Real Sociedad

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Real Sociedad
Real Sociedad logo.svg
Full name Real Sociedad de Fútbol, S.A.D.
Nickname(s) Txuri-urdinak (The Whites and Blues)
Erreala / La Real (The Royal)
Founded 7 September 1909; 109 years ago (7 September 1909)
Ground Anoeta
Capacity 26,756[1][2][3]
Chairman Jokin Aperribay
Manager Asier Garitano
League La Liga
2017–18 La Liga, 12th
Website Club website
Current season

Real Sociedad de Fútbol, S.A.D., more commonly referred to as Real Sociedad (pronounced [reˈal soθjeˈðað]; Royal Society) or La Real, is a Spanish football club based in the city of San Sebastián, Basque Country, founded on 7 September 1909. It plays its home matches at the Anoeta Stadium. Real Sociedad won the Liga title in 1980–81 and 1981–82, and last finished runners-up in 2002–03. The club has also won the Copa del Rey twice, in 1909 and 1987. It contests the Basque derby against rivals Athletic Bilbao. Real Sociedad were founder members of La Liga in 1929, and its longest spell in the top flight was for 40 seasons, from 1967 to 2007.[4]

Up until 1989, the club followed a similar signing policy of only Basque players as rivals Athletic, before signing Irish striker John Aldridge. While a strong Basque contigent has been retained among its players, nowadays both non-Basque Spaniards and foreign players are represented at the club. Its youth section post the all-Basque era has still been very successful in developing internationally renowned players, such as World Cup winners Xabi Alonso and Antoine Griezmann.

The club has competed in the UEFA Champions League twice. In the 2003–04 season, the club progressed to the round of 16 before losing to Lyon.

Real Sociedad also has several sports sections: women's football, track and field, field hockey and basque pelota.

Name and colours[edit]

The club's name means "Royal Society of Football" in Spanish. During the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939), it was renamed "'Donostia Club de Fútbol'". The club is nicknamed in Basque as Erreala or the txuri-urdin ("white-blue" due to the colours of their kit). The colours stem from the flag of San Sebastián: a blue canton on a white field.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

Real Sociedad in 1912
Real Sociedad squad in the 1930–31 League Season

Football was introduced to San Sebastián in the early 1900s by students and workers returning from Britain. In 1904, they formed the San Sebastian Recreation Club and in 1905 the club competed in the Copa del Rey. In May 1905, the San Sebastian Football Club was formed as a separate branch of the club. In 1909, it applied to enter the Copa del Rey but complications over registration permits saw them compete as Club Ciclista de San Sebastián. This team defeated Club Español de Madrid 3–1 in the final. Out of the confusion, the Sociedad de Futbol was formed on 7 September 1909. In 1910, Spanish clubs played in two rival cup competitions and Sociedad de Futbol entered the Copa UECF as Vasconia de San Sebastián. In the same year, King Alfonso XIII – who used San Sebastián as his summer capital – gave the club his patronage, where it subsequently became known as Real Sociedad de Fútbol.

Real Sociedad in 1952

Real Sociedad were founder members of La Liga in 1929. The team came fourth with Francisco "Paco" Bienzobas finishing as top scorer. The team's name was changed to Donostia Club de Futbol in 1931 with the advent of the Second Spanish Republic, but changed back to Real Sociedad after the Spanish Civil War in 1939. The team has generally fluctuated between the Primera and Segunda divisions, in one period (during the 1940s) managing to be relegated and promoted seven times. Around that time, the sculptor Eduardo Chillida was the team's goalkeeper until injury put a stop to his football career.

