Founded in 1900, in the same part of the city as FC Barcelona, RCD Espanyol was proud of its Spanish roots, in comparison with their much-vaunted neighbours.
Given its Royal patronage by Alfonso XIII in 1912, Espanyol became founder members of La Liga in 1928 and captured its first trophy, the Copa del Rey, the following year. It has since won the Copa del Rey on three more occasions – two of them in the present century. The most recent victory, in 2006, was a comprehensive four goals to one victory over Zaragoza at the Bernabéu.
The club has qualified for European competitions on seven occasions – twice being runners up in the UEFA Cup; firstly in 1988 and then just two seasons ago, when the team lost out to Sevilla in a penalty shoot-out at Hampden Park.
In the past few seasons Espanyol has found life to be an economic struggle, with all the money being tied up in completing the new stadium. The team has relied heavily upon the goals and industry of long-serving striker Raul Tamudo, who actually scored a hat-trick in the victory over FC Malaga which ensured the club's top flight status for the coming season.
The only other highlight on the playing side was a victory over their city rivals in the Nou Camp – something not many clubs could claim last year.
Espanyol's other most newsworthy happening was the pilgrimage the club president made to see the Virgin of Montserrat in order to pray for an upturn in the team's fortunes. This resulted in an immediate return to form and a 'miraculous' escape from relegation.
Some names recognisable to British followers have represented the club throughout the years. These players include Jordi Cruyff, Steve Finnan, Paco Flores, Adrian Heath, Ladislao Kubala, Walter Pandiani, Albert Riera, Maxi Rodriguez and, perhaps the most famous of them all in Spain, the goalkeeper Ricardo Zamora.
RCD Espanyol Fixtures