Fri. Aug 23rd, 2019

90 years League: A 'foot ball' match between the best 'equipiers' | It's LaLiga in EL PAÍS

90 years League: A 'foot ball' match between the best 'equipiers' | It's LaLiga in EL PAÍS


In 90 years, which is now LaLiga, soccer has changed a lot, but the way in which newspapers tell it not so much. The chronicle of the first game of Espanyol and defines its defense as a "true fence" and speaks of "alternate domain", the strikers "send the ball to the net" and scored goals "Chilean". Some publications give ratings (from 1 to 5) to football players to assess their performances. The rumors of transfers and transfers share the cover with the sporting or controversial results on, for example, the price of the tickets. The press had been writing for several decades foot ball (the first national competition, the Cup, began in 1903), but even so, in the chronicles of the first league edition, the foreigners continued to abound. There is talk of match, the referee is the referee and the players, equipiers who make or receive fouls and they mark goals.

The discussion of why it should be said triplet or hat-trick or if it is unnecessary for us to refer to a star like crack. Neither the suspicions that, unlike in other types of press, in the sports one gives more pábulo to rumors or fill first pages with possible signings of great teams. But all this is far from being a new phenomenon. The incumbent who reported on February 12, 1929 about the victory of Barcelona against Racing Santander in his first match of the newborn competition shared flat with a rumor that implied that his goalkeeper, Platko, Barca hero of the last Cup final and deserving of an ode composed by Rafael Alberti, signing for Real Madrid. In the press that same Tuesday the reporters talked about a 1-1 draw between Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao reflecting the indifference of the "referee " before a "clear off side" and then before a hand in the area of ​​"field " that was not marked as "penalty", facts both that were worth "the booing of the public". "The referee wrong, significantly damaging the San Sebastian team. The public, very correct, "the journalist finished.


Sketch taken from the native Emery, Real Union goalkeeper and grandfather of the current Arsenal coach Unai Emery.enlarge photo
Sketch taken from the native Emery, Real Union goalkeeper and grandfather of the current Arsenal coach Unai Emery.

As a rule, the chronicles used to start by describing the game of the team to which the publication was related -the media used to support the squads of their geographical region without too much veil- and then the opponent's. They gave the alignment (the "eleven ") of the sets and highlighted the most decisive players of the match, which later included some statement collected in the costumes themselves, then a world open to the press. This is told by Samitier, figure of the Foot Ball Club Barcelona, ​​to the journalist Emilio P. de Neguri after the 2-0 to the Arenas Club, of Getxo, in the last match of that championship, a postponed meeting that ended up giving the title to the blaugranas:

- "You can already tell your readers of The sports world that has beaten the team that has played with the most head, that is, the one that has least tired, running uselessly. We have gone to the field to play good football. "


Table of results of the first edition of LaLiga published in 'Gran Vida'.enlarge photo
Table of results of the first edition of LaLiga published in 'Gran Vida'.

With the work of the referee there was no consideration. Normally they were dedicated the last lines of the chronicle. "He did not make a good arbitration, he became a creditor of the protests with which the public gave him. It allowed the hardening of the game and its failure decreeing a freekick It benefited Barcelona. " Sometimes he is even questioned, as when an editor of the monthly magazine Great life he asks the referee, for the virulence with which the rivals are used defending Real Madrid, "humanity, referee, or they will end up being necessary doctors in the fields". "After the Civil War and during the dictatorship, speaking of the arbitrator becomes a taboo, since it was understood to be a representation of the authority within the turf and it was feared that questioning that could be prolonged in some type of political complaint", explains Pedro Paniagua, doctor in Information Sciences and specialist in the history of sports journalism.

The chronicles of the first LaLiga championship were not free of the tremendismo and passion that still characterizes sports journalism in some way. The phrases are common between a double emphatic exclamation mark. On February 17 was played in Les Corts (Barcelona) the first league Classic in history, in which Madrid won by 1-2. The defeat of the azulgrana at the hands of "the meringues" (they were already known as such), a team whose performance the newspaper described as "poor", served a Catalan sports newspaper for, on its cover the next day, sow doubts even about the viability of the competition: "Bad, very bad [la jornada] also for the League Championship, if in the meeting that the Union of Champions will have to celebrate in Bilbao tomorrow it does not find a patch, it is called if not to disappear, to carry at least a precarious life ".


Score that Gran Vida magazine gives to R.C. Deportivo Español and Real Madrid F.C after a game.enlarge photo
Score that Gran Vida magazine gives to R.C. Deportivo Español and Real Madrid F.C after a game.

