One of the oldest clubs in Spain
On 25 January 1890, a group of young men of British, Scot and Spanish origin met in one of the cafes of the Seville city of the Spain’s Andalusian region. The group’s meeting was convened to discuss a proposal regarding the formation of a football club. After a few hours of deliberations, and copious consumption of beer, Club Football de Sevilla was formed.
While the founders of the club contained people of three different origins, those who belonged to the Great Britain enjoyed ascendance. That much can be gauged by the fact that the club’s first president, the Scot Mr. Edward Farquharson, was the British vice-consul in the city. The club’s first captain, Huge Maccoll, as well as its first secretary, Isais White Junior, were both from Scotland as well.
In addition to being one of the oldest two clubs in Spain, Sevilla also holds the honor of playing the first official match in the country’s history with Recreativo de Huelva, which is the oldest club in Spain. The Los Palanganas won that match 2-0, with their player Ritson becoming the first goal-scorer in the history of Spanish football.
Despite being the premier club of Spanish football, Sevilla cannot compete with the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Valencia when it comes to trophies. It has also been relegated more times from La Liga than any other big club in Spain, which is probably the main reason why it has more Segunda Division titles (4) in its trophy cabinet than La Liga trophies (1).
However, while its fortunes in the domestic competition haven’t come of age, the Rojiblancos have been a force to reckon with in Europe, especially in the 2nd decade of the 21st century during which the club won 3 successive UEFA Europa League titles. All those trophies came under the tutelage of manager Unai Emery who enjoys a legendary reputation among the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán residents.
Although Sevilla have traditionally been no pushovers in Europe, as suggested by the club winning three successive Europa League titles, its opponents would have been in more trouble if the Rojiblancos had, hypothetically, keep hold of their star players and not sell them to the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, and Manchester City.
One such player who would surely have elevated Sevilla’s fortunes in La Liga had he stayed at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium for long is Real Madrid legend, Sergio Ramos. The Spanish World Cup winner came through the youth ranks of Sevilla and spent one season playing for the senior side before the Los Blancos identified his potential and snapped him up.
Another star player with which Sevilla fans have a love-hate relationship due to his prior association with the Andalusians is Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic. The Croatian spent three years marshaling Sevilla’s midfield before eventually joining the Catalan giants in the summer of 2014. His move to the Camp Nou proved fruitful for the Swiss-born midfielder who won a plethora of trophies with the mighty Barca.
Upon his move to Barcelona, Rakitic must have had company had he ever wanted to talk about his days in Seville as Dani Alves, the legendary Barcelona right-back also spent six seasons at the Roji Blancos. Unlike Rakitic, who shed no tears after his move to the west of Spain, Alves was highly emotional when Barca paid a then world-record fee for a defender to secure his services.
|Name||Age||Weekly Salary||Contract Until|
|Munir El Haddadi||24||€95,000||2023|
Source: Silly Season
Worst placement in the final table:
Sevilla FC finished the 1973/74 season at 9th place in Segunda Division, the club never finished below that position before that year or since.
Least goals in a season:
Sevilla FC were able to score only 38 goals in both the 1988/89 and 2002/03 season. The club has never scored fewer goals in a 38-match campaign.
Most goals conceded:
During the 1996/97 season, the Rojiblancos conceded a whopping 69 goals in their 42 Primera Division fixtures.
Worst goal difference:
Sevilla FC finished both the 1967/68 seasons with an abnormal goal difference of -25.
Least points scored:
Given the fact that they were relegated at the end of that season, it shouldn’t be surprising that Sevilla managed on 17 points throughout the 1999/00 campaign.
The Rojiblancos managed to win only 5 games throughout the 1999/00 season, after which they were duly relegated.
Ask any Sevilla fan about the greatest achievements in the club’s living memory, and they’d undoubtedly point to the three-season spell between the 2013/14 and 2015/16 seasons as the best time alive to be a Rojiblancos faithful. That’s because it was during this time period that Sevilla, under the tutelage of manager Unai Emery, won three successive Europa League titles.
The club won the first of the three back-to-back trophies by defeating AS Benfica at the Juventus stadium in Turin. No side managed to score a single goal during the initial ninety minutes as well as the thirty given in lieu of extra time. Consequently, the match went to penalties, where the Spanish side converted all of their opening four spot-kicks to win the game, and the title.
A year later, it was Ukrainian outfit Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk who were at the receiving end. Unlike the final from the previous year, this match saw five goals, four of which came in the opening 45 minutes, with the score tied at 2-2 as the referee blew for the half-time whistle. The second half wasn’t as eventful as the first one as a solitary goal from Carlos Bacca won the Spaniards their 2nd successive European trophy.
