© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This research focuses on the origins of football in Spain and seeks to show how and where it was introduced in the country, to comprehend the historical context, and to understand why it took roots so rapidly despite the rivalry with the well-established tradition of bullfighting. The period of study spans from 1868 (first news piece on football in Spain) to 1903 (celebration of the first football championship in the country). The methodology focused primarily on identifying the primary sources and selecting the secondary sources, followed by the interpretative analysis and the mapping of football associations created in Spain in the sport’s early days. The large urban cities led the process of creating football clubs from 1889: Barcelona (61), Madrid (15), and Bilbao (9) steered the process of legitimization and institutionalization of football in the country. In the last 11 years of the nineteenth century (1889-1899), 29 clubs were created in 12 different cities. In the first four years of the twentieth century (1900-1903), a further 103 clubs mushroomed all over the country. Thus a total of 132 clubs were founded between 1889 and 1903 in Spain, which laid the necessary foundations for the implantation and legitimization of football.
- Sports clubs
- Sports press