Real Betis Balompie
Real Betis Balompie, usually referred to just as Real Betis, are based in Seville in the autonomous Spanish region of Andalusia. Having won the Segunda Division of Spanish football in 2014-15, Real Betis are now playing in the top tier La Liga.
The name Betis derives from the Latin name for the Guadalquivir river which passes through Seville and the Real was added due to the one time patronage of the King of Spain (This link was temporarily removed until after the Spanish Civil War when it was again permissible to mention the monarchy). The club founded in 1907 was the second to be established in Seville two years after the team that were to be their rivals down the years Sevilla FC. The home stadium is known as the Estadio Benito Villamarín in the south of the city of Seville.
Real Betis’s history is one of ups and downs. The 1930s began with a Cup Final defeat losing 3-1 to Atletico Bilbao in 1931. A year later, in Real Betis’s 25th anniversary year, they won their first Segunda Division title and thus became the first club from Andalusia to play in La Liga. Three years later in 1935 , under the guidance of Irish coach Patrick O'Connell, Betis won La Liga, to date their only top division title. Sadly the success was not maintained and when football resumed after the Civil War, Betis were relegated.
The next phase of Real Betis’ history saw just one year in the top tier and from 1947 a decade spent in the third division of Spanish football. When promoted in 1954, Real Betis had the distinction of being the only club to win the championship of every division in Spain! It also retained enormous support, filling its stadium regularly and taking large numbers of supporters to away matches.
In 1958-59 Betis returned to the top division, finishing third in 1964. One of their key players during this period was Luis del Sol who subsequently earned 16 caps for Spain.
Real Betis have as yet never repeated their La Liga victory. But in the Cup competition, it has been a different story. In 1977, the final line-up was a repeat of 1930, Betis’s opponents being Atletico Bilbao – but the result was different. After the match was tied 2-1, Betis won it on penalties. More recently in 2004-5, Betis beat CA Osasuna 2-1.
Returning to La Liga in 2011-12, Betis finished 13th with Ruben Castro scoring no fewer than 27 goals. 2012-13 saw them seventh and qualifying for the Europa League, exiting in the quarter finals (on penalties) to their local rivals Sevilla. After relegation in 2013-14, they are now restored to La Liga again and Reuben Castro will be looking to again flaunt his goal scoring talents in the top league competition in Spain. This should provide interesting watching.
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