Club Español de Madrid, is a former Spanish football club based in Madrid. The club was originally formed in 1900. In 1902 a split within the club resulted in the formation of Real Madrid. Club Español were subsequently Campeonato Centro champions in both 1904 and 1909. In 1904 the president of the Federación Madrileña de Foot-Ball, who was also president of Club Español, declared the club winners of the Copa del Rey. However this claim was not recognised by the other participating clubs, who all declared Athletic Bilbao to be the winner. Club Español were subsequently Copa del Rey finalists in both 1909 and 1910.
Club Español were one of several football clubs to emerge with a reference to Spain in their title. Others in Madrid included Sociedad Gimnàstic Española de Madrid. Three similar named clubs also emerged in Barcelona - Hispania AC, FC Espanya de Barcelona, and Sociedad Española de Football. This latter club later became RCD Espanyol. Elsewhere CD Español de Valladolid later merged into Real Valladolid. There was also an España FC in Valencia and a CD Español de Cadiz.
Football was introduced to Madrid by the professors and students of the Institución Libre de Enseñanza. They included several Oxbridge
graduates. In 1895 they founded Football Sky
, an ad-hoc club which played on Sunday mornings in Moncloa. In 1900 a spilt within this club saw the emergence of two new clubs New Foot-Ball de Madrid
and Club Español de Madrid
. The first president of Club Español was Julián Palacios
. In 1902 Palacios helped form a new club, Sociedad Madrid FC
, later to evolve into Real Madrid
1904 Copa del Rey
In 1904 Club Español won the Campeonato Centro, a regional league used as a qualifier for the Copa del Rey
. However the subsequent competition, played in Madrid
, ended in a shambles. In the opening round Club Español held Madrid-Moderno FC
to a 5-5 draw. Both teams refused to play extra-time and a replay was arranged for the next day. However Madrid-Moderno FC did not turn up and Club Español were given a bye. In the semi-final they played Moncloa FC. With Club Español 1-0 up the game was abandoned following a serious injury to a Club Español player. Club Español were then declared winners and progressed to the final. However a mix up over the date of the final resulted in Athletic Bilbao
being declared winners without ever playing a game. The president of the Federación Madrileña de Foot-Ball
, who was also president of Club Español, tried to declare Club Español, who had turned up on a different day, the winners. However the other clubs refused to recognise this claim.
Copa del Rey Runners-Up
In 1909 Club Español won the Campeonato Centro once again and again qualified for the Copa del Rey
. In the semi-final they defeated FC Barcelona
3-2 but then lost 3-1 in the final to Club Ciclista de San Sebastian
. In 1910 two rival Copa del Rey
were organised and Club Español played in the Copa FEF
along with FC Barcelona
and Deportivo de La Coruña
. The competition was played as a mini-league and the deciding game saw FC Barcelona beat Club Español 3-2. Club Español, who had earlier won 3-1 against Deportivo, finished as runners-up.
- Morbo: The Story of Spanish Football (2003), Phil Ball.