In sport, a cap is a metaphorical term for a player's appearance in a game at international level. The term dates from the practice in the United Kingdom of awarding a cap to every player in an international match of association football. In the early days of football, the concept of each team wearing a set of matching shirts had not been universally adopted, so each side would distinguish itself from the other by wearing a specific sort of cap. An early illustration of the first international football match between Scotland and England in 1872 shows the Scottish players wearing cowls, the English wearing a variety of school caps; the practice was first approved on 10 May 1886 for association football after a proposal made by N. Lane Jackson, founder of the Corinthians: That all players taking part for England in future international matches be presented with a white silk cap with red rose embroidered on the front; these to be termed International Caps. The act of awarding a cap is applied to other sports.
Although in some sports physical caps may not now always be given the term "cap" for an international or other appearance has been retained as an indicator of the number of occasions on which a sportsperson has represented a team in a particular sport. Thus, a "cap" is awarded for each game played and so a player who has played x games, for the team, is said to have been capped x times or have won x caps; the practice of awarding a physical cap varies from sport to sport. It may be awarded prior to a player's debut or for national teams, a commemorative cap may be awarded after a player reaches the 100th cap; as an example, the England men's association football teams still awards physical caps. Players are awarded one cap for every match they play — unless they play in a World Cup or European Championship finals tournament, they are given a single cap for the competition — with the names of all their opponents stitched into the fabric of the cap itself. For example, when David Beckham made his one hundredth appearance for England, because a number of his appearances had been at World Cup and European Championship final tournaments for which he received only one cap, he received only his 85th physical cap.
The world record holder for the highest number of international caps as of 5 November 2010 is retired American player Kristine Lilly, who has 354 caps. In men's association football, the record belongs to former player Ahmed Hassan of Egypt; the first footballer to win 100 international caps was Billy Wright of England's Wolverhampton Wanderers. Wright went on to appear 105 times for England, 90 of them. FIFA rules state that any club that refuses to release a player for national team duty is barred from using the player for two matches, a rule, intended to discourage clubs from pretending that the player is injured. However, it is a player's choice to refuse to retire from his or her national team; some current leading holders of association football caps are: 184 – Ahmed Hassan, Egypt 178 – Hossam Hassan, Egypt 178 – Mohamed Al-Deayea, Saudi Arabia 177 – Claudio Suárez, Mexico 178 in Mexican records 169 – Gianluigi Buffon, Italy 168 – Iván Hurtado, Ecuador 167 – Iker Casillas, Spain 166 – Vitālijs Astafjevs, Latvia 164 – Cobi Jones, United States 163 - Sergio Ramos, Spain 163 – Mohammed Al-Khilaiwi, Saudi Arabia 161 – Adnan Al-Talyani, United Arab Emirates 158 – Bader Al-Mutawa, Kuwait 157 – Landon Donovan, United States 354 – Kristine Lilly, United States World record holder 311 – Christie Rampone, United States 275 – Mia Hamm, United States 272 – Julie Foudy, United States 259 - Christine Sinclair, Canada 256 – Abby Wambach, United States 239 – Joy Fawcett, United States 231 – Heather O'Reilly, United States 214 – Birgit Prinz, Germany 214 – Therese Sjögran, SwedenBold denotes players active in international football.
In cricket, there are two types of caps. Firstly, there is the international type; some countries award a domestic type known as a "county cap". The latter system is most applied in English county cricket. Most counties do not automatically award caps to players on their first appearance. Indeed, one can play at the highest domestic level for several years, have a quite significant career in first-class cricket, without winning a cap; the world record for the number of caps in Test cricket is held by Sachin Tendulkar of India, who has, over the course of a 22-year career, collected 200. Tendulkar holds the record for One Day Internationals, with 463 caps. In rugby union, 35 players have reached 100 international caps as of 5 June 2012. Players from England, Scotland and Ireland are eligible for selection to the British and Irish Lions touring squad. Lions matches are classed as full international tests, caps are awarded; the Pacific Islanders team, composed of players from Fiji, Tonga and Cook Islands have a similar arrangement, although no players involved have so far reached 100 caps.
Players still active at Test level are in bold type. Richie McCaw, New Zealand — 148 Brian O'Driscoll, Ireland — 141 George Gregan, Australia — 139 Gethin Jenkins, Wales, 131 — Ronan O'Gara, Ireland — 130 Keven Mealamu, New Zealand — 125 Victor
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water
Estonia the Republic of Estonia, is a country in North East Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland with Finland on the other side, to the west by the Baltic Sea with Sweden on the other side, to the south by Latvia, to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia; the territory of Estonia consists of a mainland and 2,222 islands in the Baltic Sea, covering a total area of 45,227 km2, water 2,839 km2, land area 42,388 km2, is influenced by a humid continental climate. The official language of the country, Estonian, is the third most spoken Finno-Ugric language; the territory of Estonia has been inhabited since at least 9,000 B. C. Ancient Estonians were some of the last European pagans to be Christianized, following the Livonian Crusade in the 13th century. After centuries of successive rule by Germans, Swedes and Russians, a distinct Estonian national identity began to emerge in the 19th and early 20th centuries; this culminated in independence from Russia in 1920 after a brief War of Independence at the end of World War I.
Democratic, after the Great Depression Estonia was governed by authoritarian rule since 1934 during the Era of Silence. During World War II, Estonia was contested and occupied by the Soviet Union and Germany being incorporated into the former as the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic. After the loss of its de facto independence, Estonia's de jure state continuity was preserved by diplomatic representatives and the government-in-exile. In 1987 the peaceful Singing Revolution began against Soviet rule, resulting in the restoration of de facto independence on 20 August 1991; the sovereign state of Estonia is a democratic unitary parliamentary republic divided into fifteen counties. Its capital and largest city is Tallinn. With a population of 1.3 million, it is one of the least-populous member states of the European Union since joining in 2004, the economic monetary Eurozone, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Schengen Area, of the Western military alliance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
It is a developed country with an advanced, high-income economy, among the fastest-growing in the EU. Estonia ranks high in the Human Development Index, performs favourably in measurements of economic freedom, civil liberties and press freedom. Estonian citizens are provided with universal health care, free education, the longest-paid maternity leave in the OECD. One of the world's most digitally advanced societies, in 2005 Estonia became the first state to hold elections over the Internet, in 2014 the first state to provide e-residency. In the Estonian language the oldest known endonym of the Estonians was maarahvas, meaning "country people" or "people of the soil"; the land inhabited by Estonians was called Maavald meaning "Country Realm" or "Land Realm". One hypothesis regarding the modern name of Estonia derives it from the Aesti, a people described by the Roman historian Tacitus in his Germania; the historic Aesti were Baltic people, whereas the modern Estonians are Finno-Ugric. The geographical areas of the Aesti and of Estonia do not match, with the Aesti living farther south.
Ancient Scandinavian sagas refer to an area called Eistland, as the country is still called in Icelandic, with close parallels to the Danish, Dutch and Norwegian terms Estland for the country. Early Latin and other ancient versions of the name include Hestia. Esthonia was a common alternative English spelling before 1921. Human settlement in Estonia became possible 13,000 to 11,000 years ago, when the ice from the last glacial era melted; the oldest known settlement in Estonia is the Pulli settlement, on the banks of the river Pärnu, near the town of Sindi, in south-western Estonia. According to radiocarbon dating it was settled around 11,000 years ago; the earliest human inhabitation during the Mesolithic period is connected to the Kunda culture, named after the town of Kunda in northern Estonia. At that time the country was covered with forests, people lived in semi-nomadic communities near bodies of water. Subsistence activities consisted of hunting and fishing. Around 4900 BC appear ceramics of the neolithic period, known as Narva culture.
