Sports In Spain
Sports in Spain are a passion for its people. While football dominates the hearts and minds of the Spaniards, all of the other mainstream professional sports are also a part of the Spanish culture. Sports in Spain have also survived in some indigenous forms, including Basque and the Valencian pelota. They are court sports played with a ball and one´s hand, or a racquet, a wooden bat, or a basket propulsor, traditionally between 2 teams, facing each other across a net or a line on the ground.
The origin and evolution of many of these games are unknown, but they were formally recognized in the 19th century. The first official competitions were organized in the 1920s. Football is by far the prominent sport in Spain. The country is home to renowned clubs, like the Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Sevilla FC, Villarreal FC and Valencia FC. These clubs have met with unparalleled success in the European competitions. For example, Real Madrid, considered by many to have the highest success rate in football history, has won the UEFA Champions League for a record 9 times. The Spanish League or the La liga is considered to be one of the toughest football competitions in the world. The glories of the Spanish national football team, however, are insignificant in comparison to the trail-blazing successes of the clubs. Since 1930, the team has qualified for the FIFA World Cup on twelve separate occasions, but has never won the tournament, and their best was only a fourth position in 1950. Two of Spain´s famous football players are Raul Blanco and Andoni Zubizaretta.
Basketball is another one of their more popular sports. There are many basketball leagues, and the Spanish ACB is one of them. Real Madrid Baloncesto, FC Barcelona Basquet, and Joventut Badalona are all Spanish teams that have been champions internationally. Marc Gasol, Jose Calderon, Rudy Fernandez and Sergio Rodriguez are some of the better known Spanish basketball players. At the 2006 FIBA World Championship, the team were awarded their first gold medal.
Other Minor Sports in Spain
Spain also has tennis player to show for itself, especially on the clay court. Ralfi Nadal has proven himself so tremendously that he is now crowned Spain’s greatest player of all time. Currently, he is ranked number one in the world of professional tennis. He was the second Spaniard to win the Wimbledon, and the first to win the Australian Open. Cycling has been an important sport in Spain since the 1940s. The Vuelta a Espana is one of the most important cycling events in the world. The most successful Spanish cyclist is Miguel Indurain. He won the Tour de France for five consecutive years between 1991 and 1995.