Real Sociedad Ranking Graph 1929–2017

1 1
2     2 2 2
3           3  
4   4 4 4               4
    5 5                 5 5      
    6                 6               6
  7         7 7 7             7   7 7         7       7  
      8     8   8 8     8 8       8 8                           8          
                9   9                                                         9  
                10 10       10                                                   10          
            11                                     11                     11     11 11                  
                          12                                                                   12     12    
              13 13                                                                 13   13             13 13 13              
              14               14         14   14                                                                       14            
                                            15                                                                         15   15            
                                                                                                                          16              
                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                         
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              1 1   1     1                           1                                                                                 1              
                                                                                                                                                       
                        3                                                                                                                                
                        4                                 4 4                                                                                   4                
                                                                                                                                                                 
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                                                                    10                                                                                                      
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The success of the 1980s[edit]

The team finished as runners-up in La Liga for the first time in 1979–80, gaining 52 points compared to Real Madrid's 53, and 13 points clear of third-placed Sporting de Gijón. Real Sociedad won its first ever Primera División title at the end of the 1980–81 season, denying Real Madrid a fourth-consecutive title because although both clubs earned 45 points and Madrid had the superior goal difference Sociedad were better in the head-to-heads.[5] This qualified La Real for the 1981–82 European Cup, where they were eliminated in the first round by CSKA Sofia of Bulgaria, who hosted and won the first leg 1–0. The second leg in Spain was a 0–0 draw.[6]

Real Sociedad supporters at the streets of San Sebastián

The club retained the Liga title the following season, beating Barcelona by 47 points to 45, under the management of Alberto Ormaetxea.[7] Forward Jesús María Satrústegui was the club's top scorer for 1980–81 with 16 goals.[8] He scored 13 the following season as Pedro Uralde was the top scorer, with 14.[9] The club reached the semi-finals of the 1982–83 European Cup, defeating Víkingur of Iceland, Celtic and Sporting Clube de Portugal before losing 3–2 on aggregate to eventual champions Hamburger SV.[10] Real Sociedad won the Supercopa de España at the beginning of the 1982–83 season, overturning a 1–0 defeat in the first leg to defeat Real Madrid 4–1 on aggregate.

On 11 March 1987, Real Sociedad set a record for most goals in a quarter-final of the Copa del Rey after defeating Mallorca 10–1. In the semi-finals of the same tournament, it beat its Basque rivals Athletic Bilbao 1–0 over two legs. On 27 June 1987, Real Sociedad won its only Copa del Rey title, defeating Atlético Madrid 4–2 on penalties after drawing 2–2. The match was held at La Romareda in Zaragoza, Aragon.[11] In the following season's Copa del Rey, Real Sociedad defeated Atlético Madrid again after defeating them in the quarter-finals. It then beat Real Madrid 5–0 on aggregate in the semi-finals, but lost 1–0 in the final to Barcelona at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu Stadium on 30 March 1988.[12] In the 1987–88 La Liga, Real Sociedad were runners-up for the first time since its lost its title – with 51 points to Real Madrid's 62 – and three points clear of third-placed Atlético Madrid.[5]

The English-born Republic of Ireland international John Aldridge was Real Sociedad's first non-Basque player, and was the club's top scorer during both of his seasons from 1989 to 1991

For many years, Real Sociedad followed the practice of its Basque rivals Athletic Bilbao of signing only Basque players. It abandoned the policy in 1989 when it signed Irish international John Aldridge from Liverpool.[13] Aldridge scored 16 goals in his first season to be the club's top scorer,[14] and fourth-highest scorer of the entire league as La Real finished fifth.[15] In 1990, La Real signed another English league striker, Dalian Atkinson of Sheffield Wednesday,[16] who therefore became the club's first black player. He scored 12 goals in his first season, second at the club only to Aldridge's 17.[17] That was Aldridge's final season at La Real, and he returned to England to play in the lower leagues at Tranmere Rovers, while Atkinson left to top-flight Aston Villa.

In 1997–98, Real Sociedad finished third, its best finish since being runners-up for the first time since 1988. Its total of 63 points was 11 less than champions Barcelona but just two less than runners-up Athletic Bilbao. The club finished higher in the table than Real Madrid due to a superior goal differential.[15] Yugoslav striker Darko Kovačević scored 17 times that season, making him the fourth-highest scorer in the league.[18] The third-place finish qualified La Real for the 1998–99 UEFA Cup, where it beat Sparta Prague and Dynamo Moscow before being knocked out in the third round by Atlético Madrid.

