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|Full name||Real Betis Balompié, S.A.D.|
|Nickname(s)||Béticos, Béticos del Universo
Verdiblancos (The Green-and-Whites)
Heliopolitanos (The Ones from Heliópolis)
|Founded||12 September 1907|
|Ground||Benito Villamarín, Seville,
|2011–12||La Liga, 13th|
|Website||Club home page|
Real Betis Balompié, S.A.D., more commonly referred to as Real Betis (pronounced: [reˈal ˈβetis]), is a Spanish football club based in Seville, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Founded on 12 September 1907, it currently plays in La Liga, holding home games at Estadio Benito Villamarín in the south of the city.
Both the King of Spain Juan Carlos I and his son Prince Felipe de Borbon are honorary members of the club. Maintaining an historic city rivalry with Sevilla FC, its motto is Viva er Betis manque pierda! ("Long live Betis even when they lose!").
The name is derived from benimakada Baetis, the Roman name for the Guadalquivir river. Betis initially attracted support from the working classes although a large number of aristocrats, including the King of Spain also supported the team. Real was added in 1914 after the club received patronage from King Alfonso XIII.
Betis' city rivals Sevilla Football Club were the first club in Seville, founded in October 1905, while a second club, Sevilla Balompié, were established in September 1907. Balompié translates literally as football, as opposed to the most commonly adopted anglicised version, futbol. Balompié was founded by students from the local Polytechnic Academy, and were in operation for two years before being officially recognised (in 1909), despite this 1907 remains the official foundation date of the club.
Following an internal split from Sevilla FC, another club was formed, Betis Football Club. In 1914 they merged with Sevilla Balompié. The club received its royal patronage in the same year, and therefore adopted the name Real Betis Balompié.
Fans continued to refer to the club as Balompié, and were themselves known as Los Balompedistas, until the 1930s when Betis and the adjective Béticos became common terminology when discussing the club and its followers.
1930s: promotion, championship and relegation 
During the Spanish Second Republic (1931-1939), royal patronage of all organisations was nullified, and thus the club was known as Betis Balompié until after the Spanish Civil War when it would revert to the full name. The club reached the Copa del Rey final for the first time on 21 June 1931, when it lost 3-1 to Athletic Bilbao in Madrid. Betis marked their 25th anniversary year by winning their first Segunda División title in 1932, finishing two pints ahead of Real Oviedo, thus becoming the first club from Andalusia to play in La Liga.
A year later Betis went down to seventh. This was due to the dismantling of the championship-winning team because of the club's poor economic situation and the arrival of the Civil War, meaning that just 15 months after lifting the league title only two players who won in 1935 were left: Peral and Saro. No official league was held during the Civil War between 1936 and 1939, until its resumption for the 1939-40 season and the first year back highlighted Betis' decline as exactly five years after winning the title the club was relegated.
Darkest period 
Despite a brief return to the top division, which lasted only one season, the club continued to decline and in 1947 the worst fears were reached when they were relegated to Tercera División. Many fans see the ten years they spent in the category as key to the 'identity' and 'soul' of the club, a time that saw it win sympathies all across Spain. During this time Betis earned a reputation for filling its stadium and having a massive support at away matches, known as the Green March.
When the side returned to the second level in 1954, it gained the distinction of being the only club in Spain to have won all three major divisions' titles. Much of the credit for guiding Betis through this dark period and back into the Segunda lies with chairman Manuel Ruiz Rodríguez.
Benito Villamarín 
In 1955, Manuel Ruiz Rodríguez stepped down from running the club believing he couldn't offer further economic growth, he was replaced by Betis most famous former president Benito Villamarín. During his reign Betis returned to the top division in 1958–59 and achieved a best-ever third position in 1964. His purchase of the Estadio Heliópolis in 1961 is seen as a key point in the history of the club - the grounds were called the Estadio Benito Villamarín until 1997.
Villamarín is also credited with helping launch rising star Luis del Sol, who would go on to earn 16 caps for Spain, but also had to make unpopular decisions such as selling him. Villamarín would step aside after 10 years at the helm and would die of cancer one year later, in 1966.
Just one year after Villamarín's departure the club would again be relegated to division two, then rising and falling almost consecutively until consolidating their place in the top level from 1974–75.
Copa del Rey success and Europe 
On 25 June 1977, Betis played Athletic Bilbao at the Vicente Calderón Stadium, Madrid, in the Copa del Rey final. The match finished 2–2, with Betis winning 8–7 after a staggering 21 penalties. This rounded off a solid season in which the club finished fifth in the league.
After that triumph, Betis competed in the European Cup Winners' Cup: after knocking out A.C. Milan 3–2 on aggregate in the first round, the side reached the quarterfinals where they lost to FC Dynamo Moscow. In spite of a good overall performance in Europe, the team suffered league relegation.
