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Five things you must know about LaLiga side RCD Espanyol

05:01 EAT 26/02/2018
Gerard Moreno Espanyol
Here are five interesting facts you must know about the Catalan club...

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The 32,108 sq. km range that makes up the north-eastern district of Spain’s Catalonia is decorated as a raceme with football clubs.

The most fervently supported amongst them, and at the apex of the Spanish La Liga, is of course the club that shares its names eponymously with the capital of the independence-strife ridden state – FC Barcelona. 

However, nestled away in the Ciudad Condal, is one of Spain’s oldest clubs - Reial Club Deportiu Español de Barcelona, better known as just RCD Espanyol. 

Despite remaining in awe of their immediate neighbours’ progress for much of the 117 years they’ve been existence, the Periquitos have actually managed to carve out a niche of their own, with fervent support in strongholds of the city.    

The club finished 8th in last season’s domestic tournament and are managed by Quique Sánchez Flores. 

Here are five facts about them you may not have known about the 2007 UEFA Cup finalists that may light up your football wikidom

  • Espanyol's fans turn their back during "pasillo" to Barcelona

    #1 Founding and origins


    Come 28th October 1900 and Angel Rodriguez, an engineering student at the University of Barcelona, was displeased with what he believed was a overwhelming  foreign influence in the football clubs of Barcelona. Therefore, he founded what was then known as Club Español de Fútbol as a club exclusively for Spanish patrons of the game, playing their matches in the district Sarrià. The name "Espanyol" is intentionally listed to distinguish their identity from other clubs in Barcelona that are reinforced by foreign nationals.

    Despite struggling financially in the first decade of the 20th century, the club were able to re-launch themselves and made the addition of the crown to their badge, after King Alfonso XIII granted them this right in 1912.  

    In 1910, the club actually changed their club kits from bright yellow, the color of cloth given by one of the club's first canal ticket holders, to their now ascribable Blanquiazule. So why did it change? Simply because the founders of club wanted to honour the legendary Sicilian-Aragonese Admiral Roger de Lluria, whose shield bore the same striped Blue and White colour in while in battle on the Mediterranean seas, as he protected the now Spanish coast.

  • RCD Espanyol mascots perform during the La Liga match between Espanyol and Levante at Cornella-El Prat stadium

    #2 Stadium

    The Club play their games exclusively at the RCDE Stadium on the outskirts of the city of Barcelona, on the borders of the municipalities of Cornellà and El Prat. Earlier known as the Power 8 stadium, Espanyol’s stadium was inaugurated on 2nd August 2009, with the club achieving a thumping 3-0 win over Liverpool. The stadium hosts upto 40,000 spectators.  

    From 1923 to 1997, the club officially called the Estadi de Sarria as home. However, for a brief period they moved into the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys located in the Montjuic area. This 56,000-seater stadium was originally commissioned for the 1992 Olympics.

  • Raul Tamudo, Espanyol

    #3 Legends and Stand-out Players

    Espanyol’s history is littered with domestic greats. Firstly, Raul Tamudo graces the Espanyol all-time greats list having made 387 appearances for the Spanish team, netting 129 goals, since he made his debut for the team in 1997. He has also won two Copa Del Reys with the Blue and Whites. He retired in 2015 at the age of 37.

    Other legends include Ricardo Zamora, who has the La Liga best Goalkeeper award named after him. He made appearances for both Real Madrid and Barcelona, besides being a part of the Espanyol set-up in two separate periods – 1916-1919 and 1922-1930.

    Dani Jarque is one who names reverberates across all corners of the Espanyol training ground. An alumnus of the Espanyol academy, he was appointed first-team captain at 26, only to tragically lose his life one month later, after a heart-attack during a team training camp in Italy.

    His name is immortalized into a training complex and the Espanyol B team stadium. He became Espanyol's most featured player in European club competition, with 22 matches.

    Mauricio Pochettino, Walter Pandiani, Ivan de la Pena, Philippe Coutinho, Carlos Kameni, Jose Callejon, Pablo Zabaleta, and Daniel Osvaldo are others to have donned the other jersey in Barcelona.

  • Espanyol vs Barcelona

    #4 Rivalry

    Espanyol’s arch-rivals are FC Barcelona. In fact the rivalry is so intense that skirmishes are known to break-out between the two sets of supporters, with the recent Copa Del Rey match descending into a fisticuff, while Gerrard Pique’s comments forced the RFEF to investigate.

    If the past is anything to go by, the differences between Barcelona and Espanyol were primarily led by political insinuation. Barcelona hold the upper-edge with 121 derby wins, as compared to Espanyol’s 44. The latter have compensation with the highest margin of victory in the El Derbi Barceloni, with a 6-0 win.

    Inter-club transfers between the two are even rare than those between Real Madrid and the Blaugrana. Some players to have famously donned both jerseys are Ernesto Valverde, Philippe Coutinho, Aleix Vidal, Victor Sanchez, and Sergio Garcia albeit over thecourse of transfers through multiple clubs.

  • Espanyol Real Madrid La Liga 18092016

    #5 Academy

    Historically, Espanyol have a rich history of producing eventual world beaters through their academy. Important basics taught include mastery of the ball, speed, and play pressing in order. Meanwhile, the basic values inculcated outside the field are cooperation, hard work, tolerance, respect, solidarity, friendship, fair play, and integration.

    The development of young Espanyol players is supported by participation in the Spanish fourth division followed by players in their 20s to 30s. The team called Espanyol B had visited Indonesia to conduct an exhibition match, mid-2017. 

    When coached Mauricio Pochettino, many young players are promoted to the main squad. A similar policy was followed by current coach Quique Sanchez Flores, who combines senior and young players in his squad.

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