21st century[edit]

Nihat Kahveci was a key player as the top goalscorer as Real Sociedad finished second in the 2002–03 La Liga
Nihat Kahveci was a key player as the top goalscorer as Real Sociedad finished second in the 2002–03 La Liga
View of the Anoeta Stadium

After finishing in 13th position for three consecutive seasons, Real Sociedad were runners-up in the 2002–03 La Liga, its best finish since 1988.[19] Its tally of 76 points was only beaten by Real Madrid's 78, and La Real had four more points than third-placed Deportivo de La Coruña.[20] The club was managed by Frenchman Raynald Denoueix. La Real's strikeforce combined the Turkish striker Nihat Kahveci with Yugoslav international Darko Kovačević. The two were third and fourth top scorer in the league respectively, with 23 and 20 goals.[21] The team also included Dutch international goalkeeper Sander Westerveld and Xabi Alonso in midfield. Alonso was the winner of the 2003 Don Balón award for the best Spanish player in the league, while Kahveci was voted the best foreign player and Denoueix the best manager.[22]

Key moments from that season came when Real Sociedad beat Real Madrid in April 4–2 at the Anoeta Stadium. It kept first place in La Liga until the penultimate game of 38, when it lost 3–2 away to Celta de Vigo, while Real Madrid beat Atlético Madrid 4–0. This meant that Real Madrid secured first place two points clear of Real Sociedad for the last game, where La Real defeated Atlético Madrid 3–0 and Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao to win the title.[23] The team qualified directly for the 2003–04 UEFA Champions League after finishing second; it was unbeaten at home, scored 71 goals in total and lost just six times.

Real Sociedad were placed in Group D of the 2003–04 Champions League with Juventus, Galatasaray and Olympiacos. The team won two matches, drew three and lost away to Juventus to finish second and advance [24] to the last 16. It was knocked out after losing 1–0 in both games against Lyon, hosting the first game. [25] The 2003–04 La Liga saw a dramatic decline in the club's performance, slipping to 15th out of 20. Its tally of 46 points was only five more than relegated Real Valladolid .[26]

On 9 September 2006, Real Sociedad played its 2,000th La Liga match. Real Sociedad was relegated from La Liga in 2006–07, finishing 19th. On 9 July 2007, former Welsh international and Fulham manager Chris Coleman was appointed as the new club coach, on the recommendation of former Real Sociedad manager John Toshack, an important board member at the club. Coleman resigned on 16 January 2008.

On 13 June 2010, Real Sociedad returned to La Liga.

In the 2012–13 season, Real Sociedad finished in fourth place and qualified for the 2013–14 Champions League for the first time since the 2003–04 season, but in the play-offs, this time. In the play-offs, the club defeated Lyon 2–0 in both legs to qualify for the group stage. Real Sociedad, however, did not make it out of the group, earning just one point.[27]

On 10 November 2014, Real Sociedad announced that David Moyes as the chosen manager to replace Jagoba Arrasate, who was sacked following a series of poor results. Moyes became the sixth British manager in the club's history, however he was sacked 9 November 2015 after falling to 16th in La Liga. Later that day, he was replaced by Eusebio Sacristán.

Fanbase[edit]

The Spanish Centro de Investigaciones Sociologicas (Centre of Sociological Investigations) found out that of 2,473 adults interviewed in 49 provinces, 1.3% of the Spanish population have more feelings for Real Sociedad than any other club, and 1.5% have more feelings for La Real than any other club apart from their favourite.[28]

In appreciation of the value of the supporters to the club – in the words of club president Jokin Aperribay, "The fans are the soul, the nourishment and the reason for Real Sociedad" – the players each wore the name of a randomly selected club member on their shirt for the match against Sevilla in December 2012.[29]

Doping Scandal[edit]

