|Full name||Real Betis Balompié, SAD|
Béticos (Betis) |
Los Verdiblancos (The Green-and-Whites)
El Glorioso (The Glorious One)
Verderones (Big Greens)
|Founded||12 September 1906|
|2015–16||La Liga, 10th|
|Website||Club home page|
Real Betis Balompié, SAD, more commonly referred to as Real Betis (pronounced: [reˈal ˈβetis]) or just Betis, is a Spanish football club based in Sevilla, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Founded on 12 September 1907, it plays in La Liga, having won the Segunda División in the 2014–15 season. It holds home games at Estadio Benito Villamarín in the south of the city.
Real Betis won the league title in 1935 and the Copa del Rey in 1977 and 2005. Given the club's tumultuous history and many relegations, its motto is Viva el Betis manque pierda! ("Long live Betis even when they lose!").
Betis' city rivals Sevilla FC were the first club in Sevilla, founded in October 1905, while a second club, Sevilla Balompié were established in September 1907. "Balompié" translates literally as "football", as opposed to the most commonly adopted anglicised version, "fútbol". 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 Football Club. In 1914, they merged with Sevilla Balompié. The club received its royal patronage in the same year, and therefore adopted the name Real Betis Balompié.
Fans continued to refer to the club as Balompié and were themselves known as Los Balompedistas until the 1930s, when Betis and the adjective Béticos became common terminology when discussing the club and its followers.
1930s: promotion, championship and relegation
During the Spanish Second Republic (1931–1939), royal patronage of all organisations was nullified, and thus the club was known as Betis Balompié until after the Spanish Civil War when it would revert to the full name. The club reached the Copa del Presidente de la República final for the first time on 21 June 1931, when it lost 3–1 to Athletic Bilbao in Madrid. Betis marked their 25th anniversary year by winning their first Segunda División title in 1932, finishing two points ahead of Oviedo FC, thus becoming the first club from Andalusia to play in La Liga.
A year later Betis went down to seventh. This was due to the dismantling of the championship-winning team because of the club's poor economic situation and the arrival of the Civil War, meaning that just 15 months after lifting the league title only two players who won in 1935 were left: Peral and Saro. No official league was held during the Civil War between 1936 and 1939, 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 relegated.
Despite a brief return to the top division 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. 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.
In 1955, Manuel Ruiz Rodríguez stepped down from running the club believing he could not offer further economic growth, he was replaced by Betis most famous former president, Benito Villamarín. During his reign Betis returned to the top division in 1958–59 and finished in third place in 1964. His purchase of the Estadio Heliópolis in 1961 is seen as a key point in the history of the club – the grounds were called the Estadio Benito Villamarín until 1997. In 1965, Villamarín stepped down from his position after ten years at the helm of the club.
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 in 1974–75.
First Copa del Rey Title and European Qualification
On 25 June 1977, Betis played Athletic Bilbao at the Vicente Calderón Stadium in the Copa del Rey final. The match finished 2–2, with Betis winning 8–7 after a staggering 21 penalties taken. This rounded off a solid season in which the club finished fifth in the league.
After that triumph, Betis competed in the European Cup Winners' Cup: after knocking out Milan 3–2 on aggregate in the first round, the side reached the quarter-finals, where they lost to Dynamo Moscow. Despite their strong performance in Europe, the team suffered league relegation.
The following year, Betis returned to the top flight and ushered in a period of "good times" for the club, with the next three seasons seeing three top-six finishes, as well as UEFA Cup qualification in 1982 and 1984.
During the summer of 1982, the Benito Villamarín hosted two matches as part of the 1982 FIFA World Cup, and also witnessed the Spain national team's famous 12–1 hammering of Malta in order to qualify for UEFA Euro 1984.
Economic crisis and Manuel Ruiz de Lopera
In 1992, Betis found itself subject to new league rules and regulations due to is restructuring as an anonymous sporting group (SAD), requiring the club to come up with 1,200 million pesetas, 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 with then vice-president Manuel Ruiz de Lopera stepping in to provide an 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 returned to the top flight for the 1994–95 season, subsequently achieving a final third position, thus qualifying to the UEFA Cup.
In the European campaign, Betis knocked out Fenerbahçe (4–1 on aggregate) and 1. FC Kaiserslautern (4–1) before losing to defeated finalists Bordeaux (3–2). In 1997, 30 years after winning the trophy for the first time, the club returned to the final of the Copa del Rey – again held in Madrid, although this time at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium – losing 2–3 against Barcelona after extra time.
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 one season with the club, leading the side to the eighth position and to the quarter-finals in the Cup Winners' Cup, where they would lose 2–5 on aggregate to eventual winners Chelsea.
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, finishing 11th and being knocked out of the UEFA Cup by Bologna in the third round. For the next couple of seasons, Betis went through numerous managers, a relegation and a promotion, after which the team finished sixth in the league with Juande Ramos at the helm.
Ramos was gone after just one season, however, being replaced by former Cup Winners' Cup-winning manager Víctor Fernández. He led the team to eighth and ninth in the league and the third round of the 2002–03 UEFA Cup, being knocked out by Auxerre (1–2 on aggregate), during his two-year reign.
For 2004, Fernández was replaced by the returning Serra Ferrer, who guided the team to the fourth position in the top flight. They also returned to the Vicente Calderón on 11 June 2005 for the Copa del Rey final, lifting the trophy for only the second time after an extra-time winner by youth graduate Dani in a 2–1 win against Osasuna.
The league finish meant Betis became the first Andalucian team to compete in the UEFA Champions League, and it reached the group stage after disposing of Monaco 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 UEFA Cup, where it would be ousted in the round of 16 by defeated Steaua București (0–0 away draw, 0–3 home loss).
Betis celebrated their centenary year in 2007. The festivities included a special match against Milan, the reigning European Champions, on 9 August, with the hosts winning 1–0 thanks to a Mark González penalty early in the second half. Seven days later, the club won the Ramón de Carranza Trophy held in neighbouring Cádiz, beating Real Zaragoza on penalties in the final, having defeated Real Madrid in the semi-finals.
Surrounding the celebration, it was a time of great change in terms of the playing and technical teams, with eight new signings replacing 14 departures. During the two seasons (2006–07 and 2007–08) 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.
After many years of staving off relegation, Betis' 2008–09 season 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 the season, which would ultimately see Betis fail to gain promotion back to the top level.
Lopera court action and sale
Seville 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 €16 million, leaving Lopera with only minor shares; Oliver had already reportedly taken two football clubs, Cartagena and Xerez, to the brink of bankruptcy.
Before the sale could be officially sanctioned, however, 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 national team 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 with four wins in as many games, with Rubén Castro retaining his goal scoring form from the previous season, where he scored 27 goals. Betis finished 13th in their first season since returning to La Liga.
In the 2012–13 season, Betis finished seventh in La Liga and qualified for the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League, the first European qualification for the club since the 2005–06 Champions League. This European campaign ended in the quarter-finals after losing on penalties to local rivals Sevilla. Betis were relegated from La Liga with three games still to play in the 2013–14 season, but returned immediately as champions with two games to spare.
Betis have a long-standing rivalry with city neighbours Sevilla FC. The two have met 114 times in official competition, with Sevilla holding a 45% win ratio over Betis (31%).
The first match between the two clubs took place on 8 February 1915, with Sevilla winning 4–3. The match was not completed, as high tensions led an aggressive crowd to invade the pitch, forcing the referee to abandon the match.
In 1916, the first Copa Andalucía was held, this being the first official derby of the Sevilla area. Of the 17 runnings of the cup, Sevilla were victorious 14 times, to Betis' one sole conquest; this included a 22–0 routing after the latter sent their youth team, in 1918.
The first time the teams met in league, in Segunda, happened in 1928–29, with both teams winning their home matches (3–0 and 2–1). They played for the first time in the Spanish top division during the 1934–35 season, with a 0–3 home defeat for Sevilla and a 2–2 draw at Betis, with the latter winning the national championship.
On 17 January 1943, Betis lost 5–0 at Sevilla, eventually being relegated. In the first game held at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, on 21 September 1958, the Verdiblancos won it 4–2.
In later years, several matches were also marred by violence, including: a security guard attacked by a Sevilla fan with a crutch (that he did not require to walk), Betis goalkeeper Toni Prats being attacked and Sevilla manager Juande Ramos being struck by a bottle of water; the latter incident led to the 2007 Copa del Rey match 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.
Played 84, with 18 draws.
- Betis have scored 101 goals against their rivals, but have conceded 118.
Played 14, with 6 draws.
Copa del Rey
Played 16, with 5 draws.
Season to season
- Seasons in Primera División: 48
- Seasons in Segunda División: 25
- Seasons in Segunda División B: 0
- Seasons in Tercera División: 7
- Participations in UEFA Champions League: 1
- Participations in UEFA Cup: 7
- Participations in UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 2
Recent La Liga seasons
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
26 Miki Roqué (deceased) (2009–12)
Board of Directors
- President: Juan Carlos Ollero Pina
- Vice-Presidents: José Miguel López Catalán, Ángel Haro García
- Board Members: José Montoro Pizarro, Tomás Solano Franco, Ernesto Sanguino Gómez, José Maria Pagola Serra, Adrián Fernández Romero, María Victoria López Sánchez, Rafael Salas Garcia, Ramón Alarcón Rubiales, Cayetano García de la Borbolla Carrero
- Ambassadors: Rafael Gordillo
- Director of Football: Eduardo Maciá
- Assistant Director of Football: Alexis Trujillo
- Head Scout: Vasiliki Pappa
- Scouting: Jakob Friis-Hansen, Vlada Stosic, Carlos Vargas, Adrian Espárraga and Paulo Meneses
- Technical Analysis Department: Tino Luis Cabrera (Head) and Jaime Quesada
- Scouting U20s: Juan José Cañas (Head) and Pedro Morilla
- Manager: Víctor Sánchez
- Assistant Manager: Alexis Trujillo
- Assistant Manager: Capi
- Fitness Coach: José Antonio Asian
- Goalkeeper Coach: David Relaño
- Head of Medical Services: Tomás Calero
- Physiotherapists: Fran Molano, José Manuel Pizarro, Manuel López, Manuel Alcantarilla
- Nurse: José María Montiel
- La Liga
- Winners (1): 1934–35
- Copa del Rey
- Supercopa de España
- Runners-up (1): 2005
- Segunda División
- Tercera División
- Winners (1): 1953–54
- Copa de Andalucia (defunct)
- Winners (1): 1927–28
- Runners-up (13): 1919–20, 1920–21, 1922–23, 1923–24, 1924–25, 1925–26, 1926–27, 1928–29, 1929–30, 1930–31, 1931–32, 1938–39, 1939–40
- Iberian Supercup: Runners-up 1935, 2005
- Ramón de Carranza: 1964, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2007
- Trofeo Colombino: 1968, 1983, 1995, 2009
- Guadiana Trophy: 2004
|Manuel Ramos Asenio||1911–14, 1914–15|
|Herbert Richard Jones||1914, 1916||Also first president|
|Andrés Aranda||1922, 1939–40, 1943–46, 1949–52, 1965|
|Ramón Porlan y Merlo||1923|
|Juan Armet "Kinké"||1927–30||First year of league competition (1929)|
|Emilio Sampere||1930–32|| Copa del Rey runner-up 1931|
Segunda champion 1932
|Patrick O'Connell||1932–36, 1940–42, 1946–47||La Liga champion 1935|
|Francisco Gómez||1942–43, 1953–55||Tercera champion, 1954|
|José Suárez "Peral"||1946–47, 1948–49|
|Sabino Barinaga||1955, 1960, 1968–69|
|Pepe Valera||1955–57, 1967–68|
|Antonio Barrios||1957–59, 1967, 1969–72||Segunda champion 1958 and 1971|
|Fernando Daucik||1960–63, 1968–69|
|Ernesto Pons||1963, 1965, 1966|
|Ferenc Szusza||1972–76||Segunda champion 1974|
|Rafael Iriondo||1976–78, 1981–82||Copa del Rey winner, 1977|
|José Luis Garcia Traid||1978–79|
|Luis Cid||1979–81, 1984–86|
|Luis Aragonés||1981, July 28, 1997 – June 30, 1998|
|Pedro Buenaventura||1982, 1988–89|
|Luis del Sol||1985–87, 2001|
|José Luis Romero||1990–91|
|José Ramón Esnaola||1991, 1993|
|Lorenzo Serra Ferrer||1994–97, July 1, 2004 – June 8, 2006||Copa del Rey winner 2005 Qualified for 2005-2006 Champions League|
|Vicente Cantatore||Aug 26, 1998 – Oct 26, 1998|
|Javier Clemente||Oct 27, 1998 – June 30, 1999|
|Faruk Hadžibegić||Jan 2, 2000 – June 30, 2001|
|Guus Hiddink||Feb 1, 2000 – May 31, 2000|
|Fernando Vázquez||July 1, 2000 – March 19, 2001|
|Juande Ramos||July 1, 2001 – May 16, 2002|
|Víctor Fernández||July 1, 2002 – June 30, 2004, Jan 26, 2010 – July 12, 2010|
|Javier Irureta||July 1, 2006 – Dec 22, 2006|