In the third year running, it was Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool who tasted Sevilla’s prowess in the competition. The Reds took an early lead courtesy of a fine goal from Daniel Sturridge but Sevilla weren’t going away. Starting from a Kevin Gameiro strike in the 46th minute, Unai Emery’s side scored three goals in twenty-four minutes to put the game to bed, and the title in their pocket.
Exactly nineteen years earlier, the club was relegated to the 2nd tier of Spanish football.
Unlike today, La Liga back then comprised 22 football teams, with rules dictating that sides who finished in the last four positions were to spend their next season in Segunda Division. However, it wasn’t the sheer number of teams that dropped that season which led Sevilla to the relegation, with the blame for relegation instead lying at the door of those responsible for managing the club’s affairs.
To prove this point, take the incomings and outgoings from the Roman Sanchez Pizjuan stadium before the 1996/97 season. Despite selling Davor Suker, the club’s main player, to Real Madrid for a £9.90m fee, the side’s higher-ups bungled the transfer money by spending it on the likes of Robert Prosinecki, Vasilios Tsiartas, and Bebeto, players who were anonymous before their arrival in Seville.
The folly of this approach was there for all to see when, while Sevilla were being relegated at the end of the campaign, Suker was receiving the top goal-scorer award for Real Madrid. The Rojiblancos spent only six weeks away from the drop in the whole campaign with the result that when Oviedo, the last side to avoid the drop, defeated them on the last match-day of the season, their relegation was confirmed.
When he made his debut for Sevilla in the 2004/05 season, Antonio Puerta was regarded as one of the best ever players to have come out of the club’s youth ranks. A year later, he added to his status by scoring the goal against Schalke 04 that put the Rojiblancos in their first-ever UEFA Cup final. Sixteen months later, he was dead after suffering a cardiac arrest during a La Liga game.
On August 28, 2007, Sevilla were hosting Getafe on the opening weekend of La Liga. As one of the players for the away side knocked the ball out of play, Puerta was seen going to his knees. Moments later, he collapsed on the pitch, only to get back up as if nothing had happened. His sudden collapse convinced the home side’s medical staff to not take any chances, and so the 22-year-old was subbed off.
After walking on his feet to the dressing room, Puerta collapsed once more, never to rise again. He was immediately taken to the hospital, with TV crews outside the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium showing stills of the player being carried into the ambulance which took him to the hospital where Puerta died after remaining on life support for three days.
As news of his demise began to trickle out, the entire country was stunned. People from all walks of life in Spain traveled down to Sevilla to be at the player’s funeral. Puerta’s coffin, which was laid in the stadium, was paid respects by thousands who waited in line for their turn. Afterward, as his body was carried to the niche, it seemed as if the entire city had lined the streets.
Unfortunately for Puerta, it wasn’t only a promising career that he was leaving behind. Among the innumerable people who were left devastated by his demise was Puerta’s girlfriend, Mar Roldan, who was seven months pregnant with their son. To their credit, Sevilla made Aitor Antonio Puerta Roldan, the son of Puerta, an official club member after his birth, and officially retired the No. 16 worn by the player.
Here are some of the fun facts you might not know about Sevilla FC:
“Empty flash drive”: During his time in Sevilla, Unai Emery once gave a player he suspected of not watching his weekend videos an empty flash drive to check whether his doubt was justified or not. The player returned the flash saying, “Oh brilliant, boss,” said the idler. “Spot on as ever.”
“One of two oldest clubs”: Sevilla FC are one of the two oldest teams in Spain, with the club sharing that honor with another club from Andalusia, Recreativo de Huelva.
“Not going to die with my ideas”: After Ivan Rakitic failed to create many chances, Unai Emery, the then club manager, talked to fans who persuaded him to deploy the Croat in an advanced position in for the November 2013 game at Espanyol. Explaining his decision, Unai quipped after the game: “I’m not going to die with my ideas.”
“Running out of popcorns”: Joaquin, who played under Unai Emery before the Spaniard managed Sevilla to three successive Europa League titles, had this to say about the latter’s obsessiveness with using videos to explain his tactics: “Emery put on so many videos that I ran out of popcorn.”
“Good omen for Spanish side”: Since their first fixture in the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in 1961, the Spanish national team are yet to lose a single game in the arena.
“Kicking the sh*t out of each other”: Describing his fight with then Sevilla manager Carlos Bilardo, Diego Maradona, who spent only one season the 1992/93 season in Seville, said: “We kicked the sh*t out of each other.”
“Hiring a detective”: To keep an eye on Maradona during the only year he spent at the club, club president Luis Cuervas hired the services of a private detective.
“Not fit to play golf”: Unsurprisingly, given the eventful season he had at the club, Diego Maradona received a harsh parting message from club vice-president Jose Marial del Nido who said that the Argentine World Cup winner was ‘’not fit to play golf.”
Details are provided on the age of players, games played, minutes played, goals conceded, games conceded with no goals, yellow cards, red cards, yellow cards.
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