Former club president Iñaki Badiola revealed that between 2001 and 2007, Real Sociedad had paid up to €300,000 to Eufemiano Fuentes, a doctor who has been investigated for links to the Spanish national team and other Spanish footballers, to dope players on the team.[30] According to The Telegraph, in footage from 2008 released in 2013, Badiola was shown telling shareholders that "Fuentes was heavily involved with the team when they finished second in La Liga in 2002-03".[31] Badiola reportedly said: "Real Sociedad acquired medicines for €328,000 that were not listed in the accounts. This means there is another type of accounting at practice here – there is no supporting documentation, no bills or delivery details that can be identified. We know what types of medicine they are and we won’t get involved in what they were or weren’t used for." José Luis Astiazarán, President of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional between 2005 and 2013, denied the claims, stating: "During the period of my term as President of my term as President of Real Sociedad (2001-2005), I have never had knowledge or suspicion of illegal practices being conducted with the medical services, which always worked within the maximum ethics and professionalism. If I had, I would have acted with due diligence and forcefulness." He claimed that "Real Sociedad, under my presidency, worked closely with the authorities responsible for doping control, and there was never any impact on the countless doping controls conducted."[32] Fuentes was sentenced to one year in prison in April 2013, for breaking public health laws in relation to the scandal and the Operación Puerto doping case.[33]

Honours[edit]

La Liga

Winners: 1980–81, 1981–82
Runners-up (3): 1979–80, 1987–88, 2002–03

Copa del Rey

Winners: 1909, 1986–87
Runners-up (5): 1910, 1913, 1928, 1951, 1987–88

Supercopa de España

Winners: 1982

Segunda División

Winners (3): 1948–49, 1966–67, 2009-2010

Gipuzkoa Championship[34]

Winners (6): 1918–19, 1922–23, 1924–25, 1926–27, 1928–29, 1932–33

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

As of 31 August 2018[35]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Argentina GK Gerónimo Rulli
2 Spain DF Joseba Zaldúa
3 Spain DF Diego Llorente
4 Spain MF Asier Illarramendi (Captain)
5 Spain MF Igor Zubeldia
6 Mexico DF Héctor Moreno
7 Spain FW Juanmi
8 Spain MF Mikel Merino
10 Spain FW Mikel Oyarzabal (Vice-captain)
11 Belgium MF Adnan Januzaj
12 Brazil FW Willian José
13 Spain GK Miguel Ángel Moyà
No. Position Player
14 Spain MF Rubén Pardo
15 Spain DF Aritz Elustondo
16 Spain MF Martín Merquelanz
17 Spain MF David Zurutuza
18 Spain DF Andoni Gorosabel
19 France DF Theo Hernández (on loan from Real Madrid)
20 Portugal DF Kévin Rodrigues
21 Spain FW Jon Bautista
22 Spain DF Raúl Navas
23 Spain MF Luca Sangalli
24 Spain FW Sandro Ramírez (on loan from Everton)

Players under contract[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Spain MF Jon Guridi
Spain FW David Concha

Reserve team[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
26 Spain MF Ander Guevara
27 France DF Robin Le Normand
28 Spain FW Roberto López
No. Position Player
30 Spain GK Andoni Zubiaurre
31 France MF Näis Djouahra

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Spain MF Eneko Capilla (at Cultural Leonesa until 30 June 2019)

Seasons[edit]

Recent seasons[edit]

Season Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P Cup Europe Notes
2006–07 1D 19 38 8 11 19 32 47 35 Round of 32 Relegated
2007–08 2D 4 42 18 14 10 55 39 68 2nd round
2008–09 2D 6 42 17 16 9 48 38 67 3rd round
2009–10 2D 1 42 20 14 8 53 37 74 2nd round Promoted
2010–11 1D 15 38 14 3 21 49 66 45 Round of 32
2011–12 1D 12 38 12 11 15 46 52 47 Round of 16
2012–13 1D 4 38 18 12 8 70 49 66 Round of 16
2013–14 1D 7 38 16 11 11 62 55 59 Semi-final UCL Group
2014–15 1D 12 38 11 13 14 44 51 46 Round of 16 UEL Playoff
2015–16 1D 9 38 13 9 16 45 48 48 Round of 32
2016–17 1D 6 38 19 7 12 59 53 64 Quarter-final
2017–18 1D 12 38 14 7 17 66 59 49 Round of 32 UEL Last 32

Season to season[edit]