|Luis Fernández||Dec 27, 2006 – June 10, 2007|
|Héctor Cúper||July 14, 2007 – Dec 2, 2007|
|Paco Chaparro||Dec 3, 2007 – April 7, 2009|
|José María Nogués||April 7, 2009 – June 30, 2009|
|Antonio Tapia||July 1, 2009 – Jan 25, 2010|
|Pepe Mel||July 12, 2010 – Dec 2, 2013, Dec 19, 2014 – Jan 11, 2016||Segunda champion, 2011 and 2015|
|Juan Carlos Garrido||Dec 2, 2013 – Jan 19, 2014|
|Gabriel Calderón||Jan 19, 2014 – May 19, 2014|
|Julio Velázquez||Jun 16, 2014 – Nov 25, 2014|
|Juan Merino||Nov 25, 2014 – Dec 19, 2014, Jan 11, 2016 – May 9, 2016|
|Gus Poyet||May 9, 2016 – present|
- Best La Liga position: Champion (1934–35)
- Worst La Liga position: Twentieth (1990–91, 2013–14)
- Biggest home win: Betis 7–0 Zaragoza (1958–59)
- Biggest away win: Cádiz 0–5 Betis (1977–78)
- Biggest home defeat: Betis 0–5 Real Madrid (1960–61, 2013–14), Betis 0–5 Osasuna (2006–07)
- Biggest away defeat: Athletic Bilbao 9–1 Betis (1932–33)
- Biggest comeback for: Betis – Barcelona: 0–2 to 3–2 (2007–08)
- Biggest comeback against: Betis – Espanyol: 2–0 to 2–5 (1999–00)
- Most appearances: José Ramón Esnaola – 456
- Top goalscorer (La Liga): Hipólito Rincón – 78
- Top goalscorer (overall): Rubén Castro – 121
- Top goalscorer (European competitions): Alfonso – 8
- Most red cards: Jaime Quesada – 7
- First to play for Spain: Simón Lecue – 1934
- Most capped for Spain: Rafael Gordillo – 75
- Spanish internationals: 27
With a 56,500-seat capacity, the Estadio Benito Villamarín is the home ground of Real Betis. It was named Estadio Manuel Ruiz de Lopera during the 2000s (decade) 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.
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, at that time vertical stripes of green and white, that were brought over from Glasgow by 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).
- "Benito Villamarín Stadium". realbetisbalompie.es.
- "Real Betis, 100 years of passion". FIFA.com. 18 January 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- "Todos los partidos de la pretemporada 2007–08" [All the matches in the 2007–08 preseason] (in Spanish). Real Betis. 17 August 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- "Lopera sigue mudo y ultras lo amenazan: 'Vende o muere'" [Lopera still says nothing and is threatened by ultras: 'Sell or die'] (in Spanish). El Mundo. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- "Oliver: "Ni los nazis hacían lo que hace esta loca"" [Oliver: "Not even nazis did what this crazy woman does"] (in Spanish). Marca. 27 October 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- La venta se cierra en 16 millones a pagar en 5 años (Sold for 16 millions to be paid in 5 years); El Desmarque, 7 July 2010 (Spanish)
- "Spot-on Sevilla get the better of Betis". UEFA. 20 March 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
- "Ronaldo brace sends Real second, Betis relegated". FIFA. 26 April 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
- "Real Betis win promotion to Primera Division after Alcorcon victory". Sky Sports. 25 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
- "This was no isolated incident". The Guardian. 1 March 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- Siesta azulgrana (Azulgrana nap); Marca, 29 March 2008 (Spanish)
- "De Ruiz de Lopera a Benito Villamarín: el estadio sin nombre" [From Ruiz de Lopera to Benito Villamarín: the nameless ground] (in Spanish). Marca. 27 October 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Real Betis.|
- Official website (Spanish) (English)
- Real Betis at La Liga (English) (Spanish)
- Real Betis at UEFA (English) (Spanish)