A history of Spain’s Copa del Rey
The Copa del Rey, or ‘‘Spanish Kings Cup’, became the first nationwide club competition in Spanish Football. In 1902, Carlos Padros (who later became president of Real Madrid) suggested a knock-out competition was held to celebrate Alfonso XIII’s coronation as King of Spain. The first edition of the cup only featured four teams (Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, RCD Espanyol and Club Vizcaya), but the competition later developed, in 1905, into the nationwide Copa del Rey.
The cup was initially known as the ‘Copa del Ayuntamiento de Madrid’ (Madrid City Council’s Cup). Between 1905 and 1932, it was called the ‘Copa de Su Majestad El Rey Alfonso XIII’ (His Majesty King Alfonso XIII’s Cup). During the Second Spanish Republic it was known as the ‘Copa del Presidente de la República’ (President of the Republic Cup) and during the Franco’s dictatorship it was known as the ‘Copa del Generalísimo’ (The General’s Cup).
King Alfonso’s early interest in the game lead to patronage of several clubs, characterised by the prefix ‘Real’, such as those displayed in the names of Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Real Zaragoza and Real Valladolid.
Barcelona have won the competition on the most occasions, with 28 wins.
The 2016/2017 Copa del Rey will be the 114th.
Go to: Previous Winners