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Real Betis

Real Betis is a football (soccer) club from Spain.

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About Real Betis

Real Betis Balompié S.A.D. is a List of football clubs in Spain based in Seville, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Founded on 12 September 1907, it currently plays in La Liga, holding home games at Estadio Benito Villamarín.

Amongst other titles, the club - who holds the distinction of being the first from the region to compete in La Liga - won the top division league in 1934–35 La Liga, adding two Copa del Rey trophies.

Both the Monarchy of Spain Juan Carlos I and his son Felipe, Prince of Asturias are honorary members of the club. Maintaining an historic city Seville derby with Sevilla FC, its motto is Viva er Betis manque pierda! ("Long live Betis even when they lose!").


The name is derived from Hispania Baetica, the Roman Empire name for the Guadalquivir river. Betis initially attracted support from the working classes although a large number of aristocrats, including the King of Spain also supported the team. Real was added in 1914 after the club received patronage from King of Spain Alfonso XIII of Spain. Some fans argue the Betis is the true Real as it was the first to receive royal patronage.


Great rivals Sevilla FC were officially created in October 1905. This was followed two years later (September 1907) by the city's second club Sevilla Balompié. Balompié literally translates as football, as opposed to the most commonly adopted anglicised version: futbol. Balompié was founded by students from the local Polytechnic Academy, and were in operation for two years before being officially recognised (in 1909), despite this 1907 remains the official foundation date of the club.

Following an internal split from Sevilla FC another club was formed, Betis Foot-ball Club. 1914 saw the culmination of a merger between Betis Foot-ball Club and Sevilla Balompié. With the patronage title, the club became Real Betis Balompié.

Fans continued to refer to the club as Balompié, and themselves were known as Los Balompedistas, until the thirties when Betis and the adjective Beticos became common terminology when discussing the club and its followers.

Golden years (the 1930s) and decline

During the Spanish Second Republic both Betis and Madrid dropped Real from their names, thus the club was called just Betis Balompié until after the Spanish Civil War when it would revert back to the full name. Betis marked their 25th anniversary year in style winning their first Segunda División title in 1931–32 Segunda División, thus becoming the first club from Andalusia to join La Liga.

In the First a great squad was formed under the guidance of Patrick O'Connell (1887-1959) which on the 28th of April 1935 1934–35 La Liga, to date Betis one and only top division title. This win made Betis only the fourth of nine different teams to lift the trophy.

A year later, true to its idiosyncrasies, Betis went from the top down to 1935–36 La Liga. This was due to the dismantling of the champion team because of the clubs poor economic situation and the arrival of the Civil War, meaning that just 15 months after lifting the league title only two champion players were left: Peral and Saro. No official league was held during the between 1936 until its resumption for the 1939-40 season and the first year back highlighted Betis decline as exactly five years after winning the title the club was 1939–40 La Liga.

Darkest period

Despite a brief 1942–43 La Liga, which lasted only one season, the club continued to decline and in 1947 the worst fears were reached when they were relegated to Tercera División. Many fans see the ten years they spent in the category as key to the 'identity' and 'soul' of the club, a time that saw it win sympathies all across Spain. During this time Betis earned a reputation for filling its stadium and having a massive support at away matches, known as the Green March.

When the side returned to the second level in 1954, it gained the distinction of being the only club in Spain to have won all three major divisions' titles. Much of the credit for guiding Betis through this dark period and back into the Segunda lies with chairman Manuel Ruiz Rodríguez.

Benito Villamarín

In 1955, Manuel Ruiz Rodriguez stepped down from running the club believing he couldn't offer further economic growth, he was replaced by Betis most famous former president Benito Villamarin. During his reign Betis returned to the top division in 1958–59 La Liga and achieved a best-ever third position in 1963–64 La Liga. His purchase of the Estadio Benito Villamarín in 1961 is seen as a key point in the history of the club - the grounds were called the Estadio Benito Villamarín until 1997.

Villamarín is also credited with helping launch rising star Luis del Sol, who would go on to earn 16 Cap (sport) for Spain national football team, but also had to make unpopular decisions such as selling him. Villamarín would step aside after 10 years at the helm and would die of cancer one year later, in 1966.

Just one year after Villamarín's departure the club would again be relegated to division two, then rising and falling almost consecutively until consolidating their place in the top level from 1974–75 La Liga.

Copa del Rey success and Europe

On 25 June 1977, Betis played Athletic Bilbao at the Vicente Calderón Stadium, Madrid, in the Copa del Rey final. The match finished 2–2, with Betis winning 8–7 after a staggering 21 Penalty shootout (association football). This rounded off a solid season in which the club 1976–77 La Liga.

