Over the last century, a number of the best players to ever grace a football pitch have called Real Betis their home. The Seville-based club take their name, ‘Betis’, from the name the Romans gave to the nearby Guadalquivir river, a river that runs through the heart of Seville and provided the inspiration for the Roman name for the province. The ‘Real’ prefix wasn’t added until 1914, when King Alfonso XIII gave the club his patronage.
Real Betis have won the league title 3 times, most recently in 2005. The club has recently signed a lucrative deal with easyMarkets, an online broker – this sponsorship agreement will mean that the easyMarkets logo will soon be visible on the official Real Betis kits. In return, the club will receive two million Euros a year. Could this new deal give the club the shot it needs to propel itself back to the top of the league? Only time will tell.
With spirits and hopes for the club higher than they have been, now seems like a fitting time to look back at some of the key players that have made Real Betis into the club it is today.
Jose Ramon Esnaola (Spain)
In 1965, Jose Ramon Esnaola joined Real Sociedad and was instrumental in helping them climb back into the First division of Spanish football, catching the eye of Real Betis scouts as he did so. In 1973, the club finally signed him as a player – a move that paid off in 1977, when Esnaola stopped three penalties, and scored one himself, winning the Copa Del Rey cup for his new side.
Esnaola stayed with Real Betis until 1985. While he never won another trophy with the club, his performance in the ‘77 cup has cemented his place in the club’s history.
Antonio Prats (Spain)
Another legendary goalkeeper, Prats appeared 338 times for Real Betis in La Liga during his 12 season stint. During that time, he helped carry Real Betis to victory in the Copa Del Rey and in the 99-2000 season, he scored a couple of free kicks against Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. These two goals have made him a bona fide club legend.
Fernando Varela (Spain)
From 1997 to 2006, Fernando Varela appeared in 257 games as a right back or right midfielder. During his 11 seasons playing for the club, he scored 13 goals. His illustrious career continued outside of Real Betis and he is often credited with playing a key part in Real Betis’ Copa del Rey cup win during his stint at the club.
When the left winger joined Real Betis in 1998, he was the most expensive player in the world. However, he proved to be worth every penny and is still regarded as one of the best dribblers the game has ever seen. His career outside of Real Betis was exemplary; he was a key part of the Brazilian national team in the late 90’s and helped them to a World Cup win in 2002.
Real Betis has a long and proud history of nurturing some of the most talented players in the whole game. It’s been 14 years since Betis topped La Liga, so they are long overdue for another league win.