90 years since the conquest of the first league

90 years since the conquest of the first league

On June 30, 1929, Barça won 0-2 at Arenas de Getxo and secured the first league title in history

Ninety years since the conquest of the first edition of the Spanish League by Barça, with a 2-0 victory on the last day, June 30, 1929, against Arenas de Getxo. The club were proclaimed champions after a fight with Real Madrid that wasn't resolved until that final game.

The new competition had been born thanks to the auspices of the Board of Directors of Barça, which on February 1, 1927 had sent a letter to the Spanish Football Federation in which it proposed the idea of ​​organising a Spanish club competition in the format of all against all instead of direct eliminatory fixtures.

The gestation of the first league was slow, and in the 1927/28 season a sort of general rehearsal called the Tournament of Champions of Spain was held, and won by Barça. In 1928/29, the first edition of the league was played between the months of February and June 1929, and was a kind of culmination of the championships of Catalonia and Spain.

mini_3200x2000_historica01
mini_3200x2000_historica01

Slow start but an exciting finale

Barça started the new league with mixed feelings, because although they'd won the treble (Championship of Catalonia, Championship of Spain and Tournament of Champions) in 1927/28, they'd also lost the championships of Catalonia and Spain 1928/29 to Espanyol.

After Barça's initial victory against Racing Santander (0-2) on February 12, 1929, very soon things went wrong. In the second match, Barça lost to Real Madrid (1-2) at Les Corts and entered a spiral of adverse results that ultimately resulted in the resignation on March 23 of President Arcadi Balaguer. His successor, Tomás Rosés, decided to change the Catalan coach Romà Forns for the Englishman James Bellamy. At that point the league leaders were Real Madrid, and they were seven points ahead.

The change was sudden: FC Barcelona won nine of the 11 remaining games and drew the other two. In fact, the league concluded with Real Madrid and Barça tied on points, but the latter still had a game pending against Arenas de Getxo after it had earlier been postponed. So, for Barça, that encounter was a must-win.

A win in the decisive match

There was great expectation surrounding the game, although Arenas had nothing to play for. Barça, in spite of having the handicap of Saura's injury in the initial minutes - in that day and age subs were not allowed -, dominated but failed to score before the break.

After half-time Arenas attacked, but the Barça counterattacks became more and more dangerous until, in the 65th minute, Piera's cross was headed home by Parera. Eight minutes later, Parera himself collected a wonderful assist from Samitier and beat the Basque goalkeeper. From then on Arenas lost interest.

At the final whistle the Barça players, who received a premium of 2,000 pesetas for the title, celebrated wildly. Barça were the champions of the first league in history with a total of 25 points, two more than Real Madrid and five ahead of Athletic Club and Real Sociedad. Of the 18 games played, Barça won eleven, drew three and lost four, scoring 37 goals and conceding 23. The top scorer was Sastre, with 11 goals.

Força Barça
Força Barça

Related to this article

Close article

Related to this article