After that triumph, Betis 1977–78 European Cup Winners' Cup in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: after knocking out A.C. Milan 3–2 on aggregate in the first round, the side reached the quarterfinals where they lost to FC Dynamo Moscow. In spite of a good overall performance in UEFA, the team 1977–78 La Liga.

The following year Betis quickly returned to the top flight and a period of good times for the club. The next three seasons saw three top-six finishes, and UEFA Europa League qualification in 1981–82 La Liga and 1983–84 La Liga. 1982 saw a first round defeat to S.L. Benfica, who would go on 1983 UEFA Cup Final, and the next participation also ended in the first round, on penalties against FC Universitatea Craiova.

During the summer of 1982, the Benito Villamarín hosted two matches as part of the 1982 FIFA World Cup, and also witnessed the Spanish national team's famous Spain vs Malta 1984 UEFA European Football Championship qualifying match of Malta national football team in order to UEFA Euro 1984 qualifying for UEFA Euro 1984.

In 1986, Betis lost in the final of the soon-to-be defunct Copa de la Liga, against FC Barcelona.

Economic crisis and Manuel Ruiz de Lopera

Betis again returned to a club rising and falling from the First almost every season until 1992 when it was forced to meet new rules and regulations, meaning the club was required to cover a capital of 1,200 million Spanish peseta, roughly double that of all the first and second division teams, despite being in level two at the time.

In just three months the fans raised 400 million pesetas, an equivalent to between 60-100% of most top division teams, and vice-president Manuel Ruiz de Lopera stepped in providing economic guarantee while himself becoming majority shareholder as the team narrowly avoided relegation.

Serra Ferrer success

After another three seasons in the second division, with the club managed by Lorenzo Serra Ferrer, Betis 1993–94 Segunda División for the 1994–95 La Liga, subsequently overachieving for a final third position, thus 1995–96 UEFA Cup.

In the European campaign, Betis knocked out Fenerbahçe S.K. (4–1 on aggregate) and 1. FC Kaiserslautern (4–1) before losing to 1996 UEFA Cup Final FC Girondins de Bordeaux (3–2). In 1997, thirty years after winning the trophy for the first time, the club returned to the final of the Spanish Cup, again in Madrid, although this time at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, 1997 Copa del Rey Final against Barcelona, after Overtime (sports).

Incidentally Barça was the club Serra Ferrer would leave Betis for that summer, to be replaced by former player Luis Aragonés. Aragonés would only last 1997–98 La Liga with the club leading in to the eighth position, and to 1997–98 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, losing 2–5 on aggregate to eventual winners Chelsea F.C..

Aragonés was followed by the controversial reign of Javier Clemente, who spat on a fan and implied Andalusia was another country! The team slipped down the table, 1998–99 La Liga and 1998–99 UEFA Cup by Bologna F.C. 1909 in the third round. For the next couple of seasons Betis went through numerous managers, a relegation and a promotion, after which the team 2001–02 La Liga, with Juande Ramos at the helm.

Ramos was gone after just one season, being replaced by former Cup Winners' Cup-winning manager Víctor Fernández. He led the team to 2002–03 La Liga and 2003–04 La Liga in the league and the 2002–03 UEFA Cup, being knocked out by AJ Auxerre (1–2 on aggregate), during his two-year reign.

For 2004, Fernandez was replaced by the returning Serra Ferrer who guided the team to the 2004–05 La Liga. They also returned to the Vicente Calderón, on 11 June 2005 for the 2004–05 Copa del Rey, lifting the trophy for only the second time after an extra-time winner by youth graduate Daniel Martín, in a 2–1 win against CA Osasuna.

The league finish meant Betis became the first Andalucian team to compete in the UEFA Champions League, and it reached 2005–06 UEFA Champions League after disposing of AS Monaco FC in the last qualifying round (3–2 on aggregate). Drawn in Group G, and in spite of a 1–0 home win against Chelsea, the club eventually finished third, being "demoted" to the 2005–06 UEFA Cup, where it would be ousted in the round of 16 by defeated FC Steaua Bucureşti (0–0 away draw, 0–3 home loss).

Centenary celebrations

Betis celebrated their Century year in 2007. The festivities included a special match against AC Milan, the 2007 UEFA Champions League Final, on 9 August, with the hosts winning 1–0 thanks to a Mark González Penalty kick early in the second half. Seven days later, the club won the Ramon de Carranza Trophy held in neighbouring Cádiz, beating Real Zaragoza on penalties in the final, after defeating Real Madrid C.F. in the semi-final.

