The empty Spain of First football

Mayca jimenez


First class football is resisting in some corners of Spain. In the almost 100-year history of the national top flight, a total of 61 clubs have reached the elite. Among them, there are representatives of 38 of the 52 territories delimited throughout the country (50 provinces, plus Melilla and Ceuta), leaving twelve provinces and the two autonomous cities deserted in this category. These 14 places represent what could be the Spain emptied of First football. Enclaves in which the ball has failed to make the leap to the elite, in which its football fans have not been able to enjoy the great events of one of the best leagues in the world.

From Ceuta and Melilla to Lugo. Since the 1928-1929 season kicked off the First DivisionNeither in the two autonomous cities in the south of Spain nor in the Galician province in the north of the peninsula have they managed to reach the highest category of Spanish football. In Galicia, the province of Spain has not had an elite team either. Ourense, to which is added Zamora, Palencia, Ávila, Segovia, Teruel and Cáceres. The list extends to the other half of the peninsula, including other points such as Toledo, Cuenca, Guadalajara and Ciudad Real.

Lugo players during matchday 42 of last season, in which they achieved salvation in Second.


Lugo players during matchday 42 of last season, in which they achieved salvation in Second.

Among the most prominent teams in each area, it is worth mentioning the case of Lugo, the only one that is settled in the professional category (Second). The rest of the main teams from each of the aforementioned provinces are in Second B (the newly promoted Zamora) or in Third Division, as are the cases of Toledo, Ávila, Unión Balompédica Conquense, Teruel or the Gimnástica Segoviana. With the exception of the Toledo team and Lugo, the other clubs have not passed Second B. Yes they did. the extinct Ciudad Real, Ourense or Palencia, among others, that several decades ago they fought in the silver category to reach the elite.

For their part, and although some find it difficult to remember the representatives of the rest of the territories, a total of 38 provinces have had at least one team in First. In alphabetical order, the honor roll of the Spanish provinces with teams in elite football would be as follows: Álava, Albacete, Alicante, Almería, Asturias, Badajoz, Barcelona, ​​Burgos, Cádiz, Cantabria, Castellón, Córdoba, A Coruña, Cuenca , Girona, Granada, Guipúzcoa, Huelva, Huesca, Balearic Islands, Jaén, León, Lleida, Madrid, Malaga, Murcia, Navarra, Las Palmas, Pontevedra, Salamanca, Seville, Soria, Tarragona, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Teruel, Valencia, Valladolid, Vizcaya and Zaragoza.

Historical classification of First Division

Club Years in 1st Current Club Years in 1st Current
one Real Madrid 90 1st 33 Cadiz CF 13 1st
two Barça 90 1st 3. 4 UD Salamanca 12 Desap
3 Athletic 90 1st 35 CD Castellón eleven 2nd
4 Valencia 86 1st 36 CD Logroñés3 9 Desap
5 Spanish 85 2nd 37 Cordoba CF 9 2nd B
6 Atletico de Madrid 84 1st 38 Eibar 7 1st
7 Seville 77 1st 39 Albacete Balompié 7 2nd
8 Real society 74 1st 40 Arenas Club 7 2nd B
9 Real Zaragoza 58 2nd 41 UD Almeria 6 2nd
10 Real Betis Balompié 55 1st 42 Burgos CF 6 Desap
eleven Celta Vigo 55 1st 43 Pontevedra CF 6 2nd B
12 Deportivo de La Coruña 46 2nd B 44 Recreativo de Huelva 5 2nd B
13 Real Valladolid Four. Five 1st Four. Five SD Compostela 4 Desap
14 Racing Santander 44 2nd B 46 Leganes 4 2nd
fifteen Sporting de Gijón 42 2nd 47 Numancia de Soria 4 2nd B
16 Osasuna 39 1st 48 Gimnastic of Tarragona 4 2nd B
17 Real Oviedo 38 2nd 49 CD Alcoyano 4 2nd B
18 UD Las Palmas 3. 4 2nd fifty Royal union 4 2nd B
19 Majorca 28 2nd 51 Real Burgos CF 3 3rd
twenty Granada CF 25 1st 52 Real Jaen 3 3rd
twenty-one Elche 22 1st 53 Club Esportiu Europe 3 3rd
22 Villarreal CF twenty-one 1st 54 Girona Soccer Club two 2nd
2. 3 CD Malaga twenty Desap 55 Estremadura two Desap
24 Hercules of Alicante twenty 2nd B 56 CP Merida two Desap
25 Vallecano Ray 18 2nd 57 AD Almeria two Desap
26 Real Murcia 18 2nd B 58 Joined Esportiva Lleida two Desap
27 Malaga CF 17 2nd 59 SD Huesca two 1st
28 Getafe 16 1st 60 Xerez CD one 3rd
29 Deportivo Alavés 16 1st 61 CD Condal one Desap
30 I raised fifteen 1st 62 Athletic Club of Tetuán one Desap
31 Sabadell FC 14 2nd 63 Cultural Leonesa one 2nd B
32 CD Tenerife 13 2nd

