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CE Europa from 'A' to 'Z'

Do you want to learn a bit more about everything related to CE Europa? Players, Managers, Chairmen, Fan Clubs, Basketball section, remarkable sites, historical facts or interesting anecdotes related to the club. Then, keep reading and get to know all about CE Europa's history from A to Z!


Antonio Alcázar was born on May 10th, 1902 in Torreagüera (Murcia). Being one year old, he and his family move to Barcelona. Formed in CE Europa's lower categories, he has been one of the most outstanding players during the 20s. Playing as a left-winger, Alcázar almost completed his whole career with Europa and was called twice for Spain's National team. At the age of 20, he scored the winning goal against FC Barcelona at the Campionat de Catalunya, played in Girona at 1922. His name is strongly linked on the glorious years of the club.


On December 8th, 1922, the first basketball game in history in Spain was played. The game was between CE Europa and Laietà Sport Club, with the gràciens winning 8 – 2. The players representing Europa's basketball team were: Pérez, Julià, Barquens, Xavier, Palom, Brunet and García. Not much longer, the Catalunya Basketball Championship was organized, with CE Europa winning it twice, in 1924 and 1926.


Manuel Cros is considered the greatest player in the club. A big myth in Gràcia, he was considered one of the best players in the '20s along with Samitier (FC Barcelona) or Zamora (RCD Espanyol). This tall and hefty striker, signed for CE Europa in 1922, remaining in the club for nine years. During his stay, the club won the Catalonia Championship and ended up as runner-ups in the Spanish Cup (nowadays "Copa del Rey"). He also belongs to the group of "escapulat" players that participated during its three years.

"DEPORTIU" (Sportive)

The word "Deportiu" comes from Spanish "Deportivo" (Eng. Sportive), whereas in Catalan, the correct term would be "Esportiu" (as it is nowadays). This grammatical error happened because when the club was founded (1907), Catalan linguïstic rules were yet not specific enough. Pompeu Fabra, the most well-known Catalan grammarian, was still taking some time to fix Modern Catalan language development and its limitations. That is why its founding name was "Club Deportiu Europa". When the Spanish Civil War ended and with the dictator Franco taking power, The fascist regime forced the change of CD Europa's name into Spanish, being the new name "Club Deportivo Europa". When democracy was restored, Europa brought its name back to Catalan, and since 1985, the official name is the one that everybody knows: "Club Esportiu Europa".


Originally, Europa's uniform consisted of a blue and white vertical striped shirt and blue pants. This uniform started since its foundation until season 1917-18. The next season, the players were dressing a completely white shirt but with a blue neck. Finally, in 1926, the board decided that the shirt was going to be white, but with a blue chevron. This uniform came down to us to this day, and it has only been changed once, during the Centenary season. Without a doubt, the "escapulari" is one of our most ingrained signs of identity in our club.

“FUTBOL BASE” (Academy)

With the growing globalization of football, where big clubs are getting bigger and smaller clubs are getting smaller, the Academy is the primary tool in this unequal struggle. CE Europa has a strong football academy, which we could divide into two major areas: the football school with 850 children enrolled between the infant and pre-youngest categories and the proper CE Europa Academy with 320 players, and 16 teams (four U11, four U13, four U15 and four youth teams).


Ten years before the club's foundation, the Vila de Gràcia was annexed to Barcelona along with other towns surrounding the capital. Although it has been more than a hundred years since this aggregation, many cultural and sports institutions remark the folklore of this actual neighbourhood which was an independent village. CE Europa is considered a vital reference icon in Gràcia and, since its foundation, it has always been connected to "La Vila".


June 17th 1997, Hospitalet's Municipal Stadium, Copa Catalunya final: CE Europa - FC Barcelona. The match ended 3-1. Overwhelming victory against a FC Barcelona with international players on their starting 11. The “gracienc” supporters where ecstatic celebrating their first Copa Catalunya. May 5th 1998, Mini-Estadi. Copa Catalunya final: FC Barcelona - CE Europa. The escapulats won their second Copa Catalunya cup on the penalties, playing against a team with huge players such as Xavi Hernández. The heroes that played this match were: Serafín; Torras, Carvajal (Vázquez), Badía, Colomé (Endrino), Arturo (Benja), Fernando, Pacha (Garrofé), Isi, Lluís and Raúl Verdú (Manolo)


Apart from big idols that have played in CE Europa's long history and that most "escapulats" know, such as charismatic striker Cros, there are also some other footballers in our club who our supporters have seen as idols such as: Pelaó, Maurici, Tomàs, Capella, Ventura... We talk about players such as Bonaventura Pelaó (from the club's creation until the end of 1910), Maurici and Deprius (in the complicated 30s decade) Serracant (40s) "Nené" Fernández (50s), Duró and Tomàs (60s), Capella and Ventura (80s and 90s) or Delmàs (2000). The two actual players carrying this escapulat spirit are, without any doubt, captain Àlex Cano and Alberto González.


Josep Maria Rovira, known by all as Pep Rovira, has been an example of sport professionality and responsibility during his long football career, always keeping the illusion of an "amateur" heart. Rovira was the goalkeeper for CE Europa for ten seasons (1969-1980). He played 375 with the "escapulada" shirt: 307 league matches, 11 Cup matches and 57 friendly and tournament games. Years later, as a football trainer for CE Europa, during 1993-1994, he achieved promotion to Second Division B playing against Pinoso CF. Pep Rovira is, in little words, an "europeista" from head to toes.


Just about to start the 1922/23 season, CE Europa's chairman, Joan Matas, had already defined most of the team structure which would later become champions. However, an essential piece was still missing at the club, the manager's figure who could bring up all the players together. For this reason, English manager Mr. Ralph Kirby was appointed as the manager for CE Europa; he introduced modern and revolutionary game styles which gave the team a better improvement which the team was lacking. Man of little words, Mr. Kirby had played in his youth years as a winger for Fulham FC. During his years' training CE Europa, he guided the team to win a Campionat de Catalunya and become a runner-up at the Copa del Rey against Athletic Bilbao. All of this success happened the same year he arrived, season 1922/23, which situated the club on the first-class level in Catalonia and Spanish State.


In season 1928-29 the first National League Championship, a.k.a “La Liga” was created. CE Europa had the honour of being one of the ten club founders in this new Primera División league. They stayed on this major league for three years on a row, together with those five years on Segunda División (season 1963 until 1968). CE Europa has also been one season in Second Division B (1994-1995) and 44 years in the Third Division. Getting all data together, we can see that CE Europa is the fifth most important team in Catalonia and the third most important club in Barcelona. Also, together with UE Lleida, CE Sabadell and Gimnàstic Tarragona, CE Europa is one of the only teams in Catalonia that has played in all the actual national categories nowadays.


When we talk about Joan Matas Ramis, we are talking about a legendary icon in CE Europa. Being the chairman in the best years for the club, he started as a football player. Three years later, he would end up being the club's chairman, and he would begin building the structure of a team that would bring CE Europa to the best years in its history. Without his contribution and immense enthusiasm, the club would not have arrived at its level of importance during the '20s. As a huge "escapulat", he did everything possible for his beloved club. Unfortunately, the effects of the Great Crash in 1929 along with the social conflicts in Catalonia, made, him and CE Europa, to be broke. However, as time goes by, the most significant success for Europa is attached to his person. He will eternally be recognized as CE Europa's most important chairman.


During most of its 100 years of history, CE Europa has played on eight different game fields. Nou Sardenya, their current ground, was inaugurated in August 15th 1995, Making a summary about all football fields, we can confirm that the first stadiums were around Eixample and Sagrada Família. It will not be until 1920 when the team had a football field close to the 'Vila de Gràcia'. This field was replaced by another one, also at 'Vila de Gràcia', and it was where they made their biggest triumphs. In 1931, and with the upcoming severe sportive comedown, their field was located in the actual Avenida Borbó, quite far from their natural habitat. Three years later, CE Europa went back to their origins, and the matches were played in between Providència and Sardenya streets. With the stadium not being used during the Civil war, the team will have to change into a new stadium. After a lot of work, on December 1st 1940, CE Europa ended up in the Sardenya stadium, which, through all these years (even if it was the old or the new "Nou" Sardenya) has finally been our definite home.


June 5th 1907, a group of football passionate youngsters reunited at Bar/Bodega La Roca (located in C/Sicilia 290, however, it no longer exists) to create a new football club. There was a lot of hope and will into this project. Unfortunately, there was not enough money, and the economic waste to federate a club was very tough to assume. However, they ended up hearing about a football team called Europa FC, which was about to disappear because they could not bear up with the payments. They quickly made an approximate calculation and concluded that paying those debts for CE Europa would be cheaper than starting a team from zero. That same day, CE Europa was born. From that first team, we have got the name of some players: Virgili, Moyano, Ansió, Alfaro, Santacreu, Alonso; Miñana, Amadeo, Vicente Martínez, Bonaventura Pelaó, Soler, A. Oriols, B. Oriols and Olivé. We also have to mention Rodolf Collell Admetller, first chairman in the club and the man who started the club's whole creation.

"PENYES" (Fan Clubs)

The meaning of the Catalan term "Penya" would be "fan clubs". CE Europa counts nowadays with five official penyes in the club. "Agrupació Europeista" is the oldest penya in CE Europa, having more than 50 years of history.he penya "Pep Rovira", in memory of the club's most outstanding goalkeeper, it is formed by elderly people. "Caliu Gracienc" are the penya with more members. They are located behind the goal, and it is one of the most well-known penyes in the Third Division. Some of their members actively participate with the club, training kids from the Escola or helping with some events. "Torcida Escapulada" is a penya founded in 2003; they keep supporting the team, mainly from the highstand. The most recent penya are the "Eskapulats", founded in 2013, a young firm with a good amount of youngsters from Gràcia, supporting the club unconditionally with their chants and their football banners.


If anyone stands in the central circle of Nou Sardenya and looks at the four corners of the stadium, they will observe that in one of them (the corner of C/Sardenya - C/Camèlies) the stands do not make an exact angle of 90 degrees. This small “mutilation” is due to the Ronda del Mig (formerly Cinturó de Ronda) designed by the renowned Barcelona mayor José Maria Porcioles in 1972. These were dictatorial times when complaints and protests were strictly forbidden and where the citizen had to obey orders. Even once the field was flooded with sewage due to the renovation works. Because of that flooding, a few “europeistes” believed they would be kicked-off Sardenya stadium. An intense journalistic campaign favouring the Club fixed the complicated situation that was lived and smoothed out the inconveniences that the refurbishment caused.


Antoni Ramallets was born the June 4th 1924 in Gràcia, very close to CE Europa's stadium. He started playing for youth teams around the neighbourhood. It was not until 1942 when, thanks to Mr. Vieta, he signed for CE Europa. His début with the "escapulada" shirt was on November 8th 1942, in a friendly match against Sants. Since that moment and during the rest of that season, he only played friendly games. It was not until next season, 1943-44 when he would be a regular starter. With only 19 years old, he proved an excellent positioning, agility and precise eyesight. Ramallets was a goalkeeper in Gràcia for only two years. Due to his enormous talent, he later signed for FC Barcelona, where he stayed for 15 years and became a legendary goalkeeper.


On 1963, after a marvellous season, Europa achieved promotion to Second Division, after defeating in the promotion games Mahó (Mallorca) and Caudal de Mieres. CE Europa stayed for five seasons in the Silver Division. On those years, the Second Division was divided into two groups: North & South. On their first season in Segunda División, and probably because of the ambition of being promoted, they ended up third and close to promote into First División. The rest of seasons can be resumed in a sixth-place, two promotion games to stay in the category, and on their last season (1967-1968), because of a restructuration to make the Second Division as a single group, caused Europa's relegation to the Third Division. Nevertheless, at the Sardenya stadium, we enjoyed playing against important teams such as Real Sociedad, Real Betis, Deportivo de la Coruña, Málaga, Celta Vigo, Racing de Santander, Sporting de Gijón or Osasuna.


On May 13th, 1923, Manuel López Llamosas, known as "Travieso", was the player who scored the only goal in the Spanish Cup final (actually Copa del Rey) which confronted CE Europa and Athletic Club de Bilbao. The "escapulats", after they won the previous rounds, and got to play the final in Les Corts. According to newspaper articles from the time, CE Europa dominated the whole match. Still, the basques' experience, who are very used to play important competitions, was the key for them to win the game for the San Mamés players. Some of our heroes that night were: Bordoy, Serra, Vidal, Xavier, Pelaó, Artisus, etc.


In 1961-62, CE Europa were champions of the Catalan group in Third Division. During those times, in order to get promoted to Second Division, the teams had to compete in a qualifying round against another Third Division champion. In this occasion, it was against Unión Popular de Langreo, a Champion from Asturias and with a very competitive team. In the home match, the "escapulats" won their match 2-1, even if the result was not very inspiring for the away game, due to the Asturian team's strength. Despite everything, on their away game, CE Europa only lost by a tight 1-0. Therefore, they had to play a tie-breaker match in a neutral stadium. The RFEF, surprisingly decided that this game was going to take place in Burgos – not that far from Langreo (293km) compared to Barcelona (607km). The match in Burgos could be considered as a trap were CE Europa lost 1-0. Apart from a very controversial conduct from the referee (Gómez Platas), CE Europa was denigrated with many obstructions, for example, the pitch was abundantly watered to make Langreo's game. It is believed that behind all of this there was a political interest because the miners from Asturias were on a revolt and Franco's dictatorship believed that promoting UP Langreo would defuse tensions.


