This is a review the history of the Girona FC since its foundation on July 23, 1930 until today. It includes special sections for the Costa Brava Trophy, the Presidents and coaches that our club has had.

The precedents

Football was first played in Girona at the beginning of the 20th century. The first major club in the city was the historic Strong Esport (1902 with the original name of FC Gironí). Other clubs of these early years were the Youth Grouping (1903), the Girona Sport (of the seminarians), the Athletic (of the working class), the Club Patronage (social-Catholic), and others less prominent as the Gerunda, Olympic, Catalonia, Student and Industrial. The first Football matches in the city were disputed in the field of Mart de la Devesa. In the 1920s, Football became stronger with clubs such as CE Gironí, founded in 1921 and later FC Ateneo Social Democrático, but especially for the Unió Esportiva Girona, founded on February 13 of the same year, when the elements of the Gironan Center, heirs of the dissolved Strong, joined other athletes’ enthusiasts. The club soon became the strongest in the city. Its colours were yellow and blue marine and the Vista Alegre stadium was built in 1922. However, the club disappeared at the end of the decade for economic problems, following a debt of some 200,000 pesetas (a real fortune for those times).

1930. The birth of GIRONA FC

On 23 July 1930, the Girona FC was founded, covering the vacuum left by the Unió Deportiva Gerona, an entity that had been founded in the early 20's and disappeared due to economic problems, with a debt of some 200,000 pesetas (a real fortune for those times). In the cafe Norat de la Rambla, Girona FC was created, thanks to enthusiasts such as Albert de Quintana and León, Andreu de Benito, Manuel de Chopitea, Lluís Ribas, Josep Maria Pla Dalmau, Francesc Figueras, Joaquim Medrano, Antoni Güell, Rafael Portas, Amadeu Oliva, doctor Roca Pinet and the gentlemen Coll and Poch. In a few weeks a real fever for Football began in Girona. On August 1, the City Council authorized the club to make use of its emblem. The board agrees with the Catalan federation to include the new team in the planned expansion of the 2nd category, but the management was not successful and the team had to start playing in the 2nd ordinary category.
The first official team match was in the field of Artigas Colony (1-1, with goal by Clara). The historic first line-up was formed by: Florenza, Teixidor, Farró, Flavià, Comas, Corradi, Ferrer, Escuder, Clara, Tarradellas and Torrellas. The team, which was promoted in its first year of life, was trained by Josep Viñas, who, at the same time, was the president of the college of amateur referees of Girona. In February, the City Council decided to grant an annual subvention of 2,000-peseta to the club, on condition that Girona renounced another grant for Fairs, and ceded the facilities of Vista Alegre for any celebration of municipal interest and the Free entry to 100 students from the city's national schools

1935-36. Promotion to the 1st division

Regarding sports, the first years of Girona were prolific, but if it were necessary to highlight a season above all, this was 1935-36. Before the start, the club transferred the players Iborra and Balmanya to the FC Barcelona. Girona received 15,000 pesetas in exchange, the transfer of two players and the commitment of the Barça club for a friendly match on All Saints’ Day. Despite theoretical weaknesses, the Girona players made an exceptional season in the 2nd division (champions, ahead of the Arenas and Baracaldo), and thus it was worth playing the promotion phase in the division together with Celta, Zaragoza, the same Arenas, Murcia and Jerez. Girona, the penultimate one, was not promoted. The team of this historic season was formed by: Francàs, Farró, Torredeflot, Campa, Castillo, Madern, Lluch, Trujillo, Burillo, Ramon and Ferrer. That same year, Girona played the cup of Spain and was eliminated by Real Betis for a global 5-3 (1-2 in Vista Alegre and 3- 2 in Sevilla).

The great Mingu Balmanya

Domènec Balmanya left Girona to play with FC Barcelona's first team. His undoubted quality allowed this meteoric ascent, just crushed by war, which doubtlessly cut off the progress towards internationality. Balmanya was the head coach of FC Barcelona, a member of the Barça expedition, who in 1937 made a tour to Mexico and the United States, being player of the Catalan team and Sète, of the 1st French division, which led to the champion of the title of France. Balmanya was part of even a sort of European team - where there was also Ricardo Zamora- who faced France in a friendly game. After the war (and preceded by the double set) he returned to Barça, played first with Nàstic and retired to Sant Andeu as coach and player.

