25 May 2012

Barça-Athletic Club, history that spans more than 100 years

Athletic Club and Barça are classic and legendary teams in Spanish football. Both the sides are strongly represent the athletic traditions in both Euskadi and Catalonia. Athletic and Barça have always been in Primera División since the Liga was established in 1929.

In 1898 a group of young Basques opened up the Zamacois Athletic Club gym and a year later a group of young foreigners led by Joan Gamper started Solé gym, where FC Barcelona started. Here are a series of curious anecdotes from two of the oldest clubs in Spanish football:

- The first time fans from both teams met was on May 15th in 1902. Both teams were participating in a tournament in Madrid in honor of the coronation of Alfonso XIII. The show match was between Barça and Vizcaya, a team made up of both Athletic Club and Bilbao FC players. The Basques won by 2 to 1 and the behavior of both sets of fans was commendable. When the team returned to the Basque Country, Bilbao asked the fans to greet the players that “beat the best team in the world, Football Club Barcelona.” A Catalan, who wasn’t really a fan of football, living in Bilbao added a negative tone to the celebrations when he said: “I don’t understand how the people of Catalonia and the Basque Country, who are very serious and have a good work ethic, can dispute anything by kicking each other.”

MORE: www.fcbarcelona.com