Josep Vieta was an upright "europeista", in the broadest sense of the word. In the 1931 critical breakup, thanks to his crucial intervention, together with other members, he saved the club from extinction. Vieta was entirely against the merge with Gràcia FC; he would not allow the disappearance of all the glorious history that CE Europa had achieved up until then. With the help of some CE Europa players, such as Càndid Maurici and Joan Deprius, they achieved, after 1001 matches and a lot of suffering, to return to Catalan's major football category. Those were very tough years, for the reason that they had to start from zero. Although they ended up getting back on track, the Civil War and the Franquist dictatorship decision of abolishing all the competitions that were played during the warlike conflict, broke all the progression that the "escapulats" did. Nevertheless, because of the unconditional love that Vieta felt for CE Europa, he still kept working for the club. Thanks to him, a young seventeen-year-old called Antoni Ramallets came to our club to later become one of the best goalkeepers in Spanish football.


Our official webpage was born during a members assembly in 2001, when the proposal appeared on the act's questions, after noticing the absence of an updated official media. Years before, a web page was located in a free web page service, with general information of the club, brought up by members of the Penya "Caliu Gracienc". As a proper official updated media, the web page saw the light on November 11th 2001, with a Third Division match played in Nou Sardenya: CE Europa – Palamós CF. Since then, the media webpage has grown way over the initial expectations, becoming a referential webpage of Catalan football with daily updates and expanding its multimedia contents such as an Online TV and radio files. In over 112 years of the club's existence, this has been the most prestigious media in all of Europa's history. Comparing it to sportive success, milestones and acknowledgements until the date, this is truly like playing on First Division.

"XERRAC" (Handsaw in Catalan)

In 1939, and after the Civil war, the stadium located in between the streets of Providencia and Sardenya, ended up as a site full of scrap, abandoned cars and many other materials left over after the war conflict. As a final solution to find a place where CE Europa could display its games, a piece of land was found close to where the previous stadium was. Unfortunately, this recently acquired plot had many slopes, pines and many other trees. Therefore, there was a lot of work to convert this small forest into a football field. After hand sawing many trees and balancing the whole land, on December 1st 1940 the Sardenya stadium was inaugurated in a match against Granollers, where Carles Serracant scored the first-ever goal. Until the date arrived, they played some of their games in stadiums from clubs such as Sants, Horta or Martinenc.


The 20th November 1997, CE Europa played a friendly match against Japanese team Yokohama Marinos. This match was played in the CAR (High-Performance Center) in Sant Cugat and was a trivial match from a footballish point of view. Nevertheless, seeing it in a historical point of view, CE Europa has played their first match against an Asian team. Therefore, through their long history, they have played games against four out of five continents in the world. In the European continent, the "escapulats" have played (out of Spain) against Sparta Praga. Bayern Munchen, Stuttgart, Birmingham City, NAC Breda, Red Star Paris, Udinese, Hertha Berlin, FC Porto, etc. Against American teams: Nacional de Montevideo, Gimnasia y Esgrima de la Plata, Youth National Mexico team. Against African teams: Said Olympique. And against Asian teams: Yokohama Marinos, Nejmeh del Líban, Qingdao Huanghai


During the 1966/67 season, Real Zaragoza had a famous team with the strikers known as the "Cinco Magníficos" (The Magnificient Five), formed by Canario, Santos, Marcelino, Villa and Lapetra. In the second round of the Copa, Europa had the 'luck' of playing against the Aragonese team who were winners of the Copa last season. The home match, broadcasted by TVE, ended up with 0-1, so everybody thought the team's adventure in the Copa was about to finish. However, on the away match at La Romareda, after a fantastic game that CE Europa played, they won 0-1. They forced a third tiebreaker game that would be played in the next 48 hours in a neutral stadium: in this case, Mestalla (Valencia). And, on May 9th 1967, the most unexpected thing happened. CE Europa defeated Zaragoza on a match where they won 0-2, getting rid of the former champion. This significant achievement was longly celebrated in Gràcia and very spread by all the media.