The following year Betis quickly returned to the top flight and a period of good times for the club. The next three seasons saw three top-six finishes, and UEFA Cup qualification in 1982 and 1984. 1982 saw a first round defeat to S.L. Benfica, who would go on lose in the final, and the next participation also ended in the first round, on penalties against FC Universitatea Craiova.
During the summer of 1982, the Benito Villamarín hosted two matches as part of the 1982 FIFA World Cup, and also witnessed the Spanish national team's famous 12–1 hammering of Malta in order to qualify for UEFA Euro 1984.
Economic crisis and Manuel Ruiz de Lopera 
Betis again returned to a club rising and falling from the First almost every season until 1992 when it was forced to meet new rules and regulations, meaning the club was required to cover a capital of 1,200 million pesetas, roughly double that of all the first and second division teams, despite being in level two at the time.
In just three months the fans raised 400 million pesetas, an equivalent to between 60-100% of most top division teams, and vice-president Manuel Ruiz de Lopera stepped in providing economic guarantee while himself becoming majority shareholder as the team narrowly avoided relegation.
Serra Ferrer success 
After another three seasons in the second division, with the club managed by Lorenzo Serra Ferrer, Betis returned to the top flight for the 1994–95 season, subsequently overachieving for a final third position, thus qualifying to the UEFA Cup.
In the European campaign, Betis knocked out Fenerbahçe SK (4–1 on aggregate) and 1. FC Kaiserslautern (4–1) before losing to defeated finalists FC Girondins de Bordeaux (3–2). In 1997, thirty years after winning the trophy for the first time, the club returned to the final of the Spanish Cup, again in Madrid, although this time at the Santiago Bernabéu, losing 2–3 against Barcelona, after extra time.
Incidentally Barça was the club Serra Ferrer would leave Betis for that summer, to be replaced by former player Luis Aragonés. Aragonés would only last one season with the club leading in to the eighth position, and to the quarterfinals in the Cup Winners' Cup, losing 2–5 on aggregate to eventual winners Chelsea.
Aragonés was followed by the controversial reign of Javier Clemente, who spat on a fan and implied Andalusia was another country! The team slipped down the table, finishing eleventh and being knocked out of the UEFA Cup by Bologna F.C. 1909 in the third round. For the next couple of seasons Betis went through numerous managers, a relegation and a promotion, after which the team finished sixth in the league, with Juande Ramos at the helm.
Ramos was gone after just one season, being replaced by former Cup Winners' Cup-winning manager Víctor Fernández. He led the team to eighth and ninth in the league and the third round of the 2002–03 UEFA Cup, being knocked out by AJ Auxerre (1–2 on aggregate), during his two-year reign.
For 2004, Fernandez was replaced by the returning Serra Ferrer who guided the team to the fourth position in the top flight. They also returned to the Vicente Calderón, on 11 June 2005 for the domestic cup final, lifting the trophy for only the second time after an extra-time winner by youth graduate Dani, in a 2–1 win against CA Osasuna.
The league finish meant Betis became the first Andalucian team to compete in the UEFA Champions League, and it reached the group stage after disposing of AS Monaco FC in the last qualifying round (3–2 on aggregate). Drawn in Group G, and in spite of a 1–0 home win against Chelsea, the club eventually finished third, being "demoted" to the UEFA Cup, where it would be ousted in the round of 16 by defeated FC Steaua Bucureşti (0–0 away draw, 0–3 home loss).
Centenary celebrations 
Betis celebrated their centenary year in 2007. The festivities included a special match against AC Milan, the reigning European Champions, on 9 August, with the hosts winning 1–0 thanks to a Mark González penalty early in the second half. Seven days later, the club won the Ramon de Carranza Trophy held in neighbouring Cádiz, beating Real Zaragoza on penalties in the final, after defeating Real Madrid in the semi-final.
Surrounding the celebration, it was a time of great change in terms of the playing and technical teams, with eight new signings replacing fourteen departures. During the two seasons (2006–07 and 2007–08) that encompassed the centenary year Betis had four different managers. During the latter campaign, the club was the 37th-best followed team in Europe regarding average attendances.
Segunda División 
After many years of staving off relegation, Betis' 2008–09 season culminated with a 1–1 draw against Real Valladolid at home. With this outcome, the club finished 18th in the table and consequently was relegated to the second division.
On 15 June 2009, over 65,000 Beticos including icons such as Rafael Gordillo, del Sol, Hipólito Rincón, Julio Cardeñosa and others joined the protest march in Sevilla with the slogan "15-J Yo Voy Betis" to let the majority owner Ruiz de Lopera know that it was time to put his 54% share of the club on the market for someone, some entity or the Betis supporters to buy those shares and remove Lopera from the day to day operations of the club."
