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
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
Futbol Club Barcelona, commonly known as Barcelona and familiarly as Barça, is a professional football club based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, English and Catalan footballers led by Joan Gamper, unlike many other football clubs, the supporters own and operate Barcelona. It is the second most valuable team in the world, worth $3.56 billion. The official Barcelona anthem is the Cant del Barça, written by Jaume Picas, Barcelona was ranked first in the IFFHS Club World Ranking for 1997,2009,2011,2012 and 2015 and currently occupies the third position on the UEFA club rankings. The club has a rivalry with Real Madrid, matches between the two teams are referred to as El Clásico. Barcelona is one of the most supported teams in the world, Barcelonas players have won a record number of Ballon dOr awards, as well as a record number of FIFA World Player of the Year awards. Barcelona is one of three founding members of the Primera División that have never relegated from the top division, along with Athletic Bilbao. In 2011, the club became European champions again and won five trophies, by winning their fifth Champions League trophy on 6 June 2015, Barcelona became the first European club in history to achieve the continental treble twice. On 22 October 1899, Hans Gamper placed an advertisement in Los Deportes declaring his wish to form a football club, FC Barcelona had a successful start in regional and national cups, competing in the Campionat de Catalunya and the Copa del Rey. In 1902, the club won its first trophy, the Copa Macaya and he said in a meeting, Barcelona cannot die and must not die. If there is nobody who is going to try, then I will assume the responsibility of running the club now on. Club president on five occasions between 1908 and 1925, he spent 25 years in total at the helm. One of his achievements was ensuring Barça acquire its own stadium. On 14 March 1909, the moved into the Camp de la Indústria. To celebrate their new surroundings, the club conducted a logo contest the following year, Carles Comamala won the contest, and his suggestion became the crest that the club still wears – with some minor changes – as of the present day. The contest was the most prestigious in that era, from the inaugural year in 1910 to 1913, Barcelona won the competition four consecutive times. Carles Comamala played a part of the four-time champion, managing the side along with Amechazurra. The latter became the clubs first full-time coach in 1917, the last edition was held in 1914 in the city of Barcelona, which local rivals Espanyol won
Real Zaragoza, S. A. D. is a Spanish football team based in Zaragoza, in the autonomous community of Aragon. Founded on 18 March 1932 it currently plays in Segunda División, holding home games at La Romareda, the club has spent the majority of its history in La Liga, winning the Copa del Rey six times and the 1994–95 UEFA Cup Winners Cup, amongst other trophies. Traditionally, team colours are white shirts and socks with blue shorts. A government survey in 2007 found that 2. 7% of the Spanish population support the club, Real Zaragoza was originally formed from two rival teams, Iberia SC and Real Zaragoza CD. In 1939, after three years without football due to the Spanish Civil War, the team made its first appearance in La Liga, ending in seventh out of 12 teams. On 8 September 1957 the team left its original stadium, El Torrero, Zaragoza finished third in 1973–74 and a best-ever second in the following season, losing the title in the last round to Real Madrid. In 1986, Zaragoza won its third Spanish Cup, defeating Barcelona 1–0, víctor Fernández was appointed manager in 1991. The 2000s brought a further two Spanish Cups to Zaragozas trophy cabinet, including the 2003–04 edition against Real Madrid in Barcelona, the club, however, also suffered top flight relegation in 2002 after narrowly avoiding so the previous season, but achieved immediate promotion in 2003. In late May 2006, Agapito Iglesias bought Alfonso Solans shares and took control of the club, promising to one of the strongest teams in Spain. In his first year in charge, he bought Pablo Aimar from Valencia for €11 million, mainly due to Diego Militos 23 goals in 2006–07, Real Zaragoza finished in sixth position, thus qualifying to the UEFA Cup. The following season, however, ended in relegation – for the time in the decade – with the side also being eliminated in the first round in European competition. Legendary club coach Fernández returned for a spell, being sacked in January 2008 as the club had four managers during the campaign. In the last round, a brace from Ricardo Oliveira proved insufficient in a 2–3 away loss against Mallorca, Zaragoza achieved promotion from the second division at the first attempt. After four seasons mainly spent in the half of the table, Zaragoza returned to the silver category in 2013. 58 seasons in La Liga 20 seasons in Segunda División 4 seasons in Tercera División As of 4 February 2017 Note, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Official website Real Zaragoza at La Liga Real Zaragoza at UEFA
Copa del Rey