Deportivo celebrate the league title in 2000.


Deportivo celebrate the league title in 2000.

In the first positions of the historical classification of First Division several clubs stand out. Specifically two, Depor and Racing, who have just signed their relegation to Second B. Gallegos and Cantabrians are the great longing for the summer for Spanish football, which sees how two teams with great trajectory in the elite they sink into a pit from which they are expected to emerge sooner rather than later. In the case of the blue and white club, which was founded in 1906, we are facing one of the few teams that has managed to raise a league in Spain. And it is that only nine clubs have been proclaimed national champions: Barça, Real Madrid, Atlético, Athletic, Valencia, Real Sociedad, Sevilla, Betis and Deportivo. In addition to the league title in 2000, the Coruña team accumulated five league runners-up, two Copa del Rey titles in 1995 and 2002 and three Super Cups (1995, 2000 and 2002). A career to which we must add his seasons in the Champions League, in which he achieved be a semi-finalist in 2004.

Founded in 1913, Racing is the only Cantabrian team that has played in the First Division and did so for 44 seasons. A figure that makes it one of the teams that has played the most campaigns in the Spanish top flight, in which it became runner-up in the 1930-1931 season. Racing left Primera in 2013 and will fight this season in Segunda B to regain glory. In the memory, for all Santanderians and for the rest of Spanish fans, the Copa del Rey semifinals (2007-2008 and 2009-2010 seasons) and their participation in the Europa League, then known as the UEFA Cup (2007-2008).

Manolo Preciado playing with Racing against Atlético de Madrid.

Manolo Preciado playing for Racing against Atlético de Madrid.

The 'King of Second', as many referred to Real Murcia, It is one of the teams that has played the most seasons in the Second Division, being also one of the ones that has achieved the most promotions to the First Division (11) together with Real Betis (12), Málaga (11), Celta (11) or Deportivo (11), among others. In the highest Spanish category he played for 18 seasons, descending for the last time in 2008. Now, play in Second B. From the bronze to the silver category to meet another historic player in our football: Castellón. Founded in 1922, it achieved promotion to the First Division in 1941, playing in the top flight for six consecutive seasons, even fighting for the league title in 1942-1943, finally finishing fourth. After descending to the Second Division, 25 years had to pass to see Castellón again in the highest Spanish division. It was in 1972, being that year runner-up in the Cup. The Albinegro team has counted among its ranks with players like Del Bosque and has in its history with a total of 11 seasons in the First Division, a fact that has not prevented it from touching the disappearance .

Teams with the most promotions to First

Team Promotions to First
Betis 12
Real Murcia eleven
Sports eleven
Celtic eleven
Malaga eleven
Hercules 8
Racing 8
Real Zaragoza 8

Also highlights the Logroñés, which lived its time of glory in the late 80s and early 90s. The Rioja team reached the First Division in 1987 and managed to stay in it for nine seasons, reaching seventh place in the 1989-1990 season one step away from getting into the UEFA Cup. The Riojan entity had among its ranks players of the stature of Julen Lopetegui. With the descent to Second, the decline of the club began, which fell to Third. In 2004, the economic problems increased until they disappeared in 2009 after the Riojan Football Federation did not accept the club's registration due to not having paid its outstanding debt. In June 2009, months after the historic Logroñés disappeared, the new UD Logroñés was born, who will compete in Second this season.

