Real Sporting de Gijón, S.A.D. is a Spanish football club from Gijón, Asturias. Founded in 1 June 1905, it plays in Segunda División. Known as Los Rojiblancos because of their red and white striped jerseys, their home ground is El Molinón stadium, the oldest professional football ground in Spain, in use since at least 1908.
The club was established in 1905 with the name Sporting Gijonés, Anselmo López being the first club president. King Alfonso XIII accepted the Royal patronage of the club for the Spanish Crown in 1912, introducing the term "Real" (Spanish for "Royal") to its name, becoming Real Sporting Club Gijonés. In 1916, a new change took place to adopt today's denomination, Real Sporting de Gijón. From 1941 until the 1970s, due to a temporary law forbidding the use of foreign words in football club names, the team's official denomination was Real Gijón.
In 1944, the club was promoted into the Spanish First Division for the first time, and played thereafter in both the first and second divisions, achieving greatest success in the late 1970s and early 1980s, competing for league and national cup titles and laying the groundwork for a 21-year continuous stretch in La Liga. During this period, Sporting competed in the UEFA Cup six times, losing in the Round of 32 four times and the Round of 16 twice, most recently in the 1991–92 season.
Football players celebrate with their fans the club's return to top-flight, 15 June 2008
Following a disastrous 1998 campaign, the club was relegated to Second Division, where they played for a ten seasons stretch. On 15 June 2008, the club secured promotion back to Primera for the 2008–09 season. In that season, their best victories came against Valencia CF (2–3) and Sevilla FC (1–0). In their first five games of the 2008–09 season, they conceded 20 goals. That season also saw them break La Liga record of 29 consecutive games without a draw. They played 33 games before their only draw of the season, a 1–1 finish with Athletic Bilbao on 3 May 2009. On 2 April 2011, they beat Real Madrid 1–0 to end Real manager José Mourinho's nine-year home league unbeaten run.
Sporting de Gijón have worn red and white striped jerseys since their inception, being the first Spanish actual first division's team to wear red and white, as both Athletic Bilbao and Atlético Madrid wore blue and white until 1909. The colors are those of the official flag of Gijón, which itself is based on the flag of the maritime province of Gijón, established in 1845.
Like most old football clubs, Sporting de Gijón did not initially have any badge displayed on their shirts. Their first official badge was introduced in the 1920s. It consisted of a traditionally shaped shield split into three sections, representing the club and the city.
The official flag of Sporting de Gijón consist of, in a rectangular field with ratio 2:3, nine equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white. The logo of the club is displayed in the centre.
The Escuela de Fútbol de Mareo is the training ground and academy base of Sporting de Gijón. It was opened on 28 March 1978.
Located just 7 km away from the city center and covering 112,000 m2, it is used for training and youth teams matches. At present, facilities include inter alia, eight pitches, one service building (including team catering areas), a gymnasium, and a medical centre.
During most home matches, the majority of the seats in the stadium are occupied by season ticket holders, or socios ("associates"), of which there are 21,000. In addition to socios, the club has more than 240 peñas (official, club-affiliated supporters' groups) in Spain and abroad. During the 2008–09 season, Sporting had the tenth-highest average attendance in the league, 21,491, and the fifth-highest average percentage, 84% of the total stadium capacity.
Sporting de Gijón supporters commonly call themselves Sportinguistas in order to show their dedication to the club.Sportinguistas are widely regarded as one of the most loyal, traveler, and cheerful supporter groups in La Liga, providing one of the best atmospheres in the competition. When following their team in large groups through the country, they are referred to as La Mareona, Spanish for The Big Tide.
About 300,000 fans showed up when Sporting's latest promotion was celebrated in June 2008.