Probably each country can proudly say that its people are really good at some kind of sports whether it is baseball, tennis, basketball, swimming or running. Spain is not an exception. This south European country can for sure say that football is not only is the sport for which the country is famous but also football is considered to be a part of the cultural heritage of Spanish people.
Football Origins & History in Spain
You probably already knew that football is a huge thing in Spain however, do you know how it came to be a such a big part of Spanish culture? Football game came to Spain thanks to British immigrants in the 19th century. As a consequence, the first football clubs one in Huelva and another in Sevilla were formed. Since the popularity of the game grew between the people the Spanish Federation of Football Clubs was opened at the beginning of 20th century. In 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium took place and as a result, the first Spanish National team was created which brought back home the silver medal. This award had a huge positive impact in a booming interest between society in football as a game. The interest in the game was increasing so drastically that it help Spain to become a host of FIFA World Cup in 1982. Now Spanish national team can proudly say that it has been a 6 times winner of FIFA Team of Year, 3 times winner of UEFA European Championship and in 2011 the winner of Laureus World Sports Award for Team of the Year to mention few.
Best Spanish Football Teams & Their Players
Spain as a country has a lot of football teams created across the country, however, the only couple of them are considered to be the best among others. Real Madrid also known as simply Real is a top Spanish football club based in Madrid in 1902. Another football club which is always competing for the best Spanish club name with Real Madrid is Futbol Club Barcelona (FC Barcelona), or just Barcelona (Barca) which was found in 1899. The very well disserved third place between Spanish football clubs belongs to another club of Madrid called Atlético Madrid found in 1903.
What about football players? Well for sure you heard about Argentinian Lionel Messi who plays for Barca or Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo playing for Real Madrid. However, Spain itself has great football players to be proud of. A striker Fernando Torres who plays for Atletico Madrid, David Villa who currently plays for New York City FC but also appears in Spain national football team, central midfielder Andres Iniesta who plays in FC Barcelona and the Spain national team, Defender Gerard Pique playing in FC Barcelona and also known as a husband of Colombian singer Shakira, defender Sergio Ramos and Marco Asensio taking forward position in the club Real Madrid, and many more. These are just few football players of Spanish origin who are considered to be the greatest professionals of this game.
Football in Spanish Culture
Since the popularity of football in Spain increased so drastically it became part of Spanish people lives. According to the survey of Sports habits IV run by Centre for Sociological Research (Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas), football is the second sport practiced by Spanish population. Probably there is no any Spanish family which doesn’t have at least one of its members practicing football as a sport. 76% of Spanish people claimed to purchase tickets to some kind of football match at least once in their lives and a total of 67% of the population watches at least some of football matches on TV. This shows that major part of the population choosing to spend their leisure time watching the game. This explains the reason why all the streets during the big games become empty and where a majority of the locals disappear. If they do not purchase tickets they watch football at home, friends or family house, or head to the local bars where the TV is available in order to experience the game with other enthusiasts.
Now you know that next time when there are FIFA Wolrd Cup, UEFA European Championship or any other important game happening during which Spain is playing you should head to the local bar and at least once watch it together with all others to get a feeling of what is like to be as the majority of Spanish people.