Another of the historical teams that have disappeared is the Unión Deportiva Salamanca. The team was unable to pay its debts and filed for a creditors' contest, with which an agreement was not reached, so it was liquidated in 2013. The Salamanca club debuted for the first time in the First Division in the 1973/1974 season. and came to play in the gold category for up to 12 seasons, the 1995-1996 campaign being the last disputed in this division. If we talk about the history of Spanish football, you cannot miss the Recreativo de Huelva (founded in 1889), which is the oldest club in Spain, popularly known as the Dean. The humble Huelva club lived the best stage in its history at the beginning of the 21st century when it achieved two promotions to the First Division and proclaimed itself runner-up in the Copa del Rey in 2003. In total, Recre accumulates five seasons in the top Spanish division. Now, the Andalusian team plays in Second B.

Zaragoza celebrates the Recopa won in the 94/95 season.

Zaragoza celebrate the Recopa won in the 94/95 season.

Nor can we forget about 'mechanical cheese'. An Albacete that is the only team from Castilla-La Mancha that has played in the First Division, with seven seasons in its history spread over two periods. In his debut in the Spanish top flight in 1990-1991 the La Mancha team he finished the campaign in seventh position at one point in the UEFA rankings and was then known as “mechanical cheese”. In 1994-1995 he managed to reach the semifinals of the Copa del Rey, being eliminated by Valencia. In 1996 he went down to Second to return to the gold category seven years later, in 2003, but he did not achieve permanence and fell back to Second and, from there, to Second B. The La Mancha club managed to recover and return to the category of silver.

The 1990s were also unforgettable for fans of 'Compos.' The Galician club managed to rise from Third to First in just four years with coach Fernando Castro Santos at the helm. In 1993 the team made its debut in the top flight, surviving in it for four seasons with players like Fabiano and Ohen. The stage among the greats of Spanish football ends in the 1997/1998 season. The team dropped to Second and their situation worsened considerably. In 2006, the club's debt rose and all its assets were liquidated by public auction. Currently, the Galician team is in Second B, after having spent several years in Third. For its part, other historical ones hold closer to the elite, competing in Second Division. This is the case of Real Zaragoza (58 seasons in First Division), Sporting (42), Oviedo (38), Las Palmas (34), Mallorca (28) or Rayo Vallecano (18).

The vast majority of the 38 provinces with representation in the First Division, specifically 25, have only had or have one team in the elite. They are: Álava (Alavés), Albacete (Albacete Balompié), Almería (Unión Deportiva Almería), Burgos (Burgos CF), Cantabria (Real Racing Club de Santander), Córdoba (Córdoba), Girona (Girona), Granada (Granada), Huelva (Recreativo de Huelva), Huesca (SD Huesca), Balearic Islands (Mallorca), Jaén (Real Jaén), León (Cultural Leonesa), Lleida, Málaga, Murcia (Real Murcia), Navarra (Osasuna), Las Palmas (Las Palmas), La Rioja (Logroñés), Salamanca (UD Salamanca), Soria (Numancia), Tarragona (Nàstic), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Tenerife), Valladolid (Real Valladolid) and Zaragoza (Real Zaragoza).

With two or more teams with at least one season in First, there are 13 provinces: Madrid (Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, Rayo Vallecano, Leganés and Getafe), Barcelona (FC Barcelona, ​​Espanyol, Sabadell, Europa and CD Condal de Sants-Hostafrancs), Valencia (Levante and Valencia), Alicante (Hercules, Alcoyano and Elche ), Cádiz (Cádiz and Xerez), Seville (Betis and Seville), Vizcaya (Athletic and Arenas), Guipúzcoa (Real Sociedad, Eibar and Real Unión), Castellón (Castellón and Villarreal), Pontevedra (Pontevedra and Celta), A Coruña (Deportivo and Compostela), Asturias (Sporting de Gijón and Real Oviedo) and Badajoz (Mérida and Extremadura).

Madrid won its 34th league last season.


Real Madrid won its 34th league last season.

As can be seen, both Madrid and Barcelona dominate the list, after having had five teams in the First Division during the history of LaLiga Santander. In the current season, the matter is far from these figures. There are only three Madrid teams (Real Madrid, Atleti and Getafe) in the First Division, while Barcelona only has one team in the elite (Barcelona). The provinces of Valencia, Seville and Guipúzcoa stand out this season, with two teams each in the highest category. If we look at the registration by communities, Andalusia, Valencia and the Basque Country dispute the dominance of Spanish elite football, with four teams each in this new season in Primera.