This article was translated by John R. Bopp
This Sunday, January 8, which has reached China but is still just around the corner here in the Basque Country (we’re publishing at 11:20 pm on Saturday the 7th our time), is regaling us with an article in the Sunday section of the Shanghai Daily that is going to make the day of the fans of the Eibar SD, and to many people who are cheering on this small Basque club as it climbs to the top.
The article, penned by Mathieu Gorse at the Agence France Press (AFP), has also appeared in other world media, including Emirates 24/7 and Yahoo Sports. But the Chinese paper example is different, as it’s appearing in a non-sports section of a widely-read paper.
Now, it’s already amazing that in the League of the Stars there are already five Basque clubs. But the way the Eibar team has come up has definitely turned it into a case study for sports fans around the world. We’ve spoken about this club on many occasions since it keeps popping up in international media.
But we haven’t kept bringing this club up because of its playing style, or for its great results. We’ve done so because we’re interested in (and fascinated by) the epic way they’ve gone up to First Division, and for the interest this club has raised around the world, which focuses much more on the “Eibar model” than on the playing style.
Matheiu Gorse discusses these same concepts in this article, which is not only on the Chinese newspaper’s website, but also in its print edition. It talks about the David-vs-Goliath battle; the huge differences in budgets between it and the teams it faces in the Liga; the international support campaign that has allowed it to rise; etc. It talks about what makes this great, small club fascinating for those who love football, and even for those who don’t.
It’s a shame the Shanghai Daily isn’t sold in Eibar. We’re sure that this Sunday (when it finally reaches us here in the Land of the Basques), it would’ve sold a good number of copies.
Shanghai Daily – 8/1/2016 – China
Exemplar Eibar shows ‘another football’
IN a league dominated by the wealth of the two richest clubs in the world, Spanish side Eibar are punching above their weight to show “another kind of football is possible.” A town of just 27,000 people sandwiched between Bilbao and San Sebastian in the northern Basque region is enjoying a third consecutive season of top-flight football as the likes of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo pass through their 6,200 capacity Ipurua stadium.
Other media that have run the AFP article: