In Catalonia the main sport of the region is, without a doubt, football. The sport was first brought to Spain at the end of the 19th century by British immigrants, sailors and scholars coming back from Britain after their studies. Catalonia has paved the way for football to develop throughout Spain, through establishing the very first football association and the first Catalonian Football league. Currently all football events are organized through the Catalan Football Federation, and Catalonian teams are playing in La Liga and Copa del Rey, among many other competitions in Europe.
The first Football club founded in Catalonia is Palamós Foot-Ball Club, which dates back to 1898. Even though Gimnàstic de Tarragona was already established in 1886, it took until 1914 for the club to establish an actual team. Català SC and Foot-Ball Club Barcelona, followed in 1899. Many clubs after that had Spain in their name, in one shape or another, like Hispania AC, which was founded in 1900 just like Sociedad Española de Football and there were many more. The Federació Catalana de Futbol was also founded in 1900 on November 11th. The association with Eduard Alesson as the very first President was the very first football association of Spain. Originally, the association consisted out of FC Barcelona and Sociedad Española de Football, among other clubs from that era.
Since the founding of La Liga in 1928, there are 7 Clubs from Catalonia that competed in the Primera Division, among them FC Barcelona, who have never dropped from the Primera Division, and RCD Espanyol, who of all seasons were only relegated four times and each time came back up. Though many Spanish clubs have been in the top division on occasion, CE Europa have three seasons under their belt.
The Catalan Football Federation
The Federació Catalana de Futbol carries the responsibility of regulating Football in Catalonia. The Federation was founded in 1900 and called: Football Associació de Catalunya, and it was the very first Football Association ever founded on Spanish soil.
During 4 decades from 1903 until 1940 the organization was responsible for organizing the Campionat de Catalunya, which were the first official championships ever played in the country. The association was also responsible for organizing the Catalonia national football team in 1904. These days the Federation still organizes the Copa Catalunya and manages the Tercera División-Group 5 along with the Primera Catalana as a component of the football league system in Spain.
After democracy was once again restored in Spain, a new Catalonian competition was created in 1984, called The Copa Generalitat. This competition was not certified by the RFEF at first, but this changed in 1990 when the Copa Generalitat, this time organized by the Catalan Football Federation, was officially recognized by the RFEF and turned into an official event. From that moment, top division clubs started entering the competition. The event underwent a name change to the Copa Catalunya in 1993.
After the change in name, the importance of the competition has been on a decline ever since, with the top clubs: FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol often competing with a rather weak selection of players.