Athletic Club (known as Athletic Bilbao) is a Spanish football club from the Basque region, playing in the Primera Liga.
The club plays in this league since its inception in 1928 and is in that respect in the company of only Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Athletic Club plays its home games at San Mames, also known as La Catedral. Atletico Madrid was founded by Basque students in Madrid.
The old relationship between the teams is reflected in the similar red and white shirts.
Athletic Club also has a second team, Athletic Bilbao, which plays in the Segunda División B.
Athletic Club was founded in 1898 by British immigrants. The club name still refers to the British connection. Athletic Club was one of the most successful clubs in the early years of the Spanish professional football with several Spanish Cups and five league titles between the start of La Liga in 1928 and 1943.
Then the club was pushed into the background, especially by Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Besides the lack of athletic success had on the orders of Dictator Francisco Franco, the club name changed to Atletico Bilbao, since non-Spanish names were banned under the Franco regime.
After Franco’s death in 1975 gave Athletic the Basque name back. Shortly after the club reached the biggest international success by season 1976/1977 the final of the UEFA Cup to achieve.
In this final, however, was lost to Juventus. In the early eighties there was a new period of success for the Basque football: both Real Sociedad (1981, 1982) and Athletic (1983, 1984) was twice championed. Since 1984 Athletic Club has not won a major prize.
Well took the club in season 1998/1999 participated in the UEFA Champions League, after Athletic in the previous season second behind champion FC Barcelona was ended in the Primera Liga. In May 2009 the club played at Estadio Mestalla Valencia in the final of the Copa del Rey against FC Barcelona, but lost 4-1.
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