Lopera court action and sale 
Sevilla judge Mercedes Alaya was investigating links between Betis and other Ruiz de Lopera-owned businesses leading to him being formally charged with fraud. On 7 July 2010, one week before the start of preliminary court proceedings, Lopera sold 94% of the shares that he owned (51% of Betis total shares) to Bitton Sport, fronted by Luis Oliver, for the surprisingly low figure of €16 million, leaving Lopera with only minor shares; Oliver had already reportedly taken two football clubs, Cartagena FC and Xerez CD, to the brink of bankruptcy.
However, before the sale could be officially sanctioned Ayala froze Lopera shareholdings. Left with nothing, despite putting down a €1 million deposit, Oliver hastily bought a nominal number of shares from a third party and was voted onto the board of directors by the existing members (all former cohorts of Lopera), allowing him to carry on running the club. In response to this, the judge appointed well-respected former Betis, Real Madrid and Spain legend Rafael Gordillo to administrate Lopera's shares to ensure Lopera was not still running the club and that decisions made were for the benefit of the club not individual board members.
La Liga return 
Again under Pepe Mel, Betis started 2011–12 with four wins in as many games, with Rubén Castro retaining his goal scoring form from the previous season, where he scored 27 goals. The club only managed, however, one point in the following ten matches.
Seville derby 
The first match between the two clubs took place on 8 February 1915, with Sevilla winning 4–3. The match was not completed, as high tensions led an aggressive crowd to invade the pitch, forcing the referee to abandon the match.
In 1916, the first Copa Andalucía was held, this being the first official derby of the Seville area. Of the 17 runnings of the cup, Sevilla were victorious 14 times, to Betis' one sole conquest; this included a 22–0 routing after the latter sent their youth team, in 1918.
The first time the teams met in league, in Segunda, happened in 1928–29, with both teams winning their home matches (3–0 and 2–1). They played for the first time in the Spanish top division during the 1934–35 season, with a 0–3 home defeat for Sevilla and a 2–2 draw at Betis, with the latter winning the national championship.
On 17 January 1943, Betis lost 5–0 at Sevilla, eventually being relegated. In the first game held at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadium, on 21 September 1958, the Verdiblancos won it 4–2.
In later years, several matches were also marred by violence, including: a security guard attacked by a Sevilla fan with a crutch (that he did not require to walk), Betis goalkeeper Toni Prats being attacked and Sevilla manager Juande Ramos being struck by a bottle of water; the latter incident led to the 2007 Spanish Cup match being suspended, being played out three weeks later in Getafe with no spectators.
On 7 February 2009, Betis won 2–1 at the Pizjuán, but was eventually relegated from the top flight, while Sevilla finished in third position.
La Liga 
Played 84, with 18 draws.
- Betis have scored 101 goals against their rivals, but have conceded 118.
Segunda División 
Played 14, with 6 draws.
Copa del Rey 
Played 16, with 5 draws.
Recent La Liga seasons 
Current squad 
As of 31 January 2013
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan 
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Retired numbers 
Number 26 in honour of Miki Roqué
Technical staff 
|Head coach:||Pepe Mel||Spanish|
|Assistant coach:||Roberto Ríos||Spanish|
|Goalkeeping coach:||José Ramón Esnaola||Spanish|
|Fitness coach:||David Gómez||Spanish|
Medical staff 
Scouting staff 
|Head scout:||Ángel Becerra||Spanish|
|Head scout:||Vlada Stošić||Serbian|
Board of directors 
|Pablo Gómez Falcón||Spain||Vice-president|
|José Antonio Bosch||Spain||Counselor|
|Antonio Sánchez Pino||Spain||Counselor|
|María Isabel Simó||Spain||Counselor|
|Manuel Domínguez Plata||Spain||Council secretary|
- La Liga
- Winners (1): 1934–35
- Copa del Rey
- Segunda División
- Tercera División
- Winners (1): 1953–54
- Ramón de Carranza: 1964, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2007
Pichichi Trophy 
Zamora Trophy 
Notable former players 
|Manuel Ramos Asenio||1911–14, 1914–15|
|Richard Herbert Jones||1914, 1916||Also first president|
|Andrés Aranda||1922, 1939–40, 1943–46, 1949–52, 1965|
|Ramón Porlan y Merlo||1923|
|Juan Armet "Kinké"||1927–30||First year of league competition (1929)|
|Emilio Sampere||1930–32||Copa del Rey runner-up 1931
Segunda champion 1932
|Patrick O'Connell||1932–36, 1940–42, 1946–47||La Liga champion 1935|
