RCD Espanyol

Largely known as Barcelona’s 'second sporting club', RCD Espanyol was founded in 1900. Like FC Barcelona, the club is most famous for its football team but encompasses a range of sports including basketball, volleyball and hockey.

The football team, which moved in September 2009 to a new stadium in Cornellà de Llobregat (thus officially outside Barcelona) from the Olympic Stadium in Montjuïc, has lived in the shadow of Barça’s success for over 100 years, yet are still ranked sixth overall in the list of the most triumphant sides in Spain. Their honours include four Spanish Cups (Copa del Rey), the most recent coming in 2006; they have also reached the final of the Uefa Cup twice, the second time in 2007 when they finished runners-up to fellow Spanish outfit Sevilla.

The club was set up by an engineering student called Ángel Rodríguez, a keen sportsman who introduced the idea of playing the imported game of football amongst his university friends. Initially named Spanish Football Society (Sociedad de Futbol Español), the club was the first in the city to be set up by Spanish residents and, after primarily wearing bright yellow, introduced the blue and white stripes in 1910.

Espanyol are widely viewed as a less symbolic entity of Catalan identity than Barça. Following the Spanish Civil War, the Camp Nou became a stronghold for the Catalan language whereas Espanyol adopted the wholly Spanish title Real Club Deportivo Español—this was changed back to the Catalan spelling in 1995.

A co-founder of the Spanish Premier League (La Liga) in 1929, Espanyol have yet to win the coveted title. Their rivalry with their more successful neighbours always creates interest in the city; nevertheless Barça fans would profess their fiercest enmity lies with Real Madrid.

Joan Collet, CEO of Espanyol football club

Photo by Lee Woolcock

Espanyol supporters are just as passionate about their side as those from the city's other football club more

Mar 1, 2012 12:00 AM IN THE CITY 4 Comments

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