The Copa del Rey is an annual football cup competition for Spanish football teams. Its full name is Campeonato de España - Copa de Su Majestad el Rey de Fútbol, the competition was founded in 1903, thus making it the oldest Spanish football competition. Typically, the winner of Copa del Rey goes to the UEFA Europa League, Barcelona are the current holders, who won their 28th Copa del Rey against Sevilla at the 2016 Copa del Rey Final held at the Vicente Calderón Stadium. Four other teams joined Madrid FC for the competition, FC Barcelona, Club Español de Foot-Ball, New Foot-Ball de Madrid and that cup is on display in the Athletic Bilbao museum and the club includes the victory in its honours list. Nevertheless, it is considered only the forerunner of the Copa del Rey, Copa del Rey was Spains football National Championship from 1903 until the foundation of the Campeonato de Liga — League Championship — in 1928. It was initially known as the Copa del Ayuntamiento de Madrid, between 1905 and 1932, it was known as the Copa de Su Majestad El Rey Alfonso XIII. Athletic Bilbao were declared winners in 1904 after their opponents Español de Madrid failed to show up. In 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, clubs in the Republican area of Spain entered the Copa de la España Libre, because of the dispute regarding the 1902 competition, the statistics regarding the leading winners are also disputed. Barcelona have won the Copa 28 times, Athletic Bilbao are just behind, with either 24 or 23 titles, throughout the history of the competition, there have been 12 actual trophies. Trophies have been awarded to clubs for winning the competition either three times in a row or on five separate occasions and for other special reasons. Thus, four trophies have been awarded to Barcelona, three to Bilbao and one to Real Madrid. In December 2010, the cup was given to Sevilla, the 2010 winners, before the formation of La Liga in 1929, the competition was effectively a national championship. Teams qualified to enter via their regional leagues, over the years, various formats, including group stages have been used. Unlike the English FA Cup, entry is limited, only teams from the Primera División, Segunda A, about 23 teams from the Segunda B and the Tercera División champions are invited to enter. The early rounds are one-off games with teams from the lower divisions given home advantage, the round of 32, the round of 16, the quarter-finals, and semi-finals are played over two legs. The final is a game played at a neutral venue. The winners qualify for both the Supercopa de España and the UEFA Europa League the following season. There had been a precedent for this, Real Madrid were allowed to keep the last Copa de la República, Sevilla, the first Copa del Generalísimo and, Atlético Madrid, a new trophy was made by Madrid jeweller Federico Alegre
Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol de Barcelona, commonly known as RCD Espanyol, or simply as Espanyol, is a professional sports club based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Founded in 1900, the plays in La Liga, the highest division of Spanish football. It has won the Copa del Rey four times, most recently in 2006, the team compete in the Derbi barceloní against FC Barcelona. Espanyol play at the 40, 500-capacity Estadi Cornellà-El Prat, having played at grounds including the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys. Espanyol was founded on 28 October 1900 by Ángel Rodríguez Ruiz, the clubs original home was in the well-off district of Sarrià and was initially known as the Sociedad Española de Football. One year later, the changed its name to Club Español de Fútbol. Espanyol was the first club in Spain to be formed exclusively by Spanish fans of the game, the club originally played in bright yellow shirts, with the colour of the shorts being left to the individual player. A friend of the club owned a textile business and happened to have an abundance of yellow material left over from a job. In 1910, the changed its name to Club Deportivo Español and chose blue and white stripes as shirt colours. The club were successful from the beginning, winning the Campionat de Catalunya in 1903. In 1906, the club folded due to financial reasons and most of the joined the X Sporting Club. This club won the Campionat de Catalunya three times between 1906 and 1908, in 1909, this club was effectively relaunched as Club Deportivo Español, and in 1910, they adopted their present-day colours. Espanyol are one of several Spanish football clubs granted patronage by the Spanish crown and thus entitled to use Real in their names and this right was granted to Espanyol in 1912 by Alfonso XIII and the club subsequently became known as Real Club Deportivo Español. After the Spanish Civil War, the name reverted, the club took the Catalan spelling for its name in February 1995. The word Deportiu in Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol de Barcelona is a Catalanised form of the original word Deportivo and this choice was made in order to retain the initials RCD in the clubs name. In 1994, Espanyol created its reserve team, Espanyol B, with their win in the Copa del Rey the previous season, Espanyol entered the UEFA Cup. Following a 5–3 aggregate success against Slovak side Artmedia Bratislava, they were drawn in Group F alongside Ajax, Belgian minnows Zulte Waregem, Espanyol were group winners, victorious in all four of their ties. Their opponent in the Round of 32 was Livorno, who had just scraped into the knockout stages, Espanyol were 4–1 victors on aggregate, recording a 2–1 win in Tuscany and finishing the job 2–0 in Barcelona