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Football – close up and friendly
S.E. Eivissa’s first ever ‘international’ match took place this summer and, as newly appointed sponsors of the team, the Ibiza Now sent yours truly to report on the performance of the team behind whom we’re now throwing our not inconsiderable weight.
The cameraman is also a footie fan, so at least I don’t have to go alone. He’s also the reason why we arrived professionally early to proudly present our Complimentary tickets – the ones the office gave us in the sealed envelope with our ‘mission’.
Unfortunately the doorman doesn’t like the colour of them. He prefers a rusty brown, ours are blue. It transpires that the blue tickets entitle us to free entry to Amnesia, which isn’t open yet.
Since the tickets are largely written in Italian, in deference to tonight’s visiting team, we confer and decide to blow our cover by playing the press card, despite the fact that this means they’ll probably roll out the red carpet and waiter service to our seats in order to ensure a positive slant to our article. The doorman lets us in after a brief phone call…
As we select our seats the public address system booms out an advertisement for Ibiza Now to the predominantly Spanish and Italian crowd, followed by an advert for a language school. Things look promising…
The usual preamble of introductions ended with Patricia Castro Ortega (European Junior Swimming Champion) ceremoniously kicking the match ball before the players took up their positions on the pitch, then a minutes silence for those who died in the recent Madrid air crash.
Eivissa dominated the first half and after numerous chances the busy left sided winger German, played a perfect through ball for Julien and a well taken first goal. As half time approaches I decide to beat the half time rush to the bar and toilet as the ball goes out for a goal kick. The crowd roar and apparently the goal I’ve missed best was particularly spectacular. (ed: think of Theirry Henry curving a looping ball into the top right hand corner of the net).
We’re 2-0 up against Inter Milan (twice winners of the European Cup!). We’re enjoying ourselves when the whistle blows for half time.
Another bonus, there are a good proportion of extremely handsome ladies amongst the team’s supporters. Half time flew by as they stretched their legs.
Meanwhile another Ibiza Now advertisement echoed around the stadium as the sprinklers put on a liquid fireworks display in the background. Sitting in the second row on a hot evening the spray is quite pleasant. It’s reminiscent of the Blue Marlin in Cala Jondal.
The second half begins and within a minute we’ve scored a third. This could become a rout. Unfortunately the cameraman has become over-excited and jumps up as the ball comes over for this third goal, so I miss that one too. The Italian bench respond with a raft of substitutions as the crowd applaud those departing, more out of sympathy than any respect for their achievements on the pitch.
A fourth Eivissa goal goes in followed by more Italian substitutes, including the goalkeeper and we’ve only twenty minutes to go.
In the final quarter of an hour the Ibiza players tired and their own raft of substitutes were introduced, but the team had lost its rhythm whereas the Italian substitutes had by now got the pace of the game.
Nonetheless, Eivissa survived with a 4-0 victory leaving their supporters hugely satisfied – and potentially you, if you fancy a local team to support at a live football match. It really is different to watching football on TV – and who wants to sit indoors on Ibiza?
This is not necessarily a bloke’s Saturday afternoon escape route either. Although I learnt both Spanish and Italian swear words from the second row, the players involved always got up and shook hands afterwards. Full marks to the referee. Meantime kids scamper up and down in front of the main stand – this is a family affair, like everything else in Spain.