Spyin' Kop: Real Betis (Bienvenida Verdiblancos)

Posted by RAWK Editor on November 22, 2005, 02:19:56 AM

With the crucial game against "Real Betis Balompie" being played this week, we thought we would contact a variety of their fan base and get a feel for how they see the upcoming fixture.

Introduction by Patrick from Sevilla

Betis fans continuously stress the fact that they were made a "Real", a 'royal' club, before Madrid and when they are on the defensive they pull that out at every chance. They hate people calling their club just Betis - here in Sevilla you constantly here the retort "It's Real Betis Balompie to you!"

Betis fans were famous around Spain for being from the lowest parts of society - in other words the poor. They take that as being part of their heritage. Here in Sevilla they see rivals Sevilla CF as being the rich man's club.

Amongst their most famous fans were two "Abuelas" - grandmothers (one of whom still goes to most matches) over 90 years old. The common conception amongst those in the know here in Sevilla states that if you know anything about football and are not a women, young child or animal then you support Betis - demonstrated by the fact that my mother-in-law and the wife both have a soft spot for them and they don't know a single thing about football

In 1909 three directors of Sevilla FC refused to authorise the signing of a player from Triana, a working-class district in the city. As a result two rival directors departed and formed Betis. The name is derived from the Roman name for the surrounding region of Andalusia: Baetica. Because of its origins, Betis initally attracted support from the working classes. Like Athletic Bilbao, the foundation date is disputed. The 1907 foundation date comes from Sevilla Balompie, a club who merged with Betis in 1913. Thus some argue that the true foundation date for Betis Balompie is 1913. Balompie is the literal Spanish word for football as opposed to the anglicized version, futbol. Betis is one of only a handful of Spanish clubs that use this version in their name. As with other Spanish clubs Real was added after recieving patronage from the Spanish royal family. In 1912, Manuel Ramos Asensio, one of the club's founding members, returned from a business trip to Glasgow with a set of green and black striped shirts and proposed Betis take up the colours. The green and black strip was subsequently deemed unlucky after a losing run and was replaced by a green and white version.

They have won the Spanish championship on one occasion in 1935, and the Copa del Rey (King's Cup) in 1977 and 2005. The club came close to folding in 1991 when they were saved by vice-chairman Manuel Ruíz de Lopera, who is now the actual chairman.

They came very close to winning their second Copa del Rey in 1997 when they were pipped by FC Barcelona. Betis finally won their second in 2005, in the final against Osasuna, winning 2-1 with a Dani goal in extra time.

Real Betis also holds the distinction of being the first Andalusian football team to play in the Spanish first division and to reach the UEFA Champions League. Supporters of Real Betis are known as béticos.

There is a big rivalry between the two first teams in the city of Seville, Sevilla FC and Real Betis. They will play this year on November 20th at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

We've canvassed a variety of fans ahead of the game to get a real insight on the Real Betis view:

Jesus Losada Silva - freelance sports journalist (writes for ABC, El Pais etc).

Juan Pedro Fernandez Fernandez - employment training director at CEA in Sevilla.

Francisco Jose Alonso de Caso y Domínguez - engineer and computer programmer.

Alfonso Bustamante - businessman.

Alfredo Sanchez Monteserin – politician.

Pedro Gamez – catering manager

Manuel Parejo Guzman – businessman.

1. Congratulations on your victory against Chelsea the other night, are you now confident of qualification ?
Enhorabuena por su brillante victoria ante el Chelsea la semana pasada.
¿Esta seguro de que su equipo va a clasificarse para la siguiente ronda?

Jesus. I think we’ll beat Anderlecht at home and draw in Liverpool.
Juan. I’m not as sure now as I once was, although we still have a chance.
Francisco. I’m not sure.
Alfonso. I’m not sure but if we don’t qualify it won’t be a big loss.
Alfredo. Yes.
Pedro. Anything is possible. It’s football. Nothing is certain.
Manuel. I’m quite convinced that we’ll do it. Probably depends on Liverpool beating Chelsea in the last game.

