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Andalusian Derby (Sevilla – Real Betis): The day when everything in Seville stops

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Great rivalries form an integral part of the football tradition on the Iberian Peninsula – the duel between Real and Barcelona on a global level attracts the most attention, but when we remove from the equation the hundreds of millions of euros that revolve around “El Clasico”, and if we look back at what remains, and it’s pure football emotion, the giants of Spanish football can hardly match the rivalry between Sevilla and Betis.

 

A lot of emotions, passion, celebration, and often riots in the stadium and outside of it are related to the history of this derby. Seville is one of the most attractive Spanish cities. Located in the southwest of the country, it is the cultural and tourist center of Andalusia, a place inhabited by various civilizations for centuries that left behind magnificent architectural buildings.

Sevilla

The Guadalquivir River flows through the city and divides it into two parts. But nothing divides the capital of Andalusia like football – on one side we have the popular “Rohiblancos”, who cheer for Seville, on the other, the “Verdiblancos” whose heart beats for Betis.

 

The Seville derby is always more than a game and a reminder that football in Spain is not just about Barcelona and Real Madrid. Full of emotions, passion, festivities, and often riots both inside and outside the stadium, El Gran Derbi is – like the Alcazar Palace or the famous cathedral – a symbol of the city.

 

 

Sevilla is the older club. It was founded by the British and the Spanish in 1890, and the first president was the Scotsman Edward Johnson, the deputy British consul in Seville and the owner of a shipping company that sailed between Spain and Great Britain.

 

Since its foundation, the club has been a representative of the aristocracy. Because of this, in 1907 the board of directors refused to add two miners to the playing staff, so the two directors angrily left and founded a new club that would represent the working class. That’s how Betis was born. Seven years later he will team up with the local team of Sevilla Balompie. King Alfonso XIII approved the use of the royal prefix and the club we know today as – Real Betis Balompie was born. Years passed, class differences disappeared, and rivalry gained weight.

Real Betis

The first meeting between each other took place more than a hundred years ago, although there is disagreement among fans about the date. Some believe that the premiere was in October 1914 and that Sevilla won 3:0. Others claim that it was in January 1915. There is also a third current that states that the first match was played on February 8, 1915. In that match, Sevilla was leading 4:3, and the match was interrupted because the crowd rushed onto the field. Which version is correct, it seems, we will never know.

 

What is known is that both teams won the title once. Betis fans can boast that their team was the first to reach the trophy. It was in 1935 under the command of Patrick O’Connell. The Irishman is a significant figure, not only in the history of the Andalusian club, but of Spanish football in general, and his bust is located near the “Benito Villamarin” stadium.

 

Hot blood warmed by quality wine, more than 150 sunny days a year, as well as the historical context of the creation of two city darlings, are the ingredients that created a unique derby, certainly the hottest in Spain, which can stand side by side with the biggest derbies in the world of football. When you are born, along with your name, you also receive a membership card of one of the two teams, which, like a name, remains imprinted in the identity of every citizen of Seville.

I'm a sports enthusiast, love writing about football. I have been writing about top teams in Europe, the Premier League and La Liga.

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