Skip menu

Main menu

Content menu

Top of page


Link to related content


30.06.2009 10:44

Eighty years since first league win

Manel Tomàs

It is eighty years since Barça won the first edition of the Spanish league, beating Arenas de Getxo (0-2) in the final match. Barça won the title after a tight battle with rivals Real Madrid.

The new competition was created at the behest of the Barça directors, who on February 1, 1927 had written to the Spanish Federation proposing a tournament in which everybody plays against everybody, rather than the straight knockout format used in the Cup.

Contrasting fortunes

SAMITIER-POSITURA_CLxSICA.jpgBarça went into the tournament having won the treble in 1927/28 (Catalonian Championship, Spanish Championship and the Champions Tournament), but then lost out on both the Catalonian and Spanish Championships of 1928/29, both of which went to Espanyol.

Change of president

bellamy.jpgA win in the opening game at the Sardinero against Racing Santander (0-2) on February 12 was the dream start for Barça, but fortunes were about to take a turn for the worst. They lost the next game at home to Real Madrid (1-2) and the string of poor results that followed led on March 23 to the dismissal of president Arcadi Balaguer.

Major changes

His successor, Tomàs Rosés, decided to switch Catalan coach Romà Forns for James Bellamy. Real Madrid, meanwhile, had moved seven points ahead of Barça. But with the Englishman in charge, Barça won nine of their remaining eleven games, drawing the other two. The season ended with Real Madrid and Barça tied on points, but the Catalans still had a rescheduled game with Arenas de Getxo to play, which was going to decide the league.

Win in decider

PRIMERA-LLIGA_b.jpgArenas had nothing to play for, but there was huge expectation surrounding the tie. Barça played most of the game with ten men after Saura was injured early on (there were no substitutions in those days, remember), but still dominated possession without managing to score in a first half that ended 0-0.

Arenas came to life in the second half, which gave Barça the chance to display their lethal counter attack, which led to a goal in the 65th minute when a Piera cross was headed home by Parera. Eight minutes later, Parera latched onto a perfect assist from Samitier to beat the Basque keeper with a powerful drive. Arenas were beaten and from there on, it was just a matter of waiting for the final whistle.

2.000 peseta reward

The ensuing celebrations were enriched for the players in the form of 2,000 pesetas prize money. Barça had won the first ever Spanish championship with 25 points, two more than Real Madrid and five more than Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad. In 18 games, Barça won 11, drew 3 and lost 4, scoring 37 goals and conceding 23. The top scorer was Sastre, with 11 goals.

End of a glorious era

SAMITIER_SALTANT.jpgBarça’s league title put an end to the first golden era in club history (1919-1929), which ended with impressive honours: one league (1928/29), five Spanish championships (1919/20, 1921/22, 1924/25, 1925/26 i 1927/28) and eight Catalonian championships (1919/20, 1920/21, 1921/22, 1923/24, 1924/25, 1925/26, 1926/27 i 1927/28). But they struggled to replace their outgoing stars, not helped by a financial crisis (the knock effect of the infamous crash of 1929) and social crisis (as politics became more important than football in the public mind) that together led to a downturn in Barça’s fortunes – and things would not start improving until the very late thirties.

View the complete FC Barcelona honours list.
Eighty years since first league win

To view this content you need the latest version of the Flash Player

Top of page

Back to top

Related content

Football News

Back to top
Top of page