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La Copa Macaya, 1902

Considered the first Catalonian Championship, the Copa Macaya was the brainchild of Alfons Macaya, president of Club Hispània, who on December 16, 1900 announced his intention to organise a competition for Catalan teams, saying that whoever won it three times could keep the trophy outright. The first edition was played between January and April 1901 and was won by Hispània. FC Barcelona came second.

But Barça were able to make up for that setback by winning the second edition of the Copa Macaya (1901/1902). They won all eight games they played, by a spectacular balance of 60 goals for and just two against. In the final game, played on March 23, 1902, Barça beat Català 15-0. The team that day was: Reig, Witty, Smart, Valdés, Terradas, Marín, Parson, Steinberg, Gamper, Leack and Quirante. The goals were scored by Steinberg (6), Gamper (3), Leack (3), Parsons (2) and Quirante. Curiously, a lot of people doubted whether the trophy really existed, and it had to be paraded down Carrer Ferran to sort out the controversy.

Short-lived tournament

In the 1902-03 season, FC Barcelona withdrew from the Copa Macaya because of the unfair invalidation of their win against Hispània because they hadn’t handed in their list of registered players on time, which was not true. The tournament lost some of its spark due to Barcelona being absent, and was won by Espanyol. It was then that Barça decided to organise, in 1903, the Copa Barcelona, which they won thanks to 12 victories and two draws.

The Copa Macaya disappeared in 1903-04 when the Catalonian Championship was set up, which left the problem of deciding which of the three champions should keep the trophy. As Hispània no longer existed and Espanyol and Barça couldn’t reach any agreement, the cup was eventually awarded to Espanyol by virtue of them having won the direct meetings between the sides that year. Many year later, in 2001, Espanyol lent the trophy to FC Barcelona for a replica to be made, which is the one now on show in the club museum.

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