Surrounding the celebration, it was a time of great change in terms of the playing and technical teams, with eight new signings replacing fourteen departures. During the two seasons (2006–07 La Liga and 2007–08 La Liga) that encompassed the centenary year Betis had four different managers. During the latter campaign, the club was the 37th-best followed team in Europe regarding Average attendances of European football clubs.

Segunda División

After many years of staving off relegation, Betis' 2008–09 La Liga culminated with a 1–1 draw against Real Valladolid at home. With this outcome, the club finished 18th in the table and consequently was relegated to the second division.

On 15 June 2009, over 65,000 Beticos including icons such as Rafael Gordillo, del Sol, Hipólito Rincón, Julio Cardeñosa and others joined the protest march in Sevilla with the slogan "15-J Yo Voy Betis" to let the majority owner Ruiz de Lopera know that it was time to put his 54% share of the club on the market for someone, some entity or the Betis supporters to buy those shares and remove Lopera from the day to day operations of the club."

Despite the protests, no upper management changes were made during 2009–10 Segunda División, which would ultimately see Betis fail to gain promotion back to the top level.

Lopera court action and sale

Sevilla judge Mercedes Alaya was investigating links between Betis and other Ruiz de Lopera-owned businesses leading to him being formally charged with fraud. On 7 July 2010, one week before the start of preliminary court proceedings, Lopera sold 94% of the shares that he owned (51% of Betis total shares) to Bitton Sport, fronted by Luis Oliver, for the surprisingly low figure of Euro16 million, leaving Lopera with only minor shares; Oliver had already reportedly taken two football clubs, Cartagena FC and Xerez CD, to the brink of bankruptcy.

However, before the sale could be officially sanctioned Ayala froze Lopera shareholdings. Left with nothing, despite putting down a €1 million deposit, Oliver hastily bought a nominal number of shares from a third party and was voted onto the board of directors by the existing members (all former cohorts of Lopera), allowing him to carry on running the club. In response to this, the judge appointed well-respected former Betis, Real Madrid and Spain legend Rafael Gordillo to administrate Lopera's shares to ensure Lopera was not still running the club and that decisions made were for the benefit of the club not individual board members.

La Liga return

Again under Pepe Mel, Betis started 2011–12 La Liga with four wins in as many games, with Rubén Castro retaining his goal scoring form from 2010–11 Segunda División, where he scored 27 goals. The club only managed, however, one point in the following ten matches.

Seville derby

Betis have a long-standing rivalry with city neighbours Sevilla FC. the latter incident led to the 2006–07 Copa del Rey being suspended, being played out three weeks later in Getafe with no spectators.

On 7 February 2009, Betis won 2–1 at the Pizjuán, but was eventually relegated from the top flight, while Sevilla finished in third position.


La Liga

Played 84, with 18 draws.

- Betis have scored 101 goals against their rivals, but have conceded 118.

Segunda División

Played 14, with 6 draws.

Copa del Rey

Played 16, with 5 draws.

Recent La Liga seasons

Real Betis were relegated during the 1999–2000 La Liga from La Liga, but promoted back on 2000–01 Segunda División.

As of 23 December 2011

Technical staff

Medical staff

Scouting staff

Board of directors

Reserves squad

For the B team squad, see Real Betis B.



- La Liga: 1934–35 La Liga
- Copa del Rey: 1976–77, 2004–05 Copa del Rey; Runner-up 1931 Copa del Rey, 1996–97 Copa del Rey
- Segunda División: 1931–32 Segunda División, 1941–42 Segunda División, 1957–58 Segunda División, 1970–71 Segunda División, 1973–74 Segunda División, 2010–11 Segunda División
- Tercera División: 1953–54


- Ramón de Carranza Trophy: 1964, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2007


Pichichi Trophy

- Hipólito Rincón (1982–83 La Liga)

Zamora Trophy

- Joaquín Urquiaga (1934–35 La Liga)
- Pedro Luis Jaro (1994–95 La Liga)

Notable former players



- - Juan del Castillo Ochoa (1907–09)
- - Alfonso del Castillo Ochoa (1909–10)
- - José Gutiérrez Fernández (1910–11)
- - Juan del Castillo Ochoa (1912)
- - Herbert Richard Jones (1914)

- - Eladio García de la Borbolla (1909)
- - Manuel Gutiérrez Fernández (1910–11)
- - Miguel Folgado (1913–14)
- - Pedro Rodríguez de la Borbolla (1914)

