In May 1902 they took place in Madrid numerous celebrations for the coronation of Alfonso XIII, among which stood out the Madrid Foot-Ball Contest, first national football tournament held in Spain. Popularly known as the Coronation Cup, the competition was promoted by the brothers Carlos and Juan Padrós, founders of the (Society) Madrid Football Club, now Real Madrid, and its celebration would be decisive for the history of football in our country.
During the reign of Alfonso XIII between 1886 and 1931, most of the teams in Spanish football were founded. The rise of this sport exported by the English grew exponentially during the first decades of the 20th century and that king was a true football fan. It is said that Alfonso XIII He was so fond of soccer that when Spain beat England in 1929, the King gave his wife Victoria Eugenia de Battemberg a “sleeve cut” who was English. His reign lasted until 1931 and his period was where more royal titles were given to clubs. One year after this Coronation Cup, sponsored by Alfonso XIII himself, the current Copa del Rey was born. Thanks to his management, seven different soccer federations that existed throughout the country came together and it was this monarch who would distribute royal titles to numerous clubs.
With these historical data, it is not surprising that the tournament was created in his honor in which the first clásico would be played. In the digital newspaper library of the National Library of Spain, the copies of May of that year are preserved, which include the festivities that took place on those days.
This first duel between meringues and culés was held at the Madrid Hippodrome on May 13, 1902, with more than 2,000 spectators.
The beginning of a historic rivalry
The result was 3-1 in favor of the then called Foot Ball Club Barcelona against Madrid Foot Ball Club. The goal for the whites was the work of the British Arthur Johnson, who years later would lead the Real Madrid bench, while Witty-Meyer and Udo Steinberg (2 goals) scored for the Catalans, although other sources attribute the third goal to Hans Gamper, founder of the Barcelona in 1899.
“Barcelona and Madrid fought at second hour, arousing real interest in this match due to the determination and desire to be in a good place for Madrid, who despite the brilliant play of their opponents managed to score them in time, beautifully carried out, and three goals that Barcelona won, one of them of merit. The Madrid Foolball players must be satisfied, since a defeat of the nature of this morning is a victory, taking into account that they measured their forces against the Barcelona champions, old fighters, accustomed to this kind of matches“, could be read in the chronicle of the “Heraldo de Madrid”.
From Barcelona, the chronicles already made clear a historical rivalry. The Catalan sports weekly Sports complained bitterly in a column that “The players, whether they were English, German, Swiss or Barcelona, complained about the lack of attention from the spectators, who applauded when Barcelona players fell down and kept silent whenever Barcelona played well or scored a goal.
FC Barcelona went to the final, although the tournament would be won by Athletic Bilbao
The first in the League came on February 17, 1929, with a Madrid victory in Barcelona by 1-2.