2. We’re absolutely astonished at your Domestic League position and it’s very similar to our own, in your opinion what is going wrong at the moment ?
Aquí en Inglaterra estamos totalmente asombrados con la posición del Betis
en la clasificación de la Liga. ¿En su opinión cual es el problema de tu

Jesus. The team is not used to being involved in such demanding games at weekends and then in midweek. I also think we did not make sure that we had sufficient cover for Oliviera.
Juan. Too many games.
Francisco. The problem lies in the fact that we didn’t get rid of certain players last year. We didn’t sign any decent players and we’re short of a decent squad to play in so many competitive competitions.
Alfonso. The lack of a strong squad and the number of serious injuries.
Alfredo. Speaking “off the record” Lopera. Injuries have reduced the season to a damage limitation exercise.
Pedro. It is not just one single problem. There are various. The planning for this season has been very bad. The injuries have written off half our squad and too many games.
Manuel. We have been very unlucky with referees and injuries but I also think we have certain defensive failures. We really need a decent centre forward now.

3. What are your expectations for this season? Have they changed from day one?
¿Cuáles son las expectativas para esta temporada? ¿Han cambiado desde el
arranque de la Liga?

Jesus. UEFA qualifying at least and a good run in the cup.
Juan. I think we’ll finish in the top four.
Francisco. Yes, they’ve changed considerably. Now I think it’s getting between the 8 and 14 spot in the league.
Alfonso. To do the best we can and finish with 41 points or more.
Alfredo. We must aim for the Champions season in, season out.
Pedro. The minimum should be the UEFA.
Manuel. Try to get into the Champions again.

4. Who do you think is your most important player(s)?
¿Quién/es, para usted, es/son el/los jugador/es mas importante/s de su equipo?

Jesus. Oliviera, Rivera and Doblas.
Juan. Joaquin and Oliviera.
Francisco. Capi, Juanito, Rivas, Oliviera, Joaquin, rivera, Edu, Contreras, Doblas
and Miguel Angel.
Alfonso.Joaquin, Oliviera and Capi.
Alfredo. Joaquin, Oliviera, EduRivera, Contreras and Juanito.
Pedro. Edu. Oliviera, Rivera and Joaquin.
Manuel. Rivera and Joaquin

5. Your worst player(s)?
¿Quién/es es/son el/los peor/es?

Jesus. Castellini
Francisco. Dani, Luis Fernandez, Varela, Assunçao, Melli.
Alfonso. No-one.
Alfredo. Castellini (unofficially)
Pedro. Juanlu.
Manuel. I shouldn’t say but I’m not impressed with Assunçao’s contribution this season – he’s been very, very weak and it’s something the Board intends to take up.

6. Name your most famous player (past or present)

Jesus. Cardenosa, Rios (the father) and Joaquin. For humoristic value we even had a certain Peter Barnes here, but he spent more time in the bar than on the pitch.
Juan. Gordillo (Betis and then Madrid)
Francisco. Luis del Sol, Gordillo,Rogelio.
Alfonso. Luis del Sol.
Alfredo. Luis del Sol, Rafael Gordillo.
Pedro. Luis del Sol. Gordillo.
Manuel. Luis del Sol, Gordillo, Rogelio, Cardeñosa are all part of Betis heritage.

7. Do you have a particular memory of any previous meeting between our clubs? Or memories of another Liverpool performance in Europe against Spanish opposition?
¿Tiene recuerdos de partidos anteriores entre el Betis y el Liverpool? ¿O
entre y Liverpool y cualquier otro club Español?

Jesus. Vague memories of a meaningless friendly, but no.
Juan. No
Francisco. No.
Alfonso. No.
Alfredo. Yes.
Pedro. I don’t remember any game against Betis, but I do remember the UEFA final against Aláves.
Manuel. Not with Liverpool apart from a summer friendly. The games against French teams stand out and of course, all the Champions games this season have been magnificent, including our defeat against Liverpool in our stadium.

8. We’re always on the look out for our next Spanish signing, any young up and coming players in the squad that we might not know about?
Aquí en el Liverpool siempre estamos buscando nuestro nuevo “crack” Español. ¿Hay algún/os jugador/es joven/es en vuestros equipos juveniles que merezcan un vistazo por parte de nuestra ojeadores?

Jesus. Yes, the striker Israel.
Juan. Not saying
Francisco. Pablo Niño.
Alfonso. The Spanish should stay in Spain. Do your own dirty work.
Pedro. There are two or three but I’m not naming names.
Manuel. I refuse to say.