|Francisco Gómez||1942–43, 1953–55||Tercera champion, 1954|
|José Suárez "Peral"||1946–47, 1948–49|
|Sabino Barinaga||1955, 1960, 1968–69|
|Pepe Valera||1955–57, 1967–68|
|Antonio Barrios||1957–59, 1967, 1969–72||Segunda champion 1958 and 1971|
|Fernando Daucik||1960–63, 1968–69|
|Ernesto Pons||1963, 1965, 1966|
|Ferenc Szusza||1972–76||Segunda champion 1974|
|Rafael Iriondo||1976–78, 1981–82||Copa del Rey winner, 1977|
|José Luis Garcia Traid||1978–79|
|Luis Cid||1979–81, 1984–86|
|Luis Aragonés||1981, July 1997–June 98|
|Pedro Buenaventura||1982, 1988–89|
|Luis del Sol||1985–87, 2001|
|José Luis Romero||1990–91|
|José Ramón Esnaola||1991, 1993|
|Lorenzo Serra Ferrer||1994–97, July 2004–June 6||Copa del Rey winner 2005|
|Javier Clemente||Oct 1998–June 99|
|Faruk Hadžibegić||Jan 2000–June 1|
|Guus Hiddink||Feb 2000–May 00|
|Fernando Vázquez||July 2000–March 1|
|Juande Ramos||July 2001–May 2|
|Víctor Fernández||July 2002–June 4, Jan 2010–July 10|
|Javier Irureta||July 2006–Dec 06|
|Luis Fernández||Dec 2006–June 7|
|Héctor Cúper||July 2007–Dec 07|
|Paco Chaparro||Dec 2007–April 9|
|José María Nogués||April 2009–June 9|
|Antonio Tapia||July 2009–Jan 10|
|Pepe Mel||July 2010–||Segunda champion, 2011|
Club records 
- Greatest home defeat: Betis 0–5 Real Madrid (1960–61), Betis 0–5 Osasuna (2006–07)
- Greatest away defeat: Athletic Bilbao 9–1 Betis (1932–33)
- Greatest recovery for: Betis - Barcelona: 0–2 to 3–2 (2007–08)
- Greatest recovery against: Betis - Espanyol: 2–0 to 2–5 (1999–00)
Player records 
- Most appearances: Julio Cardeñosa - 306
- Top goalscorer (La Liga): Hipólito Rincón - 78
- Top goalscorer (overall): Manuel Domínguez - 94
- Top goalscorer (European competitions): Alfonso - 8
- First to play for Spain: Simón Lecue - 1934
- Most capped for Spain: Rafael Gordillo - 75
- Spanish internationals: 26
With a 56,500-seat capacity, the Estadio Benito Villamarín is the home ground of Real Betis. It was named Estadio Manuel Ruiz de Lopera during the 2000s (decade) after the club's owner, who decided to build a new stadium over the old one.
Despite much planning, the stadium's renovation plans were constantly postponed, and half of it remained unchanged. On 27 October 2010, it returned to its first denomination after a decision by the club's associates.
The current Betis home strip consists of a shirt with 13 vertical stripes of green and white, the centennial logo on the left side, white shorts and green socks with a white horizontal stripe at the top.
In its initial years, Sevilla Balompié dressed in blue shirts with white shorts, which represented the infantry at the time. From late 1911 the team had adopted the shirts of Celtic, at that time vertical stripes of green and white, that were brought over from Glasgow by Manuel Asensio Ramos, who had studied in Scotland as a child.
When the team became Real Betis Balompié in 1914, various kits were used, including: yellow and black stripes; green t-shirts and a reversion to the blue top and white shorts uniform. By the end of the 1920s Betis was once again sporting green and white stripes, around this time the Assembly of Ronda (1918) saw the Andalusian region formally adopt these colours, not being known how much the two are linked.
Since then this remained Betis' shirt, despite several versions (including wider stripes).
- "Real Betis, 100 years of passion". FIFA.com. 18 January 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- "Todos los partidos de la pretemporada 2007-08" [All the matches in the 2007-08 preseason] (in Spanish). Real Betis. 17 August 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- "Lopera sigue mudo y ultras lo amenazan: 'Vende o muere'" [Lopera still says nothing and is threatened by ultras: 'Sell or die'] (in Spanish). El Mundo. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- "Oliver: "Ni los nazis hacían lo que hace esta loca"" [Oliver: "Not even nazis did what this crazy woman does"] (in Spanish). Marca. 27 October 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- La venta se cierra en 16 millones a pagar en 5 años (Sold for 16 millions to be paid in 5 years); El Desmarque, 7 July 2010 (Spanish)
- "This was no isolated incident". The Guardian. 1 March 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- [Templates: First team]
|title=(help) (in Spanish). Real Betis. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
- Siesta azulgrana (Azulgrana nap); Marca, 29 March 2008 (Spanish)
- "De Ruiz de Lopera a Benito Villamarín: el estadio sin nombre" [From Ruiz de Lopera to Benito Villamarín: the nameless ground] (in Spanish). Marca. 27 October 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
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