As a technician, Balmanya’s first team was Girona. He then trained Zaragoza, Oviedo, Barcelona (he was also the technical director), Sète, Valencia, Espanyol, Betis, Málaga, Atlético de Madrid and Cádiz. In 1966, the Spanish Federation appointed him a national coach.

The Girona FC, after the war

Between 1936 and 1939, there was little football, and nobody seemed to push in order to place Girona in the first division. The civil war reduced the activity to a couple of Catalan leagues, a Mediterranean league (Valencian and Catalan teams) and a lot of friendly matches were played with certain purposes: to the benefit of the victims of fascism, to the benefit of the militias anti-fascists, matches for Hospitals of Blood ... The ravages of the war also affected Vista Alegre, where two bombs had fallen. Football was back to normal in the season 1939-40, with the team playing the league of the Catalan category and the 2nd national division. The team was consolidated on the 2nd national level, but in the post-war phase, the objectives had changed: the ascent was seen as a distant dream and the priority objective was to fight for permanence. The team went descended to the 3rd division in the 1942-43 season, regained the 2nd division in 1947-48 and alternated the two categories in the following way: 1948-51 (second division), 1951-56 (third division), 1956-59 (second), 1959-77 (third), 1977-80 (second B) and 1980-82 (third)..

Three proper names: Farró, "Curta" and Sala

Among the players who clearly marked a time at the Girona FC, apart from Mingu Balmanya, the following names should also be highlighted.

Fèlix Farró i Martí

He defended the colours of Girona FC from the year of its founding, in 1930, until 1946, almost always as the undisputed title holder (he exceeded 600 games with the white-and-white shirt). He arrived at the age of 17, coming from the Sub-19 of the Union Deportiva Gerona. He was a full-time sportsman and mirror for Girona fans. This defender, who had the chance to sign for Espanyol in the 1935-36 season, was paid at the gates of retirement one of the most impressive tributes remembered in the history of the Girona FC, with the presence, in Vista Alegre, of the very best players of Catalan Football. After disassociating himself from Girona, Farró still played some seasons in Palafrugell, Olot and Bisbalenc.

Josep Puig i Puig ‘Curta'

From Salt, he was a pupil of Fèlix Farró. Together they formed a high quality defensive line. At the Girona he stayed two seasons (1939-40 and 1940-41), because Barça knocked at his door. He did not only hold a place in the team of FC Barcelona, but he reached international reputation. He played three games with Spain, against Portugal, Ireland and Switzerland. He retired to Can Barça, but continued to dress up short for a few years with veterans of FC Barcelona.

Isidre Sala

Isidre Sala, the only international Olympic Footballer coming from the Girona region. The former player of Figueres and Banyoles, Isidre Sala (Vilamalla, September 29, 1940) arrived in Girona in the 1963-64 season and remained until the 1975-76 campaign. An elegant and widespread central defender, whose qualities were clearly shown when 1968 he was given the opportunity to be part of the Spanish Olympic team in the Olympics held in Mexico. Sala was the object of a massive tribute on August 26, 1976, during which the Catalan Football Federation awarded him the Medal of Argent to the Sports Merit.

From Vista Alegre to Montilivi

On August 14, 1970 was the opening of the Montilivi stadium, the new pearl of the city. It was the second camp in Girona, after Vista Alegre had served for almost 50 years. At the beginning of the 1967-68 season, the board of directors projected the construction of a new field that, besides offering four times more space than the Vista Alegre stadium, would be the club's heritage. The dream came true and in the summer of 1970 the club was able to offer fans three days of elite Football in a row: on August 14, an opening match between Girona and FC Barcelona (150 pesetas the general and 300 the tribune) and 15 and 16, the first edition of the Costa Brava trophy - the tournament budget, 3.5 million pesetas - with these semi-finals: Borussia Neurnkirchen (Germany) -Valencia and Espanyol -San Lorenzo de Almagro (Argentina).
The Girona-Barça gathered 25,000 spectators in Montilivi (complete stadium). Barça won 3-1. The team that presented the Blaugrana was the following: Reina, Rifé, Eladio, Gallego, Torres, Fusté, Reixach, Dueñas, Bustillo, Zabalza and Marcial. Vivolas scored the first goal for Girona in Montilivi.
Fourteen years after the opening, Girona FC lost assets with the municipality of Montilivi, an emergency solution approved during a tumultuous assembly. The debts shook the entity and there was a serious risk that the club would produce a loss of power. Jordi Geli would leave the presidency and Joan Mis would take over

The 50th anniversary

El Girona FC, ​​fundado el 25 de julio de 1930, no celebró las bodas de plata, pero la directiva quiso poner todo de su parte para programar un 50 aniversario digno de ser recordado durante mucho tiempo. El 9 de agosto de 1980, la Real Sociedad de los Arkonada, Zamora, López Ufarte, Satrústegui... disputó -y ganó (1-2) - la 11ª edición del Trofeo Costa Brava (1,5 millones de pesetas de recaudación , cuando la Real en cobraba 2). La visita por segundo año consecutivo del Real Madrid, el 13 de agosto, en la 4ª edición del Trofeo Inmortal sirvió para compensar el déficit que había dejado la visita del equipo vasco (5 millones de recaudación y el Madrid percibe 4,5). La rúbrica a las bodas de oro del Girona FC la puso la visita del FC Barcelona (victoria del Barça por 1-2 y ganancias 1,5 millones para el club gerundense). Con motivo del cincuentenario, Montilivi vio desfilar a los mejores equipos del Estado. El seguidor del Girona se volcó con el equipo llenando casi el campo en estos tres partidos estelares, y el club consiguió cubrir un presupuesto paralelo de 11 millones de pesetas (también organizó conciertos, uno de ellos con Miguel Bosé).

Coincidiendo con los 50 años del club, se recuerdan grandes entradas en Montilivi. El equipo, que jugaba en tercera división, atesoraba suficiente calidad para despertar el interés de los aficionados. El once tipo de los gerundenses lo formaban Martínez Puig, Bou, Juliá II, Sala II, Fàbregas, García Castany, Morata, Arredondo, Juliá I, Masferrer y Chaves.

From “preference” hell to the doors of second A

We are in the 1981-82 season. The economic problems are serious - the global debt exceeds 15 million pesetas - and, regarding sports, the team awaits a season full of obstacles that ends up with the decline to the regional preferential. Since the season 1933-34 Girona did not play in the regional. The transfers of Julià II and Requena to Zaragoza (3,850,000 pesetas) prevent the red numbers from rising, but the debt is already approaching 19 million pesetas. Fortunately, the team is champion (with Alfons Muñoz of coach) and the bad manoeuvre of playing in regional preferential only lasts one year.
Girona remains now five seasons in a third division before the next promotion, in the 1988-89 season, to the second division B (in the year of Delfí Geli and with Xavi Agustí de Coach). Although the team is improving, the club must balance and seem to be stuck in a permanent crisis. The municipalization of Montilivi, in 1984, was a patch. It solved the problem temporarily. Two years later, the club again accumulated considerable debts, but the team, with Xavi Agustí, worked better, especially in the 1991/92 season when the third place in the league of second B is going reopened the doors of the second A after a long time.
The team started badly the promotion phase - defeats against Villarreal (1-2) and Linense (2-0) - but it was followed by three victories in a row -Línense (4-1), Vila- Real (2-4) and Salamanca (1-0) - and came until the last match to Helmántico projecting a rise from then on. But it could not be: Salamanca won by 1-0 and who went up was Villarreal. The team was formed by Soldevila, Planagumà, Sagué, Roteta, Boada, Mercader, Darnés, Raúl, Juli, Corominas and Oliveras. When the players finished the promotion, they were owed five months plus the prizes, and the club's overall debt exceeded 30 million pesetas

Regeneration and stability

The seasons after 1991/92 were difficult. In 1992-93 and in 1993-94, the team avoided the decline, both regarding sports (15th in both seasons) and administration (the debts to the players became threatening), but in the 1994-95, Girona failed and four days later it was mathematically descended. Two seasons later, the team hit bottom with the second decline of the third division of its history: this time it was not a favourite, because it was a few years ago that the 1st Catalan had been created. With three different coaches (Masferrer, Garcia Castany and Joan Riera) the team only won 6 of the 40 games.
The arrival of Pere Saguer to the presidency (1996-97) curbed the negative trend of Girona, but there was a long way to go to get the club out of the negative spiral and recover the image and the credibility. Saguer, who had already been president in the 1967-68 season, prevented the deficit from growing. The subsequent directives had a complicated role and were at all times pending to find an economic and sportive balance that Girona did not achieve for many years. Economic regeneration became a priority, but it was as important to leave the bottom position of the 1st Catalan. In the 1999/2000 season the third division recovered, and, with the arrival of the new millennium, the club achieved practically total recovery and began to look for new and much more ambitious goals.
The first major prize came soon in the 2002/03 season, when the club regained a position in the second division B after having won an excellent promotion streak (five victories and only one defeat). It was the second promotion in five seasons and the return to a category that had been lost during the 1994/95 campaign. In the 2003-2004 season the club kept the category but in the 2004-2005 it returned to the third division, after finishing the season with the 17th position

From the Third to the Silver Division

The next campaign, with Josep Gusó as president, was the beginning of the success story that led the club to the silver division of Spanish Football. Champions of the Third Division during the 2005-2006 season, they achieved promotion to Second B in the following campaign. And a year later, in the 2007-2008 season, followed the promotion to Second Division A. This was achieved with two eliminatories against Barakaldo, first, and later Ceuta, with a full Montilivi stadium!.

From the promotion to the present

  • 2008/09 season: After a commendable first round in which it seemed that salvation would be achieved with calmness, the Girona FC had a dangerous inertia in the second round, and only 5 days before the conclusion of The League, with the team 5 points behind, coach Raúl Agné was dismissed. Javi Salamero took over. The club achieved the permanence three games before the final.
  • 2009/10 season: Narcís Julià replaced Cristóbal Parralo as a new technician after an erratic start. Girona suffered a lot and was about to lose the category. A transformed penalty kick by Kiko Raton in minute 94 of the last day against Murcia helped the Girona to save the category.
  • 2010/11 Season: The Girona FC finished in 11th position of the classification, with 57 points, and did not know the defeat during 10 games.
  • Season 2011/12: The club collected 700,000 euros for the sale of Ranko Despotovic to Urawa Red Diamonds Japanese. After a complicated league start, the threat of descent came back on Montilivi. Javier Salamero relieved Josu Uribe and the team regained their permanence two days before the final.
  • 2012/13 season: In order to achieve permanence, Rubi, until then second coach, took charge of the team. Girona started a magnificent start up and it was already on the second day in playoff positions. He finished the first round in second place, with 38 points. In the second round he maintained the dispute with AD Alcorcón, Villarreal CF, UD Las Palmas and UD Almería for the second place. In the ascent playoff they eliminated the Alcorcón but in the definitive eliminatory they lost against Almería that was promoted to the First.
  • 2013/14 season: Girona, which had just presented creditors' contests, entrusted the sports area to Ricardo Rodríguez, who would be on the bench until December 18, 2013. His position was occupied by Javi López. With him the situation of the team did not improve because the board, with Francesc Rebled as president, replacing Joaquim Boadas, opted for another change of coach with the arrival of Pablo Machín. The technician from Soria was the expected revulsion and managed to bring Girona to permanence on the final day, after 23 consecutive weeks of descent.
  • 2014-2015 season. The best season in the recent history of Girona FC. The team led by Pablo Machín made an extraordinary year of records: they finished with stratospheric 82 points, and were the visitors of the Adelante League with the best numbers. In spite of this, the direct promotion to the First Division had to be played in the last game, played in Montilivi, against Lugo. But the tie against the Galicians closed the doors of this direct promotion. Finally, in the playoff against Zaragoza in La Romareda, an excellent 0 to 3 was achieved. On the return to Montilivi, the Aragoneses overtook the scoring in a Girona that was still very emotionally affected by the result of the last day.
  • In the 2015-2016 season, Girona once again played in the promotion to the First Division. In the first round and with the field factor in favor, they faced a double match against the fifth-placed team, Córdoba CF. Things did not start well for Pablo Machín, who scored two goals in 12 minutes in the first leg of the Archangel. A goal before the break left the tie open (2-1). Nervous afternoon on the way back to Montilivi, as the Andalusians started scoring. Two goals from Girona ended the match in a draw and an extra time had to be played, in which Girona benefited from scoring the third goal that gave them the lead in the final (3-1). The final was played on June 12, 2016. In the first leg at Sadar the victory was for the local team by 2 to 1. The return, three days later in Montilivi, was also favorable to Osasuna ( 0-1) which restrained the dream of ascension again.