Starting from around 3200 BC the Corded Ware culture appeared. The Bronze Age started around 1800 BC, saw the establishment of the first hill fort settlements. A transition from hunting-fishing-gathering subsistence to single-farm-based settlement started around 1000 BC, was complete by the beginning of the Iron Age around 500 BC; the large amount of bronze objects indicate the existence of active communication with Scandinavian and Germanic tribes. A more troubled and war-ridden middle Iron Age followed, with external threats appearing from different directions. Several Scandinavian sagas referred to major confrontations with Estonians, notably when Estonians defeated and killed the Swedish king Ingvar. Similar threats appeared in the east. In 1030 Yaroslav the Wise established a fort in modern-day Tartu. Around the 11th century, the Scandinavian Viking era around the Baltic Sea was succeeded by the Baltic Viking era, with seaborne
UEFA European Under-21 Championship
The UEFA European Under-21 Championship is a football competition for men organised by the sport's European governing body, UEFA. It is held every two years; the competition has existed in its current form since 1978. It was preceded by the Under-23 Challenge Cup which ran from 1967 to 1970. A true Under-23 championship was formed, starting in 1972; the age limit was reduced to 21 for the 1978 championship and it has remained so since. To be eligible for the campaign ending in 2019, players need to be born in or after 1996. Many can be 23 years old by the time the finals tournament takes place. Under-21 matches are played on the day before senior internationals and where possible, the same qualifying groups and fixtures were played out; this was not true for the shortened 2006-2007 Championship. This tournament serves as qualifier for the Summer Olympics, it has been considered a stepping stone toward the senior team. Players such as 2014 World Cup winner Mesut Özil, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Luís Figo, Petr Čech, 2010 World Cup winner Iker Casillas, 2006 World Cup winners Francesco Totti, Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluigi Buffon, Alberto Gilardino and Andrea Pirlo, Euro 2004 winner Georgios Karagounis began their international careers in the youth teams.
Germany are the reigning champions. The finals of the 2017 competition were hosted by Poland. Up to and including the 1992 competition, all entrants were divided into eight qualification groups, the eight winners of which formed the quarter-finals lineup; the remaining fixtures were played out on a two-legged and away basis to determine the eventual winner. For the 1994 competition, one of the semi-finalists, was chosen as a host for the semi-finals, 3rd place playoff and final. Spain was chosen to host the last four matches in 1996. For 1998, nine qualification groups were used, as participation had reached 46, nearly double the 24 entrants in 1976; the top seven group winners qualified automatically for the finals, whilst the eighth- and ninth-best qualifiers and England, played-off for the final spot. The remaining matches, from the quarter-finals onward, were held in Romania, one of the eight qualifiers; the 2000 competition had nine groups, but the nine winners and seven runners-up went into a two-legged playoff to decide the eight qualifiers.
From those, Slovakia was chosen as host. For the first time, the familiar finals group stage was employed, with the two winners contesting a final, two runners-up contesting the 3rd-place playoff; the structure in 2002 was identical, except for the introduction of a semi-finals round after the finals group stage. Switzerland hosted the 2002 finals. In 2004, ten qualification groups were used, with the group winners and six best runners-up going into the playoff. Germany was host that year. For 2006, the top two teams of eight large qualification groups provided the 16 teams for the playoffs, held in November 2005. Portugal hosted the finals. Followed the switch to odd years; the change was made because the senior teams of many nations chose to promote players from their under-21s team as their own qualification campaign intensified. Staggering the tournaments allowed players more time to develop in the under-21 team rather than get promoted too early and end up becoming reserves for the seniors.
The 2007 competition began before the 2006 finals, with a qualification round to eliminate eight of the lowest-ranked nations. For the first time, the host was chosen ahead of the qualification section; as hosts, Netherlands qualified automatically. Coincidentally, the Dutch team had won the 2006 competition - the holders would have gone through the qualification stage; the other nations were all drawn into fourteen three-team groups. The 14 group winners were paired in double-leg play-off to decide the seven qualifiers alongside the hosts. From 2009 to 2015, ten qualification groups were used, with the group winners and four best runners-up going into the two-legged playoffs; the 2015 finals was to be the last 8 teams edition, as UEFA expanded the participants to the finals to 12 teams starting from 2017 edition. On 6 February 2019, UEFA's Executive Committee increased the number of participants to 16 teams, starting from 2021 edition. Held only three times before it was relabelled by UEFA. Only under-21 championships are included in the table.
