Copa del Rey
|Number of teams||83|
|Qualifier for||UEFA Europa League|
|Domestic cup(s)||Supercopa de España|
|Current champions||Barcelona (29th title)|
|Most successful club(s)||Barcelona (29 titles)|
|Television broadcasters||List of broadcasters|
|2017–18 Copa del Rey|
The Copa del Rey (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkopa ðel rey]; English: King's Cup) is an annual football cup competition for Spanish football teams. Its full name is Campeonato de España - Copa de Su Majestad el Rey (Championship of Spain - His Majesty the King's Cup), and is also known as La Copa.
The competition was founded in 1903, thus making it the oldest Spanish football competition. Typically, the winner of Copa del Rey goes to the UEFA Europa League; unless they qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
In 1902, a competition under the name Copa de la Coronación, was played after Carlos Padrós, later president of Real Madrid, suggested a football tournament to celebrate the coronation of Spanish King Alfonso XIII. Four other teams joined Madrid FC for the competition: FC Barcelona, Club Español de Foot-Ball, New Foot-Ball de Madrid and Club Bizcaya (a team made up of players from Athletic Club and Bilbao FC) which eventually defeated Barcelona in the final. That cup is on display in the Athletic Bilbao museum and the club includes the victory in its honours list. Nevertheless, it is considered only the forerunner of the Copa del Rey. The Royal Spanish Football Federation officially does not recognize it.
Copa del Rey was Spain's football National Championship from 1903 until the foundation of the Campeonato de Liga — League Championship — in 1928. It was initially known as the Copa del Ayuntamiento de Madrid (Madrid City Council's Cup). Between 1905 and 1932, it was known as the Copa de Su Majestad El Rey Alfonso XIII (His Majesty King Alfonso XIII's Cup). During the Second Spanish Republic, it was known as the Copa del Presidente de la República (President of the Republic Cup) or Copa de España (Spanish Cup) and during the years of Francisco Franco's Spanish State, it was known as the Copa de Su Excelencia El Generalísimo or Copa del Generalísimo (His Excellency, The Supreme General's Cup). Athletic Bilbao were declared winners in 1904 after their opponents Español de Madrid failed to show up. In both 1910 and 1913, there was a split among the clubs and two rival associations, the Unión Española de Clubs de Fútbol and the Federación Española de Fútbol, organised rival competitions, the Copa UECF and the Copa FEF. In 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, clubs in the Republican area of Spain entered the Copa de la España Libre, with Levante beating their city rivals Valencia 1–0 in the final. (Although in 2007 the Congress of Deputies urged Royal Spanish Football Federation to recognise it as a Copa del Rey win for Levante, the governing body of Spanish football has not made a decision yet.)
Because of the dispute regarding the 1902 competition, the statistics regarding the leading winners are also disputed. Barcelona have won the Copa 29 times; Athletic Bilbao are just behind, with either 24 or 23 titles, depending on the source. Throughout the history of the competition, there have been 12 actual trophies. Trophies have been permanently awarded to clubs for winning the competition either three times in a row or on five separate occasions and for other special reasons. Thus, five trophies have been permanently awarded to Barcelona, three to Bilbao and one to Real Madrid. Athletic Bilbao kept the first trophy as inaugural winners, Sevilla FC were awarded the Trofeo del Generalísimo in 1939 and Atlético Madrid, winners the previous year, were awarded the 11th trophy following the death of Francisco Franco. In December 2010, the cup was given to Sevilla, the 2010 winners, to keep in honour of Spain's World Cup victory.
Before the formation of La Liga in 1929, the competition was effectively a national championship. Teams qualified to enter via their regional leagues. Over the years, various formats, including group stages have been used. Unlike the English FA Cup, entry is limited. Only teams from the Primera División, Segunda A, about 23 teams from the Segunda B and the Tercera División champions (or runners-up if the champion is a reserve team) are invited to enter. The early rounds are one-off games with teams from the lower divisions given home advantage. The round of 32, the round of 16, the quarter-finals, and semi-finals are played over two legs. The final is a one-off game played at a neutral venue. The winners qualify for both the Supercopa de España and the UEFA Europa League the following season.
On 22 December 2010, at an extraordinary general meeting of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, Sevilla FC requested permission from the Federation to keep the trophy they had won in the 2010 final to commemorate the victory of the Spanish national team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. There had been a precedent for this; Real Madrid were allowed to keep the last Copa de la República (1936), Sevilla, the first Copa del Generalísimo (1939) and, Atlético Madrid, the last Copa del Generalísimo (1976).
