Foosball, table football, babyfoot, futbolito, metagol, Tischfußball, langirt … foosball is played in many countries around the world and has many different names. But did you know that it’s originally from Spain? Here’s how futbolín (as it’s called here) was invented.
Classic futbolín table in Andalucia. Credit
The game was created by Spanish poet, inventor and editor Alejandro Campos (aka Alejandro Finisterre). At a very young age, he was injured by a fascist bomb during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). He loved playing football, so, inspired by table tennis, he conceived futbolín, a type of table football even injured or disabled people could play.
Modern punk themed futbolín table in Catalunya. Credit
The Spanish futbolín is different from foosball in other countries in that Spanish foos-men have two separate legs, whereas in the other versions, both legs are stuck together. Read more about Alejandro Campos in this article from El País (in Spanish)
What is foosball called in your language? Have you ever played it?
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About the authormarta
5 comments for “Futbolín: the origins of foosball”
We call it metegol in Argentina. I didn’t know it was invented in Spain 🙂
In italian we call it “calcetto”, the diminutive/cute form of “calcio”, the name of what you would call football or soccer, depending on which side of the Atlantic you are 😉 . Btw “calcio” means “kick” in italian.
Speaking of calcetto, many bars/pubs and similar places have one here in Italy
great info! my husband grew up playing foosball. i like the second photo – what a fun game!
Thanks all for the comments and I’m very sorry they took so long to appear. We had some technical problems and couldn’t moderate any comments last week.
Very nice post Marta! 🙂
We also call it “futbolín” here in Costa Rica and it’s very popular!