Real Betis was formed in 1907, although its foundation was not officially recognised until 1909. Betis became the first team from the Andalusia region of Spain to join La Liga in 1934, ahead of their biggest rivals, Sevilla FC.
The club has strong links with the Spanish royal family. In 1914, Betis became the first club to receive patronage from King Alfonso XIII, adding the "Real" (royal) to their name in the process. Today, Juan Carlos I, the current King of Spain, is an honorary club member, as well as his son, Felipe, Prince of Asturias.
In 1931, the club reached the final of the Copa del Rey. Although unsuccessful, losing 3-1 to Athletic Bilbao, it signalled the beginning of the club's golden era, under the management of Patrick O'Connell. The following season, the club won the Segunda División and gained promotion to the top flight and in 1934-35 the club won La Liga for the first and only time in its history. Since that time, the club has suffered multiple relegations and bounced up and down between the divisions. In 1977, the club competed in a repeat of the 1931 Copa Del Rey final, this time emerging as winners via a penalty shootout. In 1998, Real Betis signed Brazilian winger Denilson for a world record fee of £21.5 million. In 2005, Betis won a third Copa Del Rey, beating Osasuna 2-1 after extra time.
Legendary Real Betis players include Simón Lecue, Julio Cardeñosa, Hipólito Rincón, Rafael Gordillo and Joaquín. The club's record goal scorer in all competitions is Manuel Domínguez.
Home matches are played at the Estadio Benito Villamarín, which has served as the club's stadium since 1929. It has a capacity of 52,745. The club has long-standing plans to expand the capacity of the ground to around 65,000 seats, although there is currently no concrete timeline for this process.