This article was translated by John R. Bopp
Today, making the most of the fact that the traditional Christmas game of the Basque National team, the Euskal Selekzioa, is playing, the Sabino Arana Foundation put up a small summary of the history of the team on their Facebook profile, drawing up what seems to us to be a great reminder of the ultimate meaning having a national team must have:
Thousands of soccer fans will gather again this Friday, December 30, at 8:30pm at San Mamés stadium, to watch the traditional Christmas match, which this year will be against Tunisia. We’ll have yet another opportunity to enjoy this festival of Basque football and to defend the Team’s official status.
The story of the Basque team dates back to 1915, when they began playing friendlies under the name “North Team”. Immediately after the military coup of 1936, Lehendakari Aguirre pushed to have them renamed the “Basque National Team”, whose main goal was to raise funds for the troops loyal to the Republic. Actually, more than just a soccer team, they wanted to be the embryo of a future National Team, at a time when the newly-created Basque Government was working to turn the Basque Country into an independent state. In the photo, the Basque National team on tour in Russia in 1937.
We’d like to join this reflection and this reminder of that generation of heroes. We’d like to do so by gathering together all the big entries we’ve dedicated to the Basque National Team. And we’d like to do so, again, by showing the documentary of 7 moving minutes that were filmed at the Basque Center in Mexico City to pay homage to the Basque National Team, and which Enrique Ballesteros uploaded to his YouTube channel.
We believe that, more than 70 years after their gesture, their actions, their resolve, their capacity for sacrifice, and the honor with which they defended the colors of the Basque National Team around the world under extraordinarily difficult conditions are still a fundamental asset for the Cause of the Basque People.
They’re seven minutes which we wish would never end, and which we wish were required learning for all of the players who today wear the shirt of the Basque National team, some of whom, used to their small world of young millionaires, have tried to impose terms and conditions.
Wearing the Basque National team kit should only be done to honor our country, and to honor those who gave so much so that we could have a country to honor today.
Cheering on the Basque team is, should be, much more than cheering on a soccer team; the history that is there behind that idea should be remembered, and above all, supported.
Enrique Ballesteros – 7/2/2013 – México
Euskadi, un equipo de hermanos
Aquella selección vasca que salió por la guerra civil española llegó a México y cambió el rumbo de la historia del futbol mexicano. Este es más que nada un relato de ese equipo de hermanos, contado por sus descendientes.
More information about the Basque National Team.