Unique derby offers momentary ‘Phantom’ finals for lively Copa

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Athletic Bilbao fans

Pozas, Bilbao may seem like a strange place for average football fans in Spain’s most famous rival ‘Derby Vasco’.

About one and a half kilometers in length, this is a road that leads through the bars and leads directly to the home of Athletic Bilbao: the San Moms, an outdoor screen visible between the Grilled East stand and the final building.

It is on this street where athletic supporters and their Real Sociedad allies meet before the derby – not to be scraped, as one might expect at this national event, mixing side-by-side, singing and drinking, and even walking to the ap stadium before the club’s color. Together.

“It’s like brotherhood,” says lifelong athletic fan Michael Mugalari, explaining the status performance. “Very few fights or incidents happen. We have no national animosity. It’s a healthy challenge.”

Not surprisingly, the competition is described as “friendly derby” or “unique”, although the passion for both sides is strong, yet there is a sense of camaraderie and unity.

Welcome to the Basque Country.

There is history for the Phantom Finals

The next time these two famous clubs meet, theoretically, will be the Copa del Rey final, the first in their current estimates between Athletic and La Ri. It was supposed to be held on April 7, but it was postponed due to the coronary virus epidemic, like almost all sporting events around the world.

Clearly for a moment, the coverage of this final has not been completely positive. The new format of the Copa del Rey – sparking a two-leg affair for a one-way meeting before the semifinals – has met with much praise on the one hand, giving smaller clubs greater opportunities to advance, but at the same time highlighting the potential bias in mainstream media.

“A lot of people are tired of the classicos and the other team wants to compete for the title,” said La Real’s fan, David Gonzalez, pointing to the 20 that said “none of the big two have made it to the finals.”

Mikel agrees. “If you talk to someone who really likes football, many people say, ‘Wow, the final without Barcelona and Real Madrid.’ My kid was reading me comments on the original national sports papers: most comments in Spain said it was not final, nobody would see it, it would be canceled. [because of coronavirus]. I couldn’t think of a cancellation [rather than postponing] Madrid vs Bursa final due to coronavirus situation. There is a lot of talk about canceling it now. Why? Because it is two small groups from the north who are not even Spanish “”.

Four years after the death of the Spanish dictator General Franco – In 1979, after defeating the Basque government’s army in ১৯que৩ during the Spanish Civil War, the locals were granted autonomy to the Basque Country or ‘Yuskadi’ four years later.

Although Michael admits, politically, Spain and Yuskadi are now finding themselves in a “friendly situation”, the Spanish monarch’s lowest approval rating has been attributed to the Basque people and Catalonia, another excuse for a final possible suspension, he thinks.

“It’s going to be a Basque final, it’s very important. In the past finals were debated because there was a whistle and shout at the king,” Mikel said. “One of the things they don’t like about Spain’s finals is that they say it should be canceled because of coronavirus, but [in reality] Not wanting to be the ultimate television that millions of people around the world can watch, play the whistle and yell at the king. All we say is, change the name [of the Copa]. That’s it, it’s a tournament [it doesn’t belong to the king]. Change the name “

A bitsweet success?

David and Michael both remember the glory days of their clubs in the sixties, when for four years, the league title did not leave the Basque country.

For David, a lot of highs and crashes during that time brought frustration. A similar loss to Los Blancos came a year after losing to Sevilla in the season Turin Mountains since losing the title to Real Madrid in Real০০.

“It just seemed unfair to me, but the following year we won the Liga with Gijon [Jesus Maria] Real Madrid were already celebrating the title when Zamora’s very last-minute goal had already ended the match, “recalled David, who spent his first salary to become a season ticket holder.

Similarly, the 80s brought back great and sad memories for Michael, the worst of which was in the Copa Finals in the 5th – where Athletic actually beat Bar্সa 3-1 – after his team’s infamous demise after the team’s infamous public outcry.

However, even though both men agree that the 212-2 Copa Final is important for obvious reasons, it also has the sensitivity that it is, as it is now – not expected to be the start of sustainable success for both teams.

“A few years ago, I would say yes to you without hesitation,” David replied, asking if there were signs of La Real being a fourth-place player in La Liga before the final qualification was suspended, but today, unfortunately, football has changed a lot and for clubs like Real Sociedad. It is more difficult to maintain a good team like ours now. “

“Unless the bossman rules are introduced [in 1995], Athletic had the potential to win, but now we have no chance of being better than fourth, fifth, sixth, ”Michael emphasized.

Wait 36 ​​years

“We will always consider the Copa as our competition,” Mikel joked, “He points out Barcelona’s win over Athletic’s 20 Copa win only.

Athletic celebrates their greatest success in a unique way. A barge called La Gabara with all the players and coaching staff floating along the river Navarrion claimed the title to center stage, when supporters lined the river’s banks and bridges to join the squad.

La Gabera is an iconic symbol of the club, but despite the last time Mikel remembers using it, many supporters have never felt the event since 1984 because of a lack of a bigger title – not including the 2015 Supercropa de Espa –a – seen as a legend. Saw. The younger generation is created to view and visualize photos of decorated walls of posh bars.

If on any occasion his ability to see the return of water is seen, it will be a success in the All-Basque final. Just don’t expect the blue-and-white team of the “Brotherhood” to show their faces for the fourth time that they visit Copa San Moms.