A new trophy was made by Madrid jeweller Federico Alegre. The trophy, made of silver, weighs 15 kg (33 lb) and is 75 cm (30 in) tall. On 21 April 2011, Real Madrid became the first recipients of the trophy. During the post-game celebrations, the trophy was accidentally dropped at Plaza de Cibeles by the Real Madrid player Sergio Ramos from the top of a double-decker bus, which then ran over it. Ten pieces were found by civil servicemen when they recovered it from the ground. The club received a copy which is displayed at Santiago Bernabéu.
List of finals
‡ Merged with Irún Sporting Club in 1915 to form Real Unión.
|Club||Winners||Last Final Won||Runners-up||Last Final Lost|
|Deportivo La Coruña||
|Sporting de Gijón||
|Español de Madrid||
|Real Madrid Castilla‡‡||
|Racing de Ferrol||
|Real Vigo Sporting||
‡ Counting the 1913 win by Racing de Irún, which merged with Irún Sporting Club in 1915 to form Real Unión.
‡‡ Real Madrid's reserve team. Reserve teams were banned for this competition for first time in the 1990–91 competition.
Boldface indicates an active player.
|1||Telmo Zarra||FW||1939-1957||81 Athletic Bilbao||81 |
|2||Samitier, JosepJosep Samitier||MF||1919–1934||65 Barcelona + 5 Real Madrid||70 |
|3||Guillermo Gorostiza||FW||1929–1946||37 Athletic Bilbao + 25 Valencia||62 |
|4||Quini||FW||1968–1987||38 Sporting Gijón + 17 Barcelona||55|
|5||Edmundo Suárez||FW||1939–1950||52 Valencia||52 |
|6||Puskás, FerencFerenc Puskás||FW||1958–1962||49 Real Madrid||49 |
|7||Kubala, LászlóLászló Kubala||FW||1951–1965||49 Barcelona||49|
|8||Santillana||FW||1970–1988||48 Real Madrid||48 |
|9||César Rodríguez Álvarez||FW||1939–1960||3 Granada + 36 Barcelona + 8 Elche||47|
|10||Lionel Messi||FW||2004-||46 Barcelona||46 |
Club name changes
- Real Madrid were originally known as Madrid FC and did not add the Real until 1920. During the Second Spanish Republic, the club dropped Real from their name.
- In 1941, a decree issued by Francisco Franco banned the use of non-Spanish language names. FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC became CF Barcelona and Sevilla CF, and Athletic Bilbao had to change the spelling of their prefix to Atlético. (These changes were reverted after Franco's death.)
- RCD Espanyol were known as RCD Español until 1995.
Other Copas del Rey
- Women's football – Copa de la Reina de Fútbol.
- Basketball – Copa del Rey de Baloncesto for men and Copa de la Reina de Baloncesto for women.
- Handball – Copa del Rey de Balonmano for men and Copa de la Reina de Balonmano for women.
- "Spain – Cup 1902". www.rsssf.com. Archived from the original on 1 February 2010.
- "La FEF no reconocerá al Barça la Liga del año 37" [The FEF will not recognize Barça's League in 1937]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 3 April 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- "Palmarés". Diario Marca. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
- "El Levante, a un paso de la Copa... de 1937". El Pais.
- "Trophy Villar Cup delay Levante". www.levante-emv.com (News Sports). Retrieved 4 March 2008.
- "El Sevilla se queda en propiedad con la Copa del Rey gracias a España". MARCA.COM. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- "La Copa 'suplente' ya está en la sala de trofeos del Bernabéu". MARCA.COM. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- Tremlett, Giles (21 April 2011). "Real Madrid player Sergio Ramos drops Spanish cup under a bus". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- Athletic Club. "Athletic Club". athletic-club.eus. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- Super Utilisateur. "Ficha Josep SAMITIER Vilalta". elaguanis.com. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- Athletic Club. "Athletic Club". athletic-club.eus. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- Redacción Ciberche. "Estadisticas de todos los jugadores del Valencia CF". ciberche.net. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- Super Utilisateur. "Ficha Ferenç PUSKAS Biro". elaguanis.com. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- Super Utilisateur. "Ficha Carlos Alonso González "SANTILLANA"". elaguanis.com. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- "Lionel Messi's amazing Copa del Rey record for Barcelona". Retrieved 11 January 2018.