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BF 35 The history of CE Europa - ceeuropa.cat

   

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The history of CE Europa

Nou Sardenya, our stadium Nou Sardenya, our stadium

Club Esportiu Europa, as we know it today, was born in 1907 next to the Sagrada Família. Discover its history!


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FOUNDING AND THE FIRST YEARS

At that time, two modest clubs (Provençal and Madrid from Barcelona) decided to merge together in order to achieve greater goals inside Catalan football. When they were looking for a name to give the club, in order to avoid major expenses on a federative register, they decided to take advantage by using the name of a club which was about to disappear, FC Europa. By making a small change on their name and paying all the debts of this extinct entity, -which was much cheaper than starting a club from zero-, “Club Deportivo Europa” was born on June 5th 1907.

First Chairman in Europa's history was Rodolf Collell Admetller. He directed the club until 1911, when he became vice president of the Catalan's Football Federation (FCF). Until 2019, Europa has had 33 chairmen throughout its long history. Originally, the team dressed in blue and white vertical stripes. But it was not until the 1917/18 season, when they changed their shirt for a long neck which closed vertically. The historical 'escapulari' comes from 1926.

This element was incorporated on the shirt and its real origin for its use is still unknown: on one side, it was believed that, during the 20s, the latest fashion for kids was to usually dress with an 'escapulari' on their clothes, and also, at that time, many goalkeepers wore the 'escapulari' as a differential visual element from other football equipments. On the other side, it has been commented that some months before, the visit of the British team Birmingham City (which at that time dressed the 'escapulari') was an inspiration for the executive team. During 1919, the team was promoted to the A Group in the Catalan Championship, which was the highest category at that time.

THE GLORIOUS YEARS: FOUNDING CLUB OF 'LA LIGA' AND OTHER SPORTS

The 20's were, undoubtedly, the most successful decade that the club has ever experienced. The first historical fact, and one which makes CE Europa an important part in the history of Spanish sport, was because of basketball. Both, CE Laietà and CE Europa had the honour of being the first two games to play an official basketball match in the whole country (the escapulats won that game which ended up with an unusual result nowadays: 8-2).

The first big success on the football section was winning the Campionat de Catalunya by defeating FC Barcelona by 1-0. A year later, at the 1922/23 season, they had the right of participating at the Copa del Rey tournament mainly because they won the territorial league playing at what was the top category in football at that time. CE Europa made an impressive achievement in this tournament, defeating all its rivals and arriving to the final. This unlucky final was played at Les Corts Stadium against Athletic Bilbao. Supporters from FC Barcelona were still very irritated because of the defeat at the Catalan Championship, therefore they decided to support Athletic Bilbao on that final. To be honest, there has not been such an unfair final in football as this one... CE Europa shot 10 balls at the bar and Athletic, on one single counterattack, scored the goal that gave them the cup. (0-1) This decade also reserved another historical moment for the club.

After becoming during this period one of the biggest clubs in the state, CE Europa had the honour of founding (along with nine more clubs), the first Spanish league competition, Primera División (now, La Liga), the first of all the leagues that have been played until present. CE Europa stayed on Primera División for three consecutive seasons, achieving their best result with an 8th place. In relation to other sports, Europa has accomplished success through their history in other sportive modalities such as athletism or boxing.

FIRST SERIOUS PROBLEMS

From the 30's until the beginning of the 60's, Europa went under a complicated time that almost cost the club's extinction. at the start of the 30's, this extreme situation led the directives of the entity to merge with Gràcia FC (non-existent team) and get its professional federative spot. With this merge, both first teams founded a new club called FC Catalunya, however CE Europa (as a self) did not disappear (as such), since a group of dissatisfied supporters that did not agree with this merging during the assembly, immediately registered the amateur team, Europa, to the last football category, avoiding this way the transition cut between seasons. Because of this decision, Europa kept competing with the exact same colours and name, detaching themselves from the merge with Gràcia and making its story longer, this time by starting again from zero (scratch).

THE 60s, THE LAST SUCCESSFUL YEARS

During season 1962/63, the club achieved the promotion to the Second Division, a category in which they fought until season 67/68, when a federative reestructuration forced CE Europa and other clubs to, unavoidably, descend the category. A fact that has marked the present of the club and, if it was not produced, maybe we would be seeing a different Europa playing at the national football elite.

During the Copa Championship, they beat the so-well known “Los 5 Magníficos” Zaragoza FC, a team which made history on Primera División and that lost against CE Europa (who were in Second Division). This was a surprising fact in the history of the Copa until those dates (even though nowadays it is more common to see these wonders). The home match played at the Nou Sardenya Stadium was, until that moment, the first and only CE Europa football match being broadcasted to all Spain through TVE.

THE CRISIS ON THE 70s AND 80s

On those two decades, CE Europa went through its worst descent in category levels, playing for a good amount of years in regional categories. It was not until the late 80s when the club came back to the Third Division, and since then until nowadays it has not stopped competing in the statal category. That same decade, the club went through the catalanization of its name. Therefore, on 1985/86 the club changed its name to “Club Esportiu Europa”.

'NOU SARDENYA': FIRST STEP TO MODERNIZATION

In the mid-1990's, CE Europa went into exile due to their stadium going under reconstuction. It was not until 1995, when the club saw the birth of the current stadium in Gràcia, the Nou Sardenya. A stadium with a capacity for 4.000 people, covered grandstand, 1.200 seats in the grandstand, side and VIP zone, electric scoreboard and artificial grass.

The Nou Sardenya means the first step, the first stone to work a future based on training football and that allows a projection to higher categories. The opening match was used to fill the stadium for the first time and to play, at the same time, the first edition of the Trophy Vila de Gràcia. For those dates Lleida hosted the team and who would qualify for 0-1.


CE EUROPA “THE LOCAL GIANT KILLER” : THE 3 'COPA CATALUNYA' TROPHEES

The penultimate big achievement of the club was winning the double championship of the Copa Catalunya duting 97 and 98. The team (at Third Division) was able to defeat twice RCD Espanyol on semifinals and FC Barcelona on the two finals (first match ended 3-1 in Hospitalet and the second match on a penalty round, at a “neutral” stage, such as Miniestadi. An unprecedented deed in the Spanish state... A Third division club winning two consecutive titles to a First Division team. Players such as Stoichov, Xavi, De la Peña, Hesp, Blanc, Óscar, Pizzi, Andersson, Giovanni or Amor where unable to bent players such as Serafín, Badía, Arturo, Fernando, Amorós, Raúl Verdú, Pacha or Endrino.

Much more recently, on 2015, CE Europa added their most recent title to their showcase. They did it playing the final at home, in Nou Sordanya against Girona FC -who were at Second Division at that time-. After FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol, it is CE Europa the team that has more Copa Catalunya titles on Catalan Football history.


HISTORICAL AND INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS

Legendary football players have emerged from CE Europa, such as Cros or Ramallets, being the last one a national player for Spain, and one of the most legendary goalkeepers in football history while playing with FC Barcelona. Players such as Kubala have also dressed the “escapulada” shirt, in official matches or friendly games.

Nowadays, some players which emerged on the CE Europa youth team are playing professional football, some of them even in Spanish First Division. Along its history, the club has contributed with 3 players to the national Spanish team.

 

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