On April 14, 1931, the team known as Recreativo Española officially changed its name and became recognized as Club Recreativo Granada, presided over by Julio López Fernández, a well-known reputable carpenter in the city. Gradually, the team began to grow, turning professional and adopting a more international nature. The first foreign player to be signed by the team was hungarian Janos Buzzasy in the 1935/36 season on transfer from Real Madrid. After the Spanish Civil War, José Millán was to become the first international player from Granada.
In 1940, Club Recreativo Granada changed its name to Granada Club de Fútbol and during this same season, the club won promotion to the First Division in the second-last matchday play-off for promotion by beating Castellón (0-1) with a goal from César. In 1959, the Granadian squad contested the final of the Copa del Generalísimo (after 1976, known as Copa del Rey), but lost out on the day to FC Barcelona (4-1).
The club’s golden era was to come between 1968 and 1976 during their period in the Spanish First Division. The high point came in the 1971/72 season, when Enrique Porta won the league’s top-scorer ‘pichichi' title and Granada beat the league’s top-5 teams at home in a consecutive winning streak: Real Madrid (3-0), FC Barcelona (2-1), Valencia (2-0), Atlético de Madrid (1-0) and Athletic de Bilbao (1-0).
On November 15th 1987, Diego Armando Maradona, then the world’s best player, donned the Granada shirt to play a friendly home match with his brother Lalo, who was a member of the Granada squad, and his brother Hugo, against Malmoe winning (3-2). The club inaugurated its new 22,524 capacity Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes stadium on May 16th, 1995.
The 2010/2011 season saw Granada’s return to Spain’s First Division, coinciding with it becoming a public limited sports company (SAD, as per the Spanish acronym). The 2016/2017 season, the club is undertaking a revitalized, ambitious and exciting project under the presidency of Jiang Lizhang.