9. What sort of line-up will put out against us?
¿Cuál va a ser su primer once contra nosotros?

Jesus. There’s still a lot of time before the match and we have the crucial derby game before visiting Liverpool. Injuries are crippling our squad so it’s impossible to say with any degree of certainty what the team will be for the derby, never mind for Anfield.
Juan. Contreras, Juanito, Rivas, Oscar, Lopez, Melli, Joaquin, Rivera, Edu, Arzu, Dani
Francisco. Contreras, Melli, Juanito, Rivas, Castellini, Rivera, Arzu, Joaquin, edu,
Capi, Dani.
Alfredo. The eleven players that Lorenzo Serra Ferrer thinks are the best.
Pedro. Contreras, Oscar Lopez, Juanito, Rivas, Luis Fernandez, Rivera, Arzu,Joaquin, Edu, Dani – if we don’t have any more injuries.
Manuel. Contreras, Juanito, Castelini, Melli, Arzu, Rivera, Capi, Joaquin, Rivera, Edu and Dani – an attacking team, a team to win.

10. Do you have a favourite song or chant(s) that Real Betis are famous for ? and perhaps any that require an explanation?
¿Tienes algunas canciones que son famosas entre su afición?

Jesus. Nothing like “You'll never walk alone”
Francisco. Songs that recall our triumphs and songs that humiliate the other team in the city.
Alfonso. “Sevilla va pa aca y chupa…”
Alfredo. The club’s hymn:

Aquí estamos todos --- here we all are
para cantarte tu canción ----to sing your song
estamos apiñados ----we're all strong together
como balas de cañón,---like cannon balls
y es que no hay quien pueda ----nothing can stop
con esta afición----this support
que aunque último estuviera ---and even if we were last
siempre Betis campeón.---we'd always be Betis champion

Betis, Betis,Betis.
Ahora Betis, ahora, ---go on Betis, go on
no dejes de atacar----don't stop going forward
ahora Betis, ahora ---go on Betis, go on
porque el gol ya va a llegar.---because soon we'll score
Betis, Betis, Betis

Hay una leyenda ---There is a legend
que recorre el mundo entero, ---round the world that goes
verde y blanco sus colores,---green and white colours
blanco y verde es el sendero, --- white and green is the path
luz en la mañana ---light in the morning
y en la noche quejío y quiebro. until it fades into the night

Betis musho Betis, Lots of Beti, lots of Betis
en el mundo lo que mas quiero.--there's nothing else I love in the world
Luz en la mañana ----light in the morning
y en la noche quío y cielo.--- through the night and the sky
El Betis musho Betis, ----Lots of betis, lots of betis
en este mundo lo que mas quiero. --there's nothing else I love in the world

Betis, Betis,Betis.
Ahora Betis, ahora, ---go on Betis, go on
no dejes de atacar----don't stop going forward
ahora Betis, ahora ---go on Betis, go on
porque el gol ya va a llegar.---because soon we'll score
Betis, Betis, Betis

Pedro. there are quite a few but you can’t sing them in “public”…
Manuel. Our hymn.

11. Where do you expect Liverpool to finish in the CL League stages ?
¿Donde cree usted que terminara el Liverpool en la Champions este año?

Jesus. I seriously think you’ll make the final against Barcelona.
Francisco. You’ll fall in the last 16.
Alfonso. Underneath Betis (it’s a joke). In the semifinals.
Alfredo. Quarter finals.
Pedro. I don’t know…quite far so long as it’s not at the expense of Betis…
Manuel. Final or semi finals. It’s all thanks to Benítez.

12. Which Liverpool player will you fear the most?
¿A que jugador de Liverpool teme usted más?

Jesus. Gerrard without a doubt.
Juan. All of them.
Francisco. Morientes.
Alfonso. Dijbril Cisse.
Alfredo. Gerrard
Pedro. Gerrard
Manuel.Sinama, if he plays.

13. What are your feelings on the new 'Spanish flavour' Liverpool. Senor 'Rafa' Benitez and our new latin recruits?
¿Qué sensaciones tiene usted sobre la Revolución de Rafa Benítez y sus reclutas Españoles en el Liverpool?

Jesus. I respect the way that they’ve all come together and that Benítez seems to have found his element.
Francisco. Liverpool with all the Spanish stars is a real reflection of just how
strong our league really is.
Alfonso. As long as Benítez stays there won’t be any problems, once he leaves then we’ll see what happens…
Alfredo. Benitez is doing a fantastic job.
Pedro. Benítez is a very serious coach who will triumph wherever he goes.
Manuel. All the products “Made in Spain” should be playing over here instead of in the Premier.

