammes pacified the lions and was made a saint. The club is one of three founding members of the Primera División that have never relegated from the top division. Athletic have won La Liga on eight occasions, fourth most in the history of the league, in the table of Copa del Rey titles, Athletic is second only to Barcelona, having won it 24 times. The club also has one of the most successful teams in Spain. The club is known for its policy of bringing young Basque players through the ranks. Since its foundation, Athletic has played exclusively with players meeting the criteria to be deemed as Basque players and this can be seen as a unique case in European football, it has gained Athletic both admirers and critics. The club has been praised for promoting home grown players and club loyalty, Athletic is one of only three professional clubs in Spain in La Liga that is not a sports corporation, it is owned and operated by its club members. Athletics main rivals are Real Sociedad, against whom it plays the Basque derby, Football was introduced to Bilbao by two distinct groups of players, both with British connections, British steel and shipyard workers and Basque students returning from schools in Britain. In the late 19th century, Bilbao was a port of an important industrial area with iron mines. It was the force of the Spanish economy and as a result attracted many migrant workers. Among them were miners from the north-east of England, and shipyard workers from Southampton, Portsmouth, the British workers brought with them the game of football. In the early 1890s, these workers came together and formed Bilbao Football Club, meanwhile, sons of the Basque educated classes had made the opposite journey and went to Britain to complete their studies in civil engineering and commerce. While in the United Kingdom, these developed a interest in football. In 1898, students belonging to the Gymnasium Zamacois founded the Athletic Club, in 1901, a meeting was held in the Café García, which established more formal rules and regulations. In 1902, the two Bilbao clubs formed a team, known as Bizcaya, in the first Copa del Rey. They returned with the trophy after defeating Barcelona in the final and this would lead to the eventual merger of the two clubs as Athletic Club in 1903
Real Madrid C.F.
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, commonly known as Real Madrid, or simply as Real outside Spain frontiers, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. Founded in 1902 as Madrid Football Club, the team has worn a white home kit since inception. The word Real is Spanish for Royal and was bestowed to the club by King Alfonso XIII in 1920 together with the crown in the emblem. The team has played its matches in the 85, 454-capacity Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in downtown Madrid since 1947. Unlike most European sporting entities, Real Madrids members have owned and operated the club throughout its history. The club was estimated to be worth €3.24 billion in 2015, the club is one of the most widely supported teams in the world. Real Madrid is one of three founding members of the Primera División that have never relegated from the top division, along with Athletic Bilbao. The club holds many long-standing rivalries, most notably El Clásico with Barcelona, Real Madrid established itself as a major force in both Spanish and European football during the 1950s, winning five consecutive European Cups and reaching the final seven times. This success was replicated in the league, where the club won five times in the space of seven years. In domestic football, the club has won a record 32 La Liga titles,19 Copa del Rey, nine Supercopa de España, a Copa Eva Duarte, and a Copa de la Liga. Real Madrid was recognised as the FIFA Club of the 20th Century on 23 December 2000, the club received the FIFA Centennial Order of Merit in 2004. The club is ranked first in the latest IFFHS Club World Ranking, setting a new ranking-points record, the club also leads the current UEFA club rankings. They founded Football Club Sky in 1897, playing on Sunday mornings at Moncloa and it split into two clubs in 1900, New Foot-Ball de Madrid and Madrid Football Club. On 6 March 1902, after a new Board presided by Juan Padrós had been elected, three years after its foundation, in 1905, Madrid FC won its first title after defeating Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Cup final. The club became one of the sides of the Royal Spanish Football Federation on 4 January 1909. After moving between grounds the team moved to the Campo de ODonnell in 1912, in 1920, the clubs name was changed to Real Madrid after King Alfonso XIII granted the title of Real to the club. In 1929, the first Spanish football league was founded, Real Madrid led the first league season until the last match, a loss to Athletic Bilbao, meant they finished runners-up to Barcelona. Real Madrid won its first League title in the 1931–32 season, Real won the League again the following year, becoming the first team to have won the championship twice
Valencia Club de Fútbol are a Spanish football club based in Valencia. They play in La Liga and are one of the most successful and biggest clubs in Spanish football, Valencia have won six La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey trophies, two Fairs Cups, one UEFA Cup, one UEFA Cup Winners Cup and two UEFA Super Cups. They also reached two UEFA Champions League finals in a row, losing to La Liga rivals Real Madrid in 2000, Valencia were also members of the G-14 group of leading European football clubs. In total, Valencia have reached seven major European finals, winning four of them, Valencia were founded in 1919 and have played their home games at the 55, 000-seater Mestalla since 1923. They were due to move into the new 75, 000-seater Nou Mestalla in the north-west of the city in 2013, Valencia have a fierce rivalry with fellow Valencian club Villarreal CF, with whom they contest the Derby de la Comunitat. The rivalry is fueled by the fact that they are the two most successful clubs in the region. They also have a rivalry with Levante UD, also located in the city of Valencia. Valencia is the third-most supported football club in Spain, behind heavyweights Real Madrid, over the years, the club has achieved a global reputation for their prolific youth academy, or cantera. Products of their academy include world-class talents such as Raúl Albiol, Andrés Palop, Miguel Ángel Angulo, David Albelda, Gaizka Mendieta, current stars of the game to have graduated in recent years include Isco, Jordi Alba, Juan Bernat, and Paco Alcácer. The club was established on 5 March 1919 and officially approved on 18 March 1919, with Octavio Augusto Milego Díaz as its first president, incidentally, the club played its first competitive match away from home on 21 May 1919 against Valencia Gimnástico, and lost the match 1–0. Valencia CF moved into the Mestalla Stadium in 1923, having played its matches at the Algirós ground since 7 December 1919. The first match at Mestalla pitted the side against Castellón Castalia. In another match the day after, Valencia won against the same opposition, Valencia won the Regional Championship in 1923, and was eligible to play in the domestic Copa del Rey cup competition for the first time in its history. The Spanish Civil War halted the progress of the Valencia team until 1941, in the 1941–42 season, the club won its first Spanish La Liga championship title, although winning the Copa del Rey was more reputable than the championship at that time. The club maintained its consistency to capture the title again in the 1943–44 season. In 1995 they lost 2012 they lost 6-1 to CD Binefar In the 1950s, a restructuring of Mestalla resulted in an increase in spectator capacity to 45,000, while the club had a number of Spanish and foreign stars. Players such as Spanish international Antonio Puchades and Dutch forward Faas Wilkes graced the pitch at Mestalla, in the 1952–53 season, the club finished as runners-up in La Liga behind Barcelona. In the following season, the club won its third Copa del Rey, Valencia beat holders Barça 3–0 in the final in front of over 110,000 spectators at the Estadio Chamartín, then the home ground of Real Madrid
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England