The appearance of the stands, crowded many Sundays (stadiums ranging from 12,000 seats to 23,000 of Les Corts, Foot-Ball Club Barcelona), and the behavior of the public were also worthy of the scrutiny of the journalist. That fervor, which sometimes served to some commentators to judge the manners of a whole city on written tribunes, motivates these words in Great life from the journalist Carlos Boronat: "But, why is the enthusiasm that this sport awakens in the crowds when it comes from its own madness?

Rubio, forward of Real Madrid, shoots against the goal of Izaguirre, goalkeeper of Real Sociedad (1929).
Rubio, forward of Real Madrid, shoots against the goal of Izaguirre, goalkeeper of Real Sociedad (1929).

The press published announcements of the matches with the time and the way to get the tickets. "Today, at the Metropolitan Stadium, at quarter past three, an interesting league match between Sevilla FC and Racing Santander, eliminator for the first division. They dispatch seats from eleven to one at the address of Athletic Club, Alcalá 53 ". Thus, for example, announced the final of the tournament that would award the tenth and final place to take part in LaLiga Santander, whose public after the victory gave him a "warm reception with music and tambourines." The other nine participants were the clubs that had been winners or finalists of the Cup: Arenas Club de Guecho, Athletic Club (Bilbao), Foot-Ball Club Barcelona, ​​Athletic Club de Madrid, Real Club Deportivo Español, Club Deportivo Europa (Barcelona) , Real Santander Racing Club, Real Madrid Foot-Ball Club, Real Foot-Ball Society, Real Unión Club de Irún.

Viñeta appeared in 'The sports world' after the victory of Barcelona over the Arenas in the postponed game that gave it the first league title.
Viñeta appeared in 'The sports world' after the victory of Barcelona over the Arenas in the postponed game that gave it the first league title.

When the first edition of the league championship was held, which began on February 10, 1929, last Sunday 90 years ago, the press had been talking about football for almost 35 years. The sports history expert Fernando Arrechea highlights one of the first reviews, a press cut of 1895 The vanguard that tried to explain "the fashion that's foot-ball ": "The game consists simply in passing the ball, which is large, through the doors placed behind the players of each side, formed by three clubs (...) The eleven players that form one of the sides and that together both form the 22 of which the game should be composed, are arranged as follows: five forwards intended to run the ball and approach the opposite door, two means to stop the strikers, three intermediates who try with their accurate strokes away always the ball of the door of his party and finally a defender placed in the same door and destined to prevent at all costs the entry of the ball, so he is allowed to use his hands, a prerogative forbidden to other players " .

The step from being a "fashion" to the installation of professionalism and the establishment of a league by points, which faced all against all and rewarded the regularity, in imitation of the English, was actually a long way in which there was that many obstacles and interests sometimes faced, as reflected by Fernando Sánchez Postigo in his doctoral thesis, in 2005. It includes one of the greatest architects of all the teams transigieran and accept the model based on a league with a First and second division, Luciano Urquijo, president of Athletic de Madrid, the newspapers ended up recriminating him that conciliatory attitude and calling him "Don Liviano".


Viñeta appeared in 'The sports world' on the occasion of the league title of Barcelona in July 1929.enlarge photo
Viñeta appeared in 'The sports world' on the occasion of the league title of Barcelona in July 1929.

The texts on each match were accompanied by photographs, sketches taken from the nature of some very plastic play or cartoons that would symbolize either a specific cast or the rivalry of the clubs. A custom now almost extinct. Professor Paniagua points out other differences. "In general informative headlines were used and less tending to the spectacularity as a call for attention. Until about 1960 interpretative titles are not popularized. It was also constant, and not now, that the editor spoke in the first person, as a direct witness of the facts ".

The sports world He gave an account of the outcome of that first league with a headline that occupied two of the seven columns of the page ("The Barcelona League Champion") and these highlights: "The champion is prepared a great reception. In the new premises of Barcelona the Catalan Federation will give them a lunch Today at eleven o'clock at night the players arrive at the stop of Gracia. " Meanwhile, the chronicler, who had to move from Getxo to Bilbao to write the text spared no praise for the "veteran and glorious Catalan club" that won the Arenas in a meeting "all head and intelligence."

The defender of Barcelona Walter grabs Athletic Madrid striker Cosme.
The defender of Barcelona Walter grabs Athletic Madrid striker Cosme.



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