We at FBTG HQ would publically like to wish a very happy birthday to the pioneering club of our adopted home; the majestic, exciting and fearless Xerez Deportivo Football Club.
The tram jerked round the corner and the colossal Olympic Stadium burst into view – a facility purposefully developed for the 2012 UEFA European Championship that The Economist estimated had cost the Ukrainian taxpayer an astonishing $13 billion. We hopped off the Soviet era tram just as a faint blast tapped our ear drums. Shrugging it off, we walked towards the front gates as another faint explosion rippled the air around us. More unusual was the comprehensive security force flanking the entrances – half the national guard seemed to have descended onto the Ukrainian National Stadium for a routine league Football match on a Sunday evening.
The number 1 cult-club of Germany getting boisterous in this design. The politicised and partisan nature of German Football fandom has facilitated the evolution of some interesting rivalries between clubs from cities located hundreds of miles apart, and though they in no way can be considered neighbours, the opposing political affiliations of FC Hansa Rostock and FC St Pauli make meetings between the two very exciting affairs.
Morning dawns slowly over the main road through a quaint residential neighbourhood. A set of waste disposal men get to work keeping Spain clean as a young lady zips past on her morning jog. But while the city begins to wake, all around there are signs that someone has been busy during the night.
Satisfied with the few photos I had taken, I awkwardly scrambled back down the muddy ground and continued my walk. More media vehicles had parked up at the front side of El Sadar since I had began my tour of one of Spain’s classic grounds, and the queue of expectant fans outside a closed ticket window had grown. Realising I was short of funds, I turned to go find a cash point and walked into the path of an older gentleman.
“Who we playing today?” Alavés I said. “Oh, should be a good one then”.
Fresh off the back of their Europa League triumph. I guess we should congratulate the people of Germany’s financial capital, but we actually don’t like their club so much. The city we live in is now covered in these stickers.
The title is a bit of a stretch, but hopefully succinct. The Basque Country is comprised of 4 provinces of northern Spain and 3 of southwestern France, even though the País Vasco is an administrative, semi-autonomous region of Spain. Known is the Basque language as Euskal Herria, the Basque Country can be best conceptualised as the land straddling the border where Basque cultural traditions have survived and are most celebrated to this day. Across the Easter break, we decided it was time to explore their ways and history by checking out some great Football matches in Spain’s most enigmatic region.
Once a primitive slum populated by the city’s dropouts and Gypsies, Triana has become one of the most popular night-out spots in Seville. It still has the mystery and romance of the eras gone by but with improved safety and accessibility to the city folk on the “right side” of the river. Beneath the gaze of the belltower of the Real Parroquia de Señora Santa Ana run narrow streets criss-crossing but still somehow eventually converging on just one – Calle Betis.