- - Herbert Richard Jones (1914–15)
- - Pedro Rodríguez de la Borbolla (1915–17)
- - Roberto Vicente de Mata (1917–18)
- - Eduardo Hernández Nalda (1918–19)
- - Carlos Alarcón de la Lastra (1919–20)
- - Jerónimo Pérez de Vargas (1920–21)
- - Carlos Alarcón de la Lastra (1921–22)
- - Gil Gómez Bajuelo (1922–23)
- - Ramón Navarro (1923–25)
- - Antonio Polo (1925–26)
- - Ramón Cortecero (1926–27)
- - Antonio de la Guardia (1927–28)
- - Ignacio Sánchez Mejías (1928–29)
- - Daniel Mezquita (1929–30)
- - Camilo Romero Sánchez (1930)

- - Adolfo Cuelliar Rodríguez (1930–31)
- - Jose Ignacio Mantecón (1931–33)
- - Antonio Moreno Sevillano (1933–39)
- - Ramón Poll (1940–42)
- - Alfonso Alarcón de Lastra (1942–43)
- - Francisco Cantalapiedra (1943–44)
- - Eduardo Benjumena (1944–45)
- - Manuel Romero Puerto (1945–46)
- - Filomeno de Aspe (1946–47)
- - Pascual Aparicio (1947–50)
- - Francisco de la Cerda (1950–52)
- - Manuel Ruiz Rodríguez (1952–55)
- - Benito Villamarín (1955–65)
- - Avelino Villamarín (1965–66)
- - Andrés Gaviño (1966–67)
- - Julio de la Puerta (1967–69)
- - José León Gómez (1969)
- - José Núñez Naranjo (1969–79)
- - Juan Manuel Mauduit (1979–83)
- - Gerardo Martínez Retamero (1983–89)
- - Hugo Galera (1989–92)
- - José León Gómez (1992–96)
- - Manuel Ruiz de Lopera (1996–2006)
- - José León Gómez (2006–10)
- - Rafael Gordillo (2010–11)
- - Miguel Guillén (2011–)


Club records

- Best La Liga position: Champion (1934–35 La Liga)
- Worst La Liga position: Twentieth (1990–91 La Liga)

- Greatest home win: Betis 7–0 Real Zaragoza (1958–59 La Liga)
- Greatest away win: Cádiz CF 0–5 Betis (1977–78 La Liga)

- Greatest home defeat: Betis 0–5 Real Madrid C.F. (1960–61 La Liga), Betis 0–5 CA Osasuna (2006–07 La Liga)
- Greatest away defeat: Athletic Bilbao 9–1 Betis (1932–33 La Liga)

- Greatest recovery for: Betis - FC Barcelona: 0–2 to 3–2 (2007–08 La Liga)
- Greatest recovery against: Betis - RCD Espanyol: 2–0 to 2–5 (1999–2000 La Liga)

Player records

- Most appearances: Julio Cardeñosa - 306

- Top goalscorer (La Liga): Hipólito Rincón - 78
- Top goalscorer (overall): Manuel Domínguez - 94
- Top goalscorer (European competitions): Alfonso Pérez - 8

- Most Ejection (sports): Jaime Quesada Chavarría - 7

- First to play for Spain national football team: Simón Lecue - 1934
- Most capped for Spain: Rafael Gordillo - 75
- Spanish internationals: 26


With a 56,500 -seat capacity, Estadio Benito Villamarín is the home ground of Real Betis. It was named Estadio Manuel Ruiz de Lopera during the 2000s after the club's owner, who decided to build a new stadium over the old one.

Despite much planning, the stadium's renovation plans were constantly postponed, and half of it remained unchanged. On 27 October 2010, it returned to its first denomination after a decision by the club's associates.


The current Betis home strip consists of a shirt with 13 vertical stripes of green and white, the centennial logo on the left side, white shorts and green socks with a white horizontal stripe at the top.


In its initial years, Sevilla Balompié dressed in blue shirts with white shorts, which represented the infantry at the time. From late 1911 the team had adopted the shirts of Celtic F.C., at that time vertical stripes of green and white, that were brought over from Glasgow at the request of Manuel Asensio Ramos, who had studied in Scotland as a child.

When the team became Real Betis Balompié in 1914, various kits were used, including: yellow and black stripes; green t-shirts and a reversion to the blue top and white shorts uniform. By the end of the 1920s Betis was once again sporting green and white stripes, around this time the Assembly of Ronda (1918) saw the Andalusian region formally adopt these colours, not being known how much the two are linked.

Since then this remained Betis shirt, despite several versions (including wider stripes).

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