Legend Notes1 Includes results representing Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro in 2004. 2 Includes results representing West Germany. 3 Includes results representing Soviet Union and CIS 4 Includes results representing Czechoslovakia The Golden Player award is awarded to the player who plays the most outstanding football during the tournament. The UEFA European Under-21 Championship adidas Golden Boot award will be handed to the player who scores the most goals during the tournament. Since the 2013 tournament, those who finish as runners-up in the vote receive the Silver Boot and Bronze Boot awards as the second and third top goalscorer players in the tournament respectively. On 17 June 2015, UEFA revealed an all-time best XI from the previous Under-21 final tournaments. UEFA European Championship UEFA European Under-19 Championship UEFA European Under-17 Championship The Rec. Sport. Soccer Statistics Foundation Contains full record of U-21/U-23 Championships. UEFA European U-21 Championship at uefa.com
Association football, more known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport; the game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal. Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity; the modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were codified in England by The Football Association. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms; the team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins.
If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years; the rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time rugby 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 "rules of the game" were made in 1848, before the "split off in 1863". The term soccer comes from a slang or jocular abbreviation of the word "association", with the suffix "-er" appended to it; the word soccer was first recorded in 1889 in the earlier form of socca.
Within the English-speaking world, association football is now called "football" in the United Kingdom and "soccer" in Canada and the United States. People in countries where other codes of football are prevalent may use either term, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now use "football" for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is 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 modern football. 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 and harpastum were played involving hands and violence.
They all appear to have resembled rugby football and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified "mob football", the antecedent of all modern football codes, these three games involved more handling the ball than kicking. Other games included kemari in chuk-guk in Korea. Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other ball games played around the world FIFA has recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe; the modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the varying forms of football played in the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century AD; the Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Rugby and Shrewsbury schools.
They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football; some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School devised an influential set of rules; these ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse; the Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand.
Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under
Spain national under-21 football team
The Spain national under-21 football team is the national under-21 football team of Spain and is controlled by the Royal Spanish Football Federation. The team, nicknamed La Rojita, competes in the biennial UEFA European Under-21 Championship. Following the realignment of UEFA's youth competitions in 1976, the Spanish under-21 team was formed. Spain has a fantastic record. Only Italy with five titles has won the competition more than Spain. Since the under-21 competition rules insist that players must be 21 or under at the start of a two-year competition, technically it is an U-23 competition. For this reason, Spain's brief record in the preceding U-23 competitions is shown, though in actuality, Spain played only three competitive U-23 matches; the first was in the "under-23 Challenge", which they lost, while the next two were in a two-team qualification "group" for the 1972 competition. Spain's youth development programs has been challenging the South American dominance in the FIFA U-17 World Championship and the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
In fact, 20 of the Spanish 23-man squad that won the Euro 2008 came through the ranks of the youth teams. Most important club which delivered the team's players for this tournament was FC Twente from the Netherlands. *Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks. Gold background color indicates first-place finish. Silver background color indicates second-place finish. Bronze background color indicates third-place finish. Red border color indicates. In addition to team victories, Spanish players have won individual awards at UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship. Note: Club represents all the clubs that players played in at the time they did it too in the Under-21s. Note: Club represents all the clubs that players played in at the time they did it too in the Under-21s. Caps and goals correct as of 25 March 2019 The following players were named in the squad for friendly matches against Romania and Austria, at 21 and 25 March 2019. All caps and goals as of 25 March 2019; the following players have been called up for the team within the last 12 months.
NotesPlayers in italics are still active at international level. INJ = Not part of the current squad due to injury. PRE present in a preliminary list. 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship squads – Spain 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship squads – Spain 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship squads – Spain 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship squads – Spain 2000 UEFA European Under-21 Championship squads – Spain 1998 UEFA European Under-21 Championship squads – Spain 1996 UEFA European Under-21 Championship squads – Spain 1994 UEFA European Under-21 Championship squads – Spain Spain national football team Spain national under-23 football team Spain national under-20 football team Spain national under-19 football team Spain national under-18 football team Spain national under-17 football team Spain national under-16 football team Spain national under-15 football team Spain national youth football team Official website by RFEF Tournament archive at UEFA Europe – U-23/U-21 Tournaments at RSSSF
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia