Joventut Badalona and Real Madrid, the teams that never relegated

If we were to ask basketball fans which are the two teams in Spanish basketball that played in the first division every season, most fans would probably reply Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Indeed, this performance is held by Real Madrid and a team from Catalunya, but that team is Joventut Badalona.

FC Barcelona is the oldest club currently playing in the ACB League, however, the team was relegated to the second division in 1964, when the Spanish First Division changed its format from 14 to 8 teams. Barca returned to the first division the next year and was never relegated again, but because of that one bad season, the Blaugrana team cannot share the record with it’s two rivals.

While Real Madrid’s basketball section also had periods with less success, Los Blancos never relegated to the second division in their history. In terms of trophies won they are the most successful basketball club in Spain and Europe, winning the Spanish Championship 46 times and the EuroLeague 10 times.

Joventut Badalona, or Penya as the fans call them, was founded in 1930 and became one of the most important basketball teams in Spain ever since the League was founded (Joventut is one of the founding clubs of the Spanish basketball league, that later became the ACB League).

Throughout its history, the green and black team won the Spanish league four times, and Copa del Rey eight times and also impressed in continental competitions, winning the EuroLeague, EuroCup, Eurochallenge and twice the Korac Cup. Besides these trophies, the team is famous for its youth academy and they introduced players such as Raul Lopez, Ricky Rubio and Rudy Fernandez to the first division. Every year, Joventut Badalona is investing a lot in young talented players who are growing with the club’s values. 

Imre Halasz

Photo credit: Joventut Badalona