billsportsmaps.com

August 27, 2010

Spain: La Liga, 2010-11 season – Stadia map.

Filed under: Football Stadia,Spain — admin @ 6:17 pm


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Note: to see my latest post on Spanish football, click on the following, category: Spain.

The 2010-11 season of La Liga begins on 28th August. Reigning champions are FC Barcelona. Copa del Rey [aka King's Cup] holders are Sevilla FC.

The map page features a photo of each club’s stadium; each club’s 2010-11 kits; each club’s major domestic titles; and the list of 2009-10 average attendances [domestic leagues] of the 20 clubs.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org and es.wikipedia.org. 2010-11 La Liga.
Primera División de España 2010/11.

Thanks to Bing.com/maps [Bird's Eye view] (link goes to Barcelona/Camp Nou photo), Thanks to futbolmania.wordpress.com (Deportivo La Coruña / Riazor photo).

Thanks to gijondesdeelaire.com(Sporting Gijón / El Molinón photo). Thanks to webdelracing.com [translated] (Racing Santander / El Sardinero photo).

Thanks to MiAthletic.com [translated] (Athletic [Bilbao] / San Mames photo)]. Thanks to estadioanoeta.com (Real Sociedad / Anoeta photo).

Thanks to www.ticket4football.com (Osasuna / Reyna de Navarra photo). Thanks to frikfootball at Flickr.com Zaragoza / La Romareda photo).

Thanks to the comprehensive Spanish football database, BD Futbol.com, www.bdfutbol.com (Espanyol / Estadi Cornelia-El Prat, Mallorca / ONO Estadi and Villarreal / El Madrigal photos).

Thanks to EA UK Community, forums.electronicarts.co.uk (Valencia / Mestalla photo). Thanks to the XV Mediterannean Games [2005] site (Almería / Estadio del Mediterráneo photo). Thanks to losbuquerones.com (Málaga / La Rosaleda [aka the Rose Garden] photo).

Thanks to MagicKiko at www.cochonero.com (Atlético Madrid / Estadio Vicente Calderón photo). Thanks to webrealmadrid.com (Real Madrid / Estadio Santiago Bernebéu photo) [this page is cool because it shows the 5 earlier crests of Real Madrid].

July 27, 2010

Spain: the 3 promoted clubs from Segunda División to La Liga, for the 2010-11 season.

Filed under: Football Stadia,Spain — admin @ 6:28 pm

http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/2010-promoted_spain_post.gif


La Liga official site…www.lfp.es [translated].

The map page shows the 3 clubs that were promoted in Spain, in June 2010, from the Segunda División to La Liga, for the 2010-11 season. 3 or 4 photos of each club’s stadium are shown on the map page, along with club info.
{2010-11 La Liga at en.wikipedoa.org}.
{Segunda División 2010-11 map from en.wikipedia.org}.

Real Sociedad won the 2009-10 Segunda División title and return to La Liga after 3 seasons in the second division. Real Sociedad de Fútbol are from the Basque Country city of San Sebastián, which is on the southern coast of the Bay Of Biscay.

San Sebastián has a metropolitan area population of around 393,000 {European Spatial Planning Network figure from 2007; see this list}. San Sebastián is the 17th largest metro area in Spain, and the fourth largest city in the Greater Basque Region [Bilbao is the largest Basque city {see this}]. The Greater Region of the Basque Country [as defined by Basque nationalists] {see this} includes two political divisions of Spain…the Basque Country, and the Autonomous Community of Navarre; as well as three small historical provinces in France (which is sometimes called the Northern Basque country)…Lower Navarre, Labourd, and Soule.

Real Sociedad were one of the founding members, in 1929, of the first season of La Liga (which had 10 clubs playing 18 matches, and was won by Barcelona) {1929 – first season of Primera División [aka La Liga]}.

Real Sociedad has played 63 seasons in La Liga, and have two national titles to their name…back-to-back La Liga championships in 1980-81 and 1981-82. Real Sociedad have won 2 Copa del Rey titles. The two were won almost 8 decades apart…their first in 1909 [which preceded the club's official formation, but this title is ascribed by most to Real Sociedad] , and their second in 1987.