Historic Rise

June 4, 2017 will go down in Girona's history as the day when, at the age of 87, the club was promoted to the First Division. After three frustrated attempts in recent years, Girona had a team in the elite of Spanish football. A historical fact. Pablo Machín's men, who had a five-point lead over third-placed Getafe, had a draw in the decisive match against Real Zaragoza to secure second place in the league, which gave them direct access to the league. Santander League. And so it was. A draw (0-0) that was worth a historic promotion

City Football Group and Girona Football Group
On August 23, 2017, the club was acquired in equal parts by the City Football Group and the Girona Football Group, by Pere Guardiola. City Football Group owns Manchester City FC, New York City FC, Melbourne City, Montevideo City Torque, Yokohama Marinos, Sichuan Jiuniu FC, Mumbai City FC, Lommel SK and Estac Troyes AC.

One of the first measures to face the premiere in the highest category was the temporary expansion of the stadium with two additional stands, one in Gol Nord and another in Preferente, in addition to renewing the lighting of the stage. The first team went on to train at the PGA in Caldes de Malavella after the construction of two training camps with the exact measurements of Montilivi; one of natural grass and the other of hybrid grass.

First stage in La Liga Santander

Girona FC finished its first season in LaLiga Santander in tenth position, with 51 points, beating teams like RCD Espanyol, Athletic Club and Real Sociedad in the standings. In the last game of the first round he got his first win in the First Division, 6-0 against UD Las Palmas and the first Hat-Trick in the top category, achieved by Michael Olunga on January 13, 2018.

In the 2018-19 season, Girona reached the Copa del Rey quarterfinals for the first time after drawing 1-1 at home and 3-3 away against Atlético de Madrid. In the quarterfinals it was eliminated by Real Madrid 7-3 on aggregate. In March he won his first Supercopa de Catalunya by beating FC Barcelona 0-1 with a goal from Cristhian Stuani. The equipment would lose the category when being 18º, with 37 points at the end of the regular season, returning to Second division.

Marcelo Claure

In August 2020, the Bolivian-American businessman Marcelo Claure bought a shareholding package of Pere Guardiola's Girona Football Group. With this transaction, the City Football Group became the main shareholder of the Club with 47% of the shares, Claure had 35% and Girona Football Group 16%. Claure is also the owner of Club Bolívar, the most important in his country.

Return to second

In the first season back to second, he finished in fifth position, qualifying for the promotion play-offs. They managed to defeat Almería CF 1-0 at home and 1-2 away. However, they were eliminated by Elche CF with 0-0 in the first leg and losing 0-1 at home in the 96th minute.

In the 2020/21 season, the team once again entered the play-offs for promotion to the first division after finishing the regular season in fifth position. In the semi-finals they were paired again with Almería CF who won 0-2 away and drew 0-0 at home. Their fourth final was played against Rayo Vallecano, winning in Vallecas 1-2 and losing at home 0-2, which left the team one more season in the silver division.

Second stage in La Liga Santander

On June 19, 2022, Girona returned to the first division (it was sixth in the Smartbank League) by eliminating CD Tenerife 0-0 (first leg) and 1-3 (return) in the promotion play-off final and 0-1 (first leg) and 0-2 (return) against SD Eibar in the semifinal of play-off.