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On Alcoyano. And protests at Real Betis (27th June, 2017)

Estadio El Collao. A stadium that has been in operation since 1929, and has hosted matches for Alcoyano in La Liga, Segunda, Segunda B, Tercera and even the Regional Preferente. It has seen Alcoyano thrash Sporting Gijon 6-1 in the first division and beaten 9-1 in the third (then the Tercera). And it has seen it’s pitch being initially made by soldiers from Alcoy, covered by snow every winter and became the symbol of socialism and anarcho-syndicalism during the Spanish Civil War.

But through all those times - the sporting success and failure, the destruction of Alcoy during the war and it’s rebuilding, the balance between industrial success in textiles, paper and metal and the immediate threat of desertification - one thing has remained intact. Untouched. Non-negotiable.

CD Alcoyano’s philosophy.

They are a team that will never lose their attacking mentality. A team that will never stop fighting. A team that, almost senselessly, will throw men forward from the first minute to the 93rd.

Tener más moral que el Alcoyano, or "to have more morale than Alcoyano", was the phrase that captures the essence of CD Alcoyano, and is still used today to describe a team that plays bravely. There are many theories as to how the phrase was coined, specifying individual games.

But more than one game in particular, the reference is made ​​to the spirit that has always characterized this team.



In the 2008-09 La Liga, Betis were on 41 points, in 16th place. Going into the final matchday, all they needed was a win, and if they dropped points, both Osasuna and Sporting would have to win. So Getafe, Osasuna, Valladolid, Sporting and Betis all could go down, but in practise not many expected Osasuna to win against Real Madrid anyways.

Osasuna 2-1 Real Madrid, Sporting 2-1 Recreativo. Racing 1-1 Getafe. Betis 1-1 Valladolid. With 24 minutes of the season left, one point separated all five teams; one goal could send all five down: a goal for Madrid and Osasuna were down, a goal for Recre and Sporting were, a goal for Betis and Valladolid were down; a goal for Racing and Getafe were; no goals at all and Betis were down.

Here a close header for Recre, there a post for Betis; here a crossbar for Osasuna, there a save from Casillas. The clock ticked down. The Betis goalkeeper Ricardo joined the attack. But there were no goals. The final whistle went, and Betis were down. One goal, and, level with Getafe, Betis went down on goal difference: -6 to -7. Just one more goal, in ANY ONE of Betis’ 38 fixtures, would have seen them stay.

And yet they didn’t. The seemingly impossible became a reality. Betis were down in La Segunda.

It sparked a protest movement in July 2009, when 65,000 Béticos took to the streets of Seville to call for the resignation of Lopera, as he was being investigated for corporate fraud - taking money out of the club for his own personal gain. Lopera tried to sell his shares to an investment group headed up by his friend Luis Oliver, but the courts intervened and put former Bético Rafael Gordillo in charge.




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