One of the first three teams to ever compete in the Copa del Rey in 1902, RCD Espanyol – also known as Espanyol is one of Spain’s First Division soccer clubs that has, for over a century, been a competitor in the Spanish league. Espanyol were conferred with the ‘Real’ title in 1912, joining clubs such as Real Madrid, Real Betis and Real Sociedad in being football clubs that enjoy the support and patronage of the Spanish royal family.
The Fan’s Club
Officially known as Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol de Barcelona, RCD Espanyol is widely regarded as the first Spanish football club formed entirely by fans. The club was among the first invited to play in the inaugural tournament that would go on to become Spain’s premier domestic cup. In the last decade, Espanyol has seen success at the Copa del Rey, winning the prestigious cup in 2000 and in 2006.
The Unbeaten Run
The 2007 season of the UEFA was a memorable one of Espanyol. The club followed their 2006 Copa triumph with a blazing run in the UEFA cup. Although Espanyol lost to Bayer Leverkusen on penalty kicks, they had the distinction of going unbeaten in regular play throughout the tournament, a testament to the clubs players and coach.
The Glory of Spanish Football
RCD Espanyol is one of Spain’s oldest clubs and has seen some of the great stars of football in its rosters including Walter Gerardo Pandiani of Uruguay, Nenê of Brazil and goalkeeper Thomas Nkono from Cameroon. However, Alfredo Di Stéfano, widely regarded as a pioneer of Spanish football is considered the best player to have graced the roster at Espanyol. The club has performed quite consistently at the Copa del Rey in recent years, reaching the quarterfinals once and the round of 16 twice. In 2012, the club added new footballers to strengthen its squad for the campaigns ahead, having reached the quarterfinals, losing to Mirandés.
With the prestige of being one of Spain’s oldest clubs, Espanyol looks to be a force to reckon with in Spanish football – capturing the imagination of fans and players alike.