Earlier this week, His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain received the players, coaches, and staff of the Real Madrid CF basketball team at the Palace of Zarzuela. Their visit comes on the heels of their 97-95 victory in the Copa del Rey against Valencia. Their victory marked the fourth consecutive win for the club and their 27th win overall.
The tournament, which is one of the most popular sporting events on the Spanish calendar, is organised by the Spanish Liga ACB and consists of eight Spanish teams competing over the course of four days. The eight teams that compete each year are the eight teams at the top of the league standings at the end of the first half of the regular season. First played in 1933, the Copa del Rey was originally known as the Copa de España de Baloncesto. During the years that General Franco was in command of Spain, the tournament was known as the Copa del Generalísimo, and after the restoration of the monarchy, the name was changed to the Copa del Rey in 1977.
King Felipe assumed the throne on 19 June 2014 after his father, King Juan Carlos I, abdicated in his favour. King Juan Carlos had been embroiled in scandal in the year leading up to his abdication, although apparently that did not play a factor in his decision to abdicate, and he is often quoted as saying that he “did not want his son growing old like Prince Charles,” referencing the Prince of Wales who at 68-years-old is the oldest heir apparent in the world.