14. Have you been to Anfield before? What are your impressions/expectations.
¿Ha estado usted en Anfield antes? ¿Cuáles fueron sus impresiones? ¿O cuales son sus expectativas?

Jesus. I’ve never been to Anfield, but just thinking about going to see the match makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.
Juan. Anfield is a fantastic stadium.
Francisco. No.
Alfonso. I’ve never been there.
Alfredo. No
Pedro. No.
Manuel. It will be my first time next week.

15. How do you find our famous atmosphere, things like ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ etc, how does it compare with the atmosphere created at your ground?
¿Qué piensa usted del ambiente en nuestro estadio, de cosas como nuestra
canción: ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’? ¿Como lo compararía con el ambiente en
su propio campo?

Jesus . we are a lively crowd, but as I said, we have nothing like YNWA.
Alfonso. The atmosphere in our stadium is far better than any other. Ask the Chelsea fans…
Alfredo. It’s the same as Betis.
Manuel. I think that your fans are the same as ours – the best in the world.

16. Care to predict the score? Go on!
¿Quiere usted predecir el resultado del partido? ¡Venga!

Jesus. 1-1.
Juan. 1-2
Francisco. 0-1
Alfonso. 1-1
Alfredo. 1-2
Pedro. 1-2
Manuel. 0-1

17. How do you think the league stages will finish ? And how far do you think you can go in the UEFA Cup ?
¿Cómo piensa usted que va a terminar el grupo de la Champions?

Jesus. Realistically - Liverpool. Chelsea. Betis. Anderlecht. My heart says otherwise.
Juan. Chelsea, Betis, Liverpool, Anderlecht
Francisco.  Liverpool. Betis. Chelsea. Anderlecht.
Alfonso. Liverpool. Chelsea. Betis. Anderlecht.
Alfredo. Chelsea and Betis to go through.
Pedro. Chelsea, Betis, Liverpol,Anderlecht.
Manuel. Liverpool. Betis. Chelsea. Anderlecht.

18. We have a wide selection of Rioja available in the UK, my favourite being Faustino I, can you recommend any other labels worth trying ?
Aquí en Inglaterra tenemos una amplia selección de Rioja. ¿Usted puede
recomendar alguno en especial?

Jesus. I personally prefer Ribera del Duero.
Francisco. Marques de Riscal
Alfonso. I don’t like wine.
Alfredo. Viña Ardanza
Pedro. Marques de Caceres, Marques de Arienzo, Vina Alberdi y Viña Ardanza and the Rivera del Duero.
Manuel. Marques de Riscal 1997 (Gran Reserva) Any Rioja from 1997. Viña Ardanza 1994.

19. Apart from Bullfighting and your beautiful Cathedral, what else is Seville world famous for ?
Aparte de los toros y su Catedral maravillosa ¿Qué más tiene Sevilla para
que sea famosa en el mundo?

Jesus. The legacy of the World Expos of 1929 and 1992, the food, the light and of course the people.
Juan. A special charm
Francisco. Barrio Santa Cruz, La Giralda, the Maestranza, Torre del Oro, the
processions at Easter and el Betis.
Alfonso. Tapas, the weather, the people and el Betis…
Alfredo. Our people make Sevilla what it is. I thoroughly recommend visiting the city. Easter is a fantastic time as is the April fair.
Pedro. The light the atmosphere and the way of life.
Manuel. Triana, the Maestranza, Maria Luisa park, the Giralda….el Betis…

20. Tapas is a great concept, but I would warn you when visiting Liverpool that our bars charge for the little side dishes of food. Is there any English food you would like to try on your visit? Perhaps we will be able to recommend a venue.
¿Hay alguna comida Inglesa que le gustaría probar cuando venga para el partido?

Jesus. I can’t wait to try some typical fish and chips.
Juan. I’m not travelling to the match unfortunately.
Alfonso. I won’t be going to the game.
Alfredo. Roast meat.
Pedro. No thank you. I’ll give your food a miss.
Manuel. I’ve been in the UK a lot on Business. I love apple pie.

Note to Manuel if reading - my Grandmother (94) still makes the best apple pie in the England so pop in!

A massive thank you to Patrick, without whom, this piece would have been impossible and also to all the Real Betis fans for their invaluable contributions.

© Wooltonian 2005

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