In 2002-03, a third La Liga title was within Real Sociedad’s grasp, but the Txuri-Urdin, or white-blue, agonizingly lost first place to Real Madrid on the 37th match day. That Real Sociedad squad featured local talent and Spanish national team World Cup winner Xabi Alonso, and the Turkish striker Nihat Kahveci. The club never recovered from that… they finished 15th the following season, and then had finishes of 14th place, then 16th place, and then 19th place and relegation in 2007.

Real Sociedad have a pretty sizable fan base. In their failed title run of 2002-03, they averaged 27,743 per game, and when they got relegted 4 seasons later, they drew 23,076. Last season in their promotion campaign, they drew 19,927 per game, second highest in the Segunda División (behind only the faltering, underacheiving giants Real Betis, who drew 28,730 for their second season in their latest spell in the second tier).

Real Sociedad play at Anoeta, which opened in 1993. Anoeta is one of those faceless structures which is basically a concrete doughnut. The 32,000-capacity municipal facility is also marred by it’s running track. The club had attempted to have a redevelopment of Anoeta, including an expansion and a removal of the running track, but the city government rejected that proposal 6 years ago. Anoeta is also sometimes used by two Basque rugby clubs, Biarritz (who are based just across the border in France), and Bayonne (also based in France). Here is another photo of Anoeta, from the Soccerway.com site {Real Sociedad/Venue at www.soccerway.com}.

The other two clubs promoted to the 2010-11 La Liga are both from the Valencian Autonomous Community… Levante UD, who are from the city of Valencia, and Hércules CF, who are from the city of Alicante.
{Valencian Community [en.wikipedia.org]} ; {Valencian Community @ All About Spain site}.

Second place in the 2009-10 Segunda División were Valencian club Levante. [Valencia is the fourth largest city in Spain, and the third-largest metropolitan area. Valencia has a city population of around 814,000 {2009 figure}, and, as Valencia-Sagunto, it has a metro area population of around 1.5 million {ESOPN figure, 2007}.

Levante UD have only played 5 seasons in La Liga, and their fan base is dwarfed by local rivals Valencia CF...Levante drew only 7,814 per game last season, and during their last 2-season-spell in the top flight, they drew 16,799 per game in 2006-07 and 12,330 per game in 2007-08. If that 07/08 figure looks pretty low compared to the 06/07 figure, that's because most everyone knew that Levante were doomed to be relegated in 2008, seeing as how they were in a huge financial mess, and evidently had only been paying their players around 20% of their wages (wages were eventually payed via a quasi-testimonial match). Levante play at the municipal stadium, Ciutat de Valencia, which has a capacity of 23,500 and looks like it would be nice place to see a match, with deecnt, backed seats in stands pretty close to the pitch; and for a dry part of Spain it still does feature a certain percentage of covered seats (the second link right below shows a photo with a roofed part of the stand). Here is a good panoramic photo of 'Nou Estadi Ciutat de Valencia (Levante UD) ', by Sascha Drenth at Panoramio.com . {Levante/Venue at Soccerway.com}.

Levante do have one major title to their name, but seeing as they won the Copa de La España Libre title back in 1937, which was during the Spanish Civil War, and which ended up being a one-time only competition that comprised just 4 teams, you might want to put an asterisk next to that trophy. There were no La Liga seasons for three years (1936-37, 1937-38, and 1938-39), and there was no Cop del Rey competrition in 1937 and 1938. In 1937 Franco's army controlled several areas of the country (in the north and the south) which meant clubs from Seville (Real Betis and Sevilla), the Basque Country (Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad), and Galicia (Celta Vigo and Deportivo La Coruña) were cut off from clubs in the Republican-controlled areas. There were just 12 clubs in La Liga back then, so that meant half the league was cut off from the other half. The Republican strongholds included 3 of the 4 major cities...Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia, and a good portion of the surrounding countryside. So La Liga was suspended for 3 seasons, and the Copa del Rey for 2 seasons. In the place of the League was the Mediterranean League (1937, won by Barcelona) and then the Catalan League (never completed). In place of the national Cup in 1937 was the Copa de la España Libre. Barcelona (wisely , I would say) opted to not enter this competition, and FC Barcelona toured Mexico that summer. In their place went Levante, and Levante went on the beat Valencia 1-0 in the final at Monjuic in Barcelona on 18 July, 1937. The 4 clubs that competed in the Copa de la España Libre {see this} were Valencia, Espanyol, Levante, and a small club from the Catalonian city of Girona, Girona FC. [Girona have never been in the top flight and are currently in Segunda División. Girona is 85 km. northeast of Barcelona].

Hércules, who have played 19 seasons of La Liga football, won the third promotion spot, and will return to La Liga after a 13-year absence (which included 5 seasons in the third division from 2000 to 2005). Hércules CF are from the Valencian Community city of Alicante, which is part of the Alicante-Elche metropolitan area, and is the 8th largest metro area in Spain, with a metro population of around 793,000 {ESOPN figure, 2007}. The city of Alicante itself has a population of around 335,000 {2009 figure}. Alicante is 125 km. (78 miles) south-west of Valencia. Hérclues play at the 30,000-capacity Estadio José Rico Pérez, which might seem rather large for a club that has yet to play two decades worth of seasons in the top top flight (a third division club, Alicante CF, also uses the stadium). But the Estadio José Rico Pérez (built in 1974) is that large because it was one of the venues for the 1982 World Cup. Anyway, seeing as how Hércules drew 14,186 per game last season, and factoring in the inevitable post-promotion-attendance-increase, I don’t think the stadium will be that empty this season. Here is another photo of the stadium {Hércules/Venue at Soccerway.com}. It looks like a stadium in Argentina, with the one tall and steep stand, and all the stands so close to the pitch.
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Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedi.org and es.wikipedia.org,
2010-11 La Liga.
Primera División de España [es.wikipedia.org].
Thanks to Soccerway.com, for the 09/10 final table.
Thanks to Demis.nl, for the blank map of Spain. demis.nl/home.
Thanks to E-F-S site, for attendance figures, E-F-S, attendances/Espana.

June 15, 2010

2010 FIFA World Cup: Spain, 23-man roster.

Filed under: FIFA World Cup, 2010,Spain — admin @ 11:44 am

Note: if you want to see my latest post on Spanish 1st division football (aka La Liga), click on the following…http://billsportsmaps.com/?category_name=spain.
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Spain 2010 World Cup squad.


The map shows the birthplaces of the players on the Spain national football team which played in South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Spain went on to win their first World Cup title, defeating the Netherlands 1-0 in the final, with the winning goal scored by MF Andrés Iniesta in the 116th minute of AET.
At the bottom left of the map page are photos of all the Spain national team players who made appearances in the 2010 World Cup (20 player photos, all in the gear of each player’s professional club). International appearances (aka caps) and international goals are up to date as of 11th July, 2010 (that is, the close of the 2010 World Cup).
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Professional clubs of the Spain squad…
In Spain:
FC Barcelona – 8 players.
Real Madrid CF – 5 players.
Valencia CF – 3 players.
Athletic Club [Bilbao] – 2 players.
Sevilla FC – 1 player.
Villarreal CF – 1 player.

In England:
Liverpool FC – 2 players.
Arsenal FC – 1 player.
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From the Guardian.co.uk/The Knowledge, from 7 July, 2010, by John Ashdown, ‘ Are Spain the most one-club reliant team in World Cup history?‘.
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Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, Spain national football team.
Thanks to Demis.nl, for the base map of Spain. Thanks to UK Soccer Shop.com, for the Spain jerseys.
Thanks to DirtyTackle site, for the star-above-the-crest idea.

August 26, 2009

Spain, La Liga 2009-2010 season: Map and chart, with cities represented; and attendances from 08/09.

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,Spain — admin @ 4:18 pm

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Note: to see my latest post on Spanish football, click on the following, category: Spain.

At the far right,  average attendances from last season are shown via proportionally sized club crests.  At the lower right-center is the list of the cities in Spain which have clubs in the 2009-2010 La Liga season.  Here is the list I used for city/metro area population and rank {click here (‘List of metropolitan areas in Spain by populatiion’,  from en.wikipedia.org)}. 

The 09/10 La Liga season starts on Saturday,  29th August,  with two matches;  and Sunday the 30th,  with 8 matches.  Here are fixtures {click here (BBC)}.

‘La Liga 2009-2010: A Season Preview (Part One)’, by Andy Pineda at La Liga Talk.com {click here}.  (Part Two), {click here}.

Thanks to the European Football Statistics site,  for the attendance figures {click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikipedia {click here (set at La Liga 2009-10 page)}.   Thanks to European Spatial Planning Observation Network (ESOPN) {click here}. 

June 13, 2009

Spain: the 3 promoted clubs in the 2008-09 season, from the Segunda Division to La Liga.

Filed under: Football Stadia,Spain — admin @ 4:02 pm

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One more weekend remains in Spain’s Segunda Division,  but all 3 clubs at the top have clinched promotion…CD Tenerife,  Xerez CD,  and Real Zaragoza. 

CD Tenerife are the most successful football club from the Canary Islands. The club plays in the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the second-most populous city in the autonomous community of the Canary Islands. Its metro-area has a population of 399,000 (2008 estimate).  CD Tenerife count a significant amount of English expatriates as supporters;  see this site { http://www.armadasur.com/cd-tenerife-football-supporters-club/ }.  CD Tenerife have spent 12 seasons in La Liga. Tenerife’s second-to-last spell in La Liga included two impressive UEFA Cup runs (making it to the round of 16 in 1992,  and to the semi-finals in 1995),  but they were relegated in 1999.  Tenerife gained promotion two seasons later,  but were relegated the next year.  They drew 16,684 in 2001-02,  their last season in La Liga.  Tenerife will probably surpass that figure in 2009-10,  seeing as how they drew in the high 15,000′s this season in the 2nd division.     

Xerez CD are from Jerez de la Frontera, Andalusia,  57 miles from Gibraltar.  The region got an early start in football,  in the late nineteenth century (owing to the sherry production in the area,  which drew an English presence),  and Xerez Fútbol Club was founded in 1909.  This club merged with Club Deportivo Jerez in 1947 to create Xerez Club Deportivo.   The club has never been in the first division.  Xerez drew 9,110 per game in 2008-09.

Real Zaragoza bounces straight back to La Liga after one season in the Segunda Division.  The club is from the city of Zaragoza,  which is in the autonomous community and former kingdom of Aragon.  The city is the fifth largest in Spain, with a population of 682,000,  and a metropolitan population of 783,000 (2006 estimates).  The club has spent 54 seasons in the first division,  and the La Liga all-time table has Real Zaragoza in the 9th position {see this}.  The club could be described as cup specialists,  as they have never really challenged for the La Liga title (with just one second place finish),  but have won the Copa del Rey 6 times (most recently in 2004).  Zaragoza play at La Romareda,  which has a capacity of 34,596.  The club drew 30,711 in 2007-08,  their last season in La Liga.  

Thanks to  WorldFootball.net,  for Segunda Division attendance figures {click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikimedia {click here (2009-2010 La Liga page)}.

December 12, 2008

Spain: Clubs in La Liga, by Autonomous Communities.

Filed under: Spain — admin @ 11:39 am

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Note: to see my latest post on Spanish football, click on the following, category: Spain.

The autonomous communities of Spain underscore how decentralized the country is.  In fact,  the central government of Spain accounts for just 18% of public spending,  while 38% is allocated to the regional governments,  13% to the local councils,  and 31% to the social security system  {see this}.

The 17 autonomous communities are the first level of political sub-division in Spain.  The roots of the autonomous community system can be traced to the late nineteenth century,  following Spain’s defeat to the United States in the Spanish-American War.  Many viewed the country’s highly centralized political and economic systems as antiquated and unworkable. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states: “Groups in Catalonia,  the Basque region,  and Galicia who wanted to free their regions from the ‘Castilian corpse’ began movements for regional autonomy,  and a number of influential regional political parties consolidated their strength.”  {see this}.

This ultimately led to the Second Spanish Republic,  established in 1931 {see this}.  The push for regional autonomy,  of course,  was set back by the outcome of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939),  and the nationalist and Fascist dictatorship of Genralissimo Francisco Franco (from the end of the civil war to his death in 1975).  

In 1978 the framework was established for the autonomous communities.  The three regions which had long pushed for more autonomy or even outright independance… Catalonia,  the Basque Provinces,  and Galicia… were designated “historical nationalities”.  These three regions were permitted to gain autonomy through a rapid and simplified process:  Catalonia and the Basque Country by 1979,  and Galicia by 1981.  By May, 1983, the entire country was divided into the 17 autonomous communities.  Two colonial possessions in Africa,  on the southern Meditterrranean coast,  were designated autonomous cities in 1995:  Ceuta {see this} and Melilla {see this}.

Andalusia  (Andalucia in Spanish )  is the most populous, and second largest autonomous community.  The roots of the green and white in the Andalucian flag can be traced all the way back to the late 12th century,  during the battle of Alarcos (1195)  {see this (from the Historical Flags site) }.   This was during the Almohad  Dynasty (1121-1269)  {see this}.   The Reconquista gradually pushed back the Moorish domination of southern and central Spain until all that remained by 1390 was the kingdom of Granada  {see this time-lapse map: Progress of the Reconquista}.   The Emirate of Granada {see this} existed for 264 years,  in the latter decades as a vassal to Castile.  Control of the region was surrendered to King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella (monarchs of Castile) in 1492.   The flag for Andalucia maintains the green of the Moorish past,  and indeed the white is for the Uymayid Empire,  of which Andalucia was a part of prior to the Reconquista  {again,  see this,  specifically the 3rd proposed flag listed (ie, the flag of Andalusia)}.  The green bands represent the Guadiana and Guadalquivir Rivers. 

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There are 5 clubs from Andalusia currently in Spain’s top football league,  the Liga Futbol Profesional Primera Division (aka “La Liga”).  They are Real Betis,  and Sevilla FC  (both from the city of Sevilla);  RC Recreativo de Huelva,  from western Andalusia;  Malaga CF;  and UD Almeria,  from eastern Andalusia.

Spain’s capital,  Madrid ,  is an autonomous community of the same name.  There are 3 clubs currently in La Liga from Madrid:  Real Madrid CFAtletico de Madrid,  both from Madrid proper;  and Getafe CF,  which is just south of the central city.  Real Madrid evokes the concept of a strong centralized Spain with the mulberry band of the Region of Castile (since 2001, the color of the band in the crest has been altered slightly to a more bluish-purple).   Historically, the Kingdom of Castile and its people were considered to be the main architects of the Spanish State,  through expansion to the south (with the expulsion of the Muslim Moors),  and the annexation of their smaller eastern and western neighbors (through wars,  royal marriages,  and assimilation).    Franco supported Real Madrid,  indeed,  so did much of the entire upper-echelon of the central government in the era from post-WW II to the mid-1970s.  However,  there is little evidence that Franco or the government had any comprehensive influence on the success of Real Madrid,  as did regimes towards chosen clubs in other countries (such as East Germany) which similarly suffered under corrupt and repressive governments.  That being said,  it is unquestionable that Franco had a hand in forcing Barcelona to give up claims that they had the right to sign the Argentinian midfielder Alfredo di Stefano in 1953 {see this, specifically the bottom half of the third paragraph}.  Di Stefano went on to lead and captain Real Madrid throughout their glory days in the mid 1950s and early 1960s,  and he deserves credit for being a big part of what made Real Madrid the huge club that they are today.   

Catalonia  (Catalunya  in Catalonian ) is the second most populous autonomous community.   Here is Wikipedia’s page on Catalonia  {Click here}.   FC Barcelona incorporates the Catalan flag in its crest,  and the club considers itself the ‘national’ football club of Catalonia.   RCD Espanyol has about one-third the fan base as FC Barcelona (2007-08 average attendances: FC Barcelona, 67,560 / RCD Espanyol, 21,870).  Espanyol’s full name is translated as Royal Spanish Sports Club of Barcelona.  The club used the Catalan spelling of its name from 1931 to 1939,  but was then forced to change back to the Spanish during the Franco era as part of a central government repression on regionalist identity.  In 1995,  the official club name was changed again,  back to the Catalonian language.

The rivalry between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona has a huge underlying subtext…that of the overall tension between a strong central Spainish state (as represented by Real Madrid) versus the push for autonomy and/ or independence of the regions (as represented by FC Barcelona). And there is a further element to this, as pointed out in the following article at insidespanishfootball.com, ‘To determine whether someone favors right-wing or left-wing politics in Spain can be found out by asking them which is their second favorite team. If they answer ‘Real Madrid’ they are right-wing and if they answer ‘FC Barcelona’ they are almost certainly left-wing.’(quote from ‘Politics – Deep in the veins of Spanish football‘ at insidespanishfootball.com).

The Valencian Community  is located on Spain’s eastern Mediterannean coast,  and is comprised of three provinces,  two of which can boast of a club currently in La Liga.  The province of Valencia is home to Valencia CF.  Valencia are the third-most supported club in Spain,  after Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.  Valencia’s club crest features the colors of the Valencian flag (the bat is also in the city’s coat of arms {see this}).   Levante UD also hail from the city of Valencia;  they were relegated from La Liga in the spring of 2008.   The province of Castellon is home to Villarreal CF.  This club’s nickname is El Submarino Amarillo (the Yellow Submarine),  for their all-yellow kit.  Villarreal also has the Valencian flag’s colors in their crest.   Villarreal are currently near the top of the table,  remarkable for a club whose hometown is not on most maps (the population of Vila-real is around 49,000).   The southern-most province of the Valencian Community is Albacete,  whose club of the same name were last in the top flight in 2006.

Castile and Leon  (in English: castle and lion) is the largest autonomous community in size.  It is also one of the largest subdivisions in the European Union.  The name castile has its origins in the many castles that defended the region in the Middle Ages during the Reconquista.   Two clubs from this subdivision are currently in La Liga:   Real Valladolid,  and the small club from Soria called CD Numancia.

Galicia  is in northwest Spain:  Deportiva La Coruna are from here.  Celta Vigo,  who were just relegated last spring,  also call this region home.

Asturias  is east of Galicia:  home of Real Sporting de Gijon.  This club was just promoted,  but it has a considerable fan base,  and has spent 37 seasons in the first division.

Cantabria  is east of Asturias.   Real Racing Club de Santander call this region home.

The Basque Country  currently has one club in La Liga:  Athletic Bilbao.   This storied, never-relegated club only signs players from the 4 Basque provinces in Spain:  Biscay,  Guipuzcoa,  Alava,  and Navarre,  plus the 3 Basque provinces in France:  Labourd,  Soule,  and Lower Navarre.   Real Sociedad are also from the Basque Country;  they were relegated in 2007.  Likewise,  Deportivo Alaves,  who were relegated in 2006. [Likewise SD Eibar, who won promotion to La Liga for the first-time-ever for 2014-15, becoming the smallest club to ever play in the Spanish 1st division (with crowds in the 3-K-range when promoted).]

Navarre  is not officially part of the Basque Country,  but a map of predominantly Basque-speaking areas of the region shows how strong the Basque influence is here,  especially in the north of Navarre {see this}.  CA Osasuna hail from this region,  in the city of Pamplona.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages in Wikipedia that were referenced,  and to the Encyclopaedia Britannica on-line.  Thanks to David Goldblatt,  and his book “The Ball Is Round,  A Global History of Football”,  published by Penguin Books.  Thanks to  the Flags of the World site  {Click here}.   Thanks to the Albion Road site  {the link is set to La Liga clubs…Click here}.

August 29, 2008

Spain: La Liga, Clubs in the 2008-09 Season (with 07/08 Final Standings Chart, and 07/08 Attendance Map).

Filed under: Spain — admin @ 10:19 pm

[Please note: to see my newest post on football in Spain, click the 'Spain' category.]
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Spain’s Liga de Futbol Professional, almost universally known as La Liga, begins its 78th season on the weekend of 30th and 31st August.  

The reigning champions are Real Madrid.  The giant club from the capital city has won the title 31 times.  Barcelona (second on the list, with 18 titles) had a disorganized season in 07/08, and hope to regroup.  In fact they finished in 3rd place;  2nd place went to plucky Villarreal, who continue to punch above their weight.  This is a club from a small town of 48,000, 35 miles north of Valencia.  That they could actually be in Spain’s top flight is remarkable enough.  But to make it to the Champions League Semi-Finals (in 2005-’06), and now place second in La Liga, is amazing.  In 1999-2000, the season that they were first promoted to La Liga, Villarreal were drawing only around 8,ooo per game (they draw around 19,000 these days).

In the Group Stage of the 2008-’09 Champions League,  Real Madrid are in Group H,  with Juventus,  Zenit St. Petersburg,  and BATE Borisov (of Belarus).    Villarreal are in Group E,  with Manchester United,  Celtic, and  AaB Aalborg (of Denmark).   Barcelona are in Group C,  with Sporting [Lisbon],  Shakhtar Donetsk (of Ukraine),  and FC Basel (of Switzerland).   Atletico Madrid are in Group D (see below).  

Fourth place went to perennial underachievers Atletico Madrid, who seem poised to begin a new, more successful chapter in their club’s history, with their qualification for the Group Stage of the Champions League.  Wednesday, Atletico won 4-0 over the German club FC Schalke 04 (who also are a big club that has underachieved in the recent past).  This clinched advancement to the holy grail of the Champions League.  Atletico Madrid have been drawn into a very competive group, with Liverpool, PSV Eindhoven, and Marseille.  All four of these clubs have a viable shot at advancement {See this (from the UEFA site)}.

Fifth place went to Sevilla, who failed to equal their impressive 3rd place finish of 06/07, and will have to content themselves with a 1st Round UEFA Cup appearance (a competition which they won, twice straight, in 2005 and 2006). 

Sixth place went to Racing Santander.  This is a  medium sized club (with an average gate of around 17,000) whose defining characteristic has been the ability to survive the drop, year after year, without any sort of distinction.  So their first-ever qualification for the UEFA Cup is definitely cause for celebration up north in Cantabria.

Spain’s final UEFA Cup spot went to Valencia, who had a disasterous La Liga season in 07/08 (with a 10th place finish).  But Valencia salvaged the season with a win over Getafe in the Copa del Rey, thus qualifiying them for European competition.

There is one more Spanish club to qualify for the UEFA Cup, via the Intertoto Cup:  Deportivo La Coruna.    {Click here to see  all the clubs in the 08/09 UEFA Cup.}

Here are the final standings from La Liga 07/08 {Click here (ESPN Soccer Net)}.

Here are the leading scorers from 07/08 {Click here}.

Thanks to Demis, of the Netherlands, for the base map  {Click here}.     Thanks to European Football Statistics  {Click here}, for the attendance figures.    Thanks to Ahmed, at Soccer Lens, for linking up with, and featuring, some of my recent maps.

August 18, 2008

Spain: La Liga, Clubs in the 2008-09 Season (with 07/08 attendance map).

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,Spain — admin @ 2:14 pm

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Note: to see my latest post on Spanish football, click on the following, category: Spain.

The 30th of August will see the opening of the 78th season of Spain’s Liga de Futbol Professional,  popularly known as La Liga.   The map shows the 20 clubs in the 2008-’09 season.  Club crests are sized to reflect each club’s average attendance from 07/08. 

Last season, La Liga averaged 29,124 per game {see this}.  That figure will probably go down this season, though.  This is primarily because Real Zaragoza, who drew 30,000 per game last season, were relegated,  and one of the three promoted clubs is Numancia (who drew only around 5,000 a game last season).

