Sevilla is all about heat and passion. It’s officially
Europe’s hottest city and the home of flamenco & Carmen. A couple of times each year the temperature and desire shoot off the scale as Sevilla Fútbol Club and Real Betis Balompié lock horns. Further spice is added to the concoction when you learn that Betis emerged into this world when discontented members of the then fledgling Sevilla FC, left to form their own club in 1908. When it comes to global warming, this corner of Andalucia has a lot to answer for.
|The original crest of Sevilla FC & the current, saintly offering|
Football had been played in Sevilla for nearly 20 years prior to this incident, earlier in fact than the Basque country. On 8 March 1890, workers from the Rio Tinto mining company, under the name of Sevilla Foot-ball, played Huelva Club Recreacion in the first recorded instance of two clubs playing each other on Spanish soil. Over the next 15 years, British companies and ex-patriots were at the forefront of matches played in and around the Andalucian capital, and gradually, the Spanish community became involved. Eventually, on 14 October 1905, Sevilla Foot-ball Club was founded and set up home at the Prado de San Sebastian. Activity was sporadic in those first few years, not helped by the fact that the club lacked a benefactor. However, Sevilla FC found a knight in shining armour in the shape of Josep María Miró Trepat, a wealthy Catalan hotel owner, who just happened to be co-founder of the Spanish Foot-ball Club in Barcelona. With Miró Trepat at the helm, the club grew quickly, surviving the player exodus of 1908 and by the middle of the following decade, Sevilla FC was not only the leading club in the city, but had overtaken Recreativo Huelva as the region’s leading light.
|2 for the price of 1 The Campo de Mercantil sat within the Prado de San Sebastian|
|The Campo Reina Victoria played host of La Seleccion in 1923|
|Memories of the Estadio Nervion 1928-58|
|The new stadium in 1959 and all trace of Estadio Nervion has gone.|
|The stadium's complete and Sevillistas look forward to mid-table anonymity|
|Sevilla show the world what it's got|
|Estadio RSP - One SMF|
For all its uniformity and frankly tired demeanour, I still love the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán. You see this stadium has an aura about it, that when full, makes it one of Europe's most intimidating arenas. Add to that the sleek lines of the roof and the brilliant contrast between the green of the pitch, the red & white of the seats and the deep azure of the Andalucian sky and you have one sexy stadium. It's not just me and the faithful of Sevilla Fútbol Club who like the stadium, La Selección is also rather found of it, although one suspects that this has more to do with their unbeaten record here, rather than appreciation of its sartorial elegance.
|Is there a better looking stadium than the RSP when the sun shines?|
There is no denying the fact that the stadium has seen better days. Like a fading movie star, the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán cannot rely on a soft focus lens to hide the cracks and wrinkles for too much longer. The municipality would like the club or Betis to share the Olimpic stadium, a soulless white elephant that was built on La Cartuja island at the turn of the century. It may prove to be a short-term option should the club redevelop the current stadium. With little in the way of funds however, selling the land on which the stadium stands may prove to be the most likely outcome, but only once the economy picks up. In the meantime, let's enjoy, no celebrate this fantastic stadium because once it's gone, nobody will build another like it.