  • As Real Sociedad de Foot-ball
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1929 1 4th Round of 16
1929/30 1 7th Round of 16
1930/31 1 3rd Round of 32
  • As Donostia Football Club
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1931/32 1 8th Quarter-finals
1932/33 1 6th Round of 32
1933/34 1 5th Round of 16
1934/35 1 11th Fifth round
1935/36 2 6th First round
  • As Real Sociedad de Fútbol
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1939/40 2 1st Round of 16
1940/41 2 1st Semi-finals
1941/42 1 14th Round of 16
1942/43 2 1st Round of 16
1943/44 1 13th Round of 16
1944/45 2 4th Round of 16
1945/46 2 6th First round
1946/47 2 3rd First round
1947/48 1 13th Semi-finals
1948/49 2 1st Quarter-finals
1949/50 1 8th Round of 16
1950/51 1 5th Runner-up
1951/52 1 10th Quarter-finals
1952/53 1 10th Quarter-finals
1953/54 1 9th Quarter-finals
1954/55 1 14th Did Not Play
1955/56 1 8th Round of 16
1956/57 1 12th Semifinals
1957/58 1 9th Semifinals
1958/59 1 10th Round of 32
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1959/60 1 14th Round of 16
1960/61 1 8th Round of 16
1961/62 1 15th Round of 32
1962/63 2 4th Round of 32
1963/64 2 6th Round of 16
1964/65 2 4th Semi-finals
1965/66 2 10th Round of 32
1966/67 2 1st Round of 32
1967/68 1 14th Round of 16
1968/69 1 7th Semi-finals
1969/70 1 7th Round of 16
1970/71 1 8th Quarter-finals
1971/72 1 8th Quarter-finals
1972/73 1 7th Fifth round
1973/74 1 4th Round of 16
1974/75 1 4th Quarter-finals
1975/76 1 8th Semi-finals
1976/77 1 8th Round of 16
1977/78 1 11th Semifinals
1978/79 1 4th Fourth round
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1979/80 1 2nd Quarter-finals
1980/81 1 1st Round of 16
1981/82 1 1st Semi-finals
1982/83 1 7th Semi-finals
1983/84 1 6th Round of 16
1984/85 1 7th Quarterfinals
1985/86 1 7th Third round
1986/87 1 10th Winner
1987/88 1 2nd Runner-up
1988/89 1 11th Round of 16
1989/90 1 5th Quarterfinals
1990/91 1 13th Round of 16
1991/92 1 5th Fifth round
1992/93 1 13th Quarterfinals
1993/94 1 11th Fifth found
1994/95 1 11th Fourth round
1995/96 1 7th Second round
1996/97 1 8th Second round
1997/98 1 3rd Round of 16
1998/99 1 10th Round of 16
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1999/00 1 13th First round
2000/01 1 13th Round of 64
2001/02 1 13th Round of 64
2002/03 1 2nd Round of 64
2003/04 1 15th Round of 32
2004/05 1 14th Round of 32
2005/06 1 16th Third round
2006/07 1 19th Round of 32
2007/08 2 4th Second round
2008/09 2 6th Third round
2009/10 2 1st Second round
2010/11 1 15th Round of 32
2011/12 1 12th Round of 16
2012/13 1 4th Round of 32
2013/14 1 7th Semifinals
2014/15 1 12th Round of 16
2015/16 1 9th Round of 32
2016/17 1 6th Quarter-finals
2017/18 1 12th Round of 32
2018/19 1

History in European competitions[edit]

Accurate as of 22 February 2018
Competition Played Won Drew Lost GF GA GD Win%
European Cup / Champions League (4) 26 8 6 12 24 29 −5 030.77
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (1) 4 1 3 0 3 1 +2 025.00
UEFA Cup / Europa League (10) 46 22 8 16 69 66 +3 047.83
Total 76 31 17 28 96 96 +0 040.79

Source: UEFA.com
Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GD = Goal Difference.

Managers[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Most appearances[edit]

Notable former players[edit]

Note: this list includes players that have appeared in at least 100 league games and/or have reached international status.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Temporary capacity, reconstruction work ongoing 2017 to 2019
  2. ^ "Real Sociedad 1-2 Barcelona: Champions score two quick goals to maintain winning start". BBC Sport. 15 September 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  3. ^ "Comienzan la obras en Anoeta" [Work begins on Anoeta] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 23 May 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Real Sociedad". free-elements.com.
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