Since 2002-’03,  La Liga has been averaging between 28,500 and 29,200 per game.   The way it stands now,  La Liga has two clubs that draw over 60,000 (reigning champions Real Madrid, and Barcelona);  five clubs that draw between 35,000 and 45,000 (Atletico Madrid, Valencia,  Sevilla,  Real Betis, and Athletic Bilbao);  9 clubs that draw between 17,000 and 24,000 (Murcia,  EspanyolVillarrealMallorcaDeportivo La CorunaValladolid Racing Santander,  Recreativo Huelva,  and Osasuna);  and some medium-small sized clubs that usually survive a year or to, or go straight back down to the Segunda Division.  The exception to this last category has come to be Getafe, the rather tiny club from a heavily industrialized region just south of Madrid’s city center, who were formed in 1983.  This club is hard pressed to draw more than 10,000 a game, yet has thrived in their first 4 seasons in La Liga, and made it to the Quarter-Finals of the UEFA Cup last season.  Another example of this may be under way on the southeast coast, in eastern Andalusia, where top flight novices Almeria (established in 1989), finished in 8th place last season, and drew around 15,000 per game.  {See this profile, from the Albion Road site}.  Five years ago, new to the second tier, Almeria averaged  only 5,800.

Thanks to Demis, of the Netherlands, for the base map {Click here}. 

Thanks to European Football Statistics, for the attentance figures {Click here}.

Thanks to the Spanish Football & Sports site, for linking to this post   {Click here}.

May 21, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008: Spain. National Football Team- Squad Map.

Filed under: Spain,UEFA Euro 2008 — admin @ 5:16 pm

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Last Saturday, Spanish National Team coach Luis Aragones released his roster for Euro 2008.  Here is an article on this, from the ESPN site {click here}.

This map shows the birthplaces of all the members of the Euro 2008 Spanish National Football Team.  Each players’ international appearances (Caps), and goals, are listed. Each player’s current club is listed.  And with each player, I have also listed the first pro club they played for, along with any youth club or academy they might have played for.

[**{Click here}, for Wikipedia's page on the UEFA Euro 2008 competition, which will be hosted by Austria and Switzerland.  It starts on 7th June.]

The 15 largest cities in Spain (which includes the Canary Islands, and the Ballearic Islands) are shown on the map.  **{Click here, for the full list of Spanish Cities, by population.}

Thanks Wikimedia Commons, and www.demis.nl, for the Spain Blank Map.  Thanks to the UEFA site {click here}, for the Spanish National Team 2008 Euro kits.  Photo credits are on the map.

February 23, 2008

Spain: La Liga, 2007-08 Season: Zoom Map.

Filed under: Spain,Zoom Maps — admin @ 3:43 am

Note: to see my latest post on Spanish football, click on the following, category: Spain.

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Continuing my new series of  ”Zoom Maps,”  here is La Liga, 2007-08 season. 

The rankings next to each club’s name are based on total points won (all time).  You can see the full list here, from the RSSSF site:  http://www.rsssf.com/tabless/spanalltime.html

This system of ranking has its flaws (like skewing more heavily towards the recent years, when 3 points replaced 2 points for a win) but I have noticed that it is often referred to when Spanish clubs are discussed (well, in FourFourTwo magazine, at least).

The official name of the Spanish first division is the Liga de Futbol Professional (LFP).  It is commonly known as “La Liga.”  It was founded in 1929, and only 9 clubs have been crowned Campeones de Liga.  They are:  Real Madrid (30 times, and reigning champions);  FC Barcelona (18 times, last in 2006);  Atletico Madrid (9 times, last in 1996);  Athletic Bilbao (8 times, last in 1984);  Valencia (6 times, last in 2004);  Real Sociedad (2 times, last in 1982.  They are currently in the second division, having been relegated last spring.);  Deportivo La Coruna (2000);  Sevilla (1946);  and Real Betis (1945).

Click here, for Wikipedia’s entry on La Liga:  http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Liga 

On the map, League Titles, cups won (the Copa del Rey), and seasons in the top flight are included.  Also included are each club’s stadium, and it’s capacity; and each club’s full name.

**Click here, for the current standings in La Liga.

**Click here, for 2007-’08 Spanish attendance statistics.

Thanks to the Colours Of Football site, for the kits: http://www.colours-of-football.com.

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