Genealogists have hailed new research that traces the origins of Spanish football to Scotland.
Researchers at Scotland's People, a genealogy project by National Records of Scotland, have praised an "excellent" article which reveals that the seeds of Spanish football were sown by a Scottish mining community in Huelva, south-western Spain.
Many historians record this community as being English but research into the birthplaces of its founders conducted by online Spanish football encyclopaedia La Futbolteca has revealed that they were predominantly Scottish.
Scotland's People's Christmas newsletter states: "We're as curious as any cat to see what Scottish emigrants got up to once they moved away from Deepest Unequatorial New Caledonia to new climes.
"In particular, our fitba-daft Scottish genes, and this might be the major design flaw of most Scottish males, means that we're especially interested in reading about Scots who, almost as soon as they arrived somewhere new, clubbed together to form a football team. So we greatly enjoyed reading this excellent article that explores the Scottish roots of 'the working people's ballet' in Spain."
Around 100 British miners, railwaymen, bankers, investors, engineers and family members are thought to have settled Huelva and founded the Rio Tinto mining company.
Spanish historian Vicent Masia discovered that the population was listed as Scottish Presbyterians, contradicting the traditional belief that Rio Tinto was an English venture.
According to Mr Masia, the misunderstanding occurred because the company was registered in London for commercial reasons and because many Spanish people, both past and present, conflate "British" with "English".
The settlers founded the Rio Tinto English Club in 1878, the first of its kind in Spain, hosting football, tennis, cricket and polo as well as providing a forum for debate and socialising akin to a gentleman's club. The name cemented the misconception that Rio Tinto was English but Mr Masia contends that "English club" was synonymous with "gentleman's club" at the time and had no bearing on its founders' nationality.
Scots are also said to have had a hand in the founding of the next three clubs: Huelva Recreation Club in 1889; an early incarnation of Sevilla FC in 1890; and Asociacion de Torello in 1890; as well as a host of football clubs in Barcelona in the following decade.