And two years and one month later, I’ve finally done it. I’ve attended a top division football match in Spain. Of course I had to pick a fixture smack bang in the middle of Granada’s apparent monsoon season, and forget to take an umbrella with me, but the experience gained made the visit all worth the while.
At €35 apiece, La Liga tickets don’t come cheaply. And this was the price for the cheapest ticket available. Puzzlingly, however, these seats were, in my opinion, the best in the house. Right in the corner we were, giving us a perfectly angled view of the whole pitch. Three non-alcoholic beers and one packet of pipas later, and we were off.
“Coño!” “Vete a la mierda gilipolla!” “Hijo de putaaaa!!!!” “La puta que te parió!” The referee had awarded Bilbao a penalty. The fans screaming bloody murder behind me were apparently justified in their firm opposition to the decision, according to one of my pals. I was too busy picking pipas shells out of my teeth (they’re such hard work). The antagonism only continued to grow after Bilbao’s striker stepped up to coolly convert the spot-kick home.
Minutes later, another one went in. This time there were no complaints. It was a very well taken goal, and at this point the three of us couldn’t help but feel that the game was about to descend into a thorough thrashing.
Fortunately though, our fears proved to be inconsequential, when not long after the re-start Granada went and scored! Chances were being spurned left, right and centre and it had only been a matter of time before los rojiblancos found the back of the net. Showing good team spirit, they continued to bombard Bilbao’s goal with ferocious efforts throughout the remainder of the second half but, alas, to no avail. The full time whistle was finally blown and yet again the referee was verbally abused in remarkably imaginative ways.
Drenched and dehydrated due to excessive pipas intake, we trudged away in disappointment. Granada had been unlucky, but could be proud of their gutsy second half display, and despite the result and grim conditions, we all agreed it had been money well spent. If you’re here for the weekend, and there’s a game on, it’s definitely worth a visit.
*Also, if you make the trip to Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes, look out for Granada’s most dedicated fan: La Papa (The Pope), who, instead of watching the match from his seat, prefers to wander the stadium dressed in red robes, hugging and ‘blessing’ other supporters