This past week, the amount of reports we’ve “harvested” about our country on our daily hunt for news in the world’s media has been a whirlwind of news about the cup final between Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad that should have been played a year ago and is finally being played today.
Almost all articles focused on the sporting aspects, which our readers know we don’t find particularly interesting. But two of the ones we came across were interesting enough that we thought we should share them with you.
A year ago, they published an article about this same topic that we felt deserved an entry in the blog thanks the quality, and the warmth, of the writing in the article
And they’ve surprised us yet again, because given the match being played today, he’s published a new article about this match that, as impossible as it may seem, is even better than last year’s. It is, without a doubt, a “must read.”
The second article is from a media outlet we’ve yet to reference here. That would be Stadio, where Abbas Asaria offers his readers an interesting and curious mix of information about the cup and its two starring teams, along with an overview of some Basque cuisine.
Finally, our prediction about the final result:
We’ve commented frequently that soccer is a topic that has never really called to us, especially when we find that some media and groups use it as a “tool of national destruction,” getting Basques to face off against Basques over sports. We’ve even seen that in some of the articles we’ve published on matters tangentially related to the sport. These comments are all too often shameful, because instead of transmitting a comprehensible rivalry between teams, they try to turn it into hatred between territories. And somehow all are carrying the ikurriña in hand.
So that’s why we’ve decided our prediction shall be:
Geurea bai edo bai!
And we wanted to accompany this with a video to share what we believe should be the key to this match for us: two Basque teams facing off today come from sister territories that get on very well. The video comes to us from Lurra Films. That’s all we know, and we’d appreciate it if anyone who knows more would tell us. But we do know we liked the message, very, very much.
Both the teams playing tonight have a huge responsibility in addition to winning the match: they have to show they’re both Basque teams, just as Sid Lowe said in The Guardian.
The Guardian – 2/4/2021 – Great Britain
A final like no other: la Real, Athletic and the biggest Basque derby ever
They have waited a long time for this, just not for it to be like this. Saturday night’s Copa del Rey final between Real Sociedad and Athletic Club, the Basque derby staged almost 1,000km south in Seville, should have been played 12 months ago. Instead, it was postponed by the pandemic and a decision that defines these two historic representatives of a unique place, a country: together, they refused to play without their people. But it’s not that, or not only that.
Stadio – 3/4/2021 – Great Britain
The Food of the Basque Derby
This Sunday’s Basque Derby between Real Sociedad and Athletic Club will be its most competitive outing to date: its first ever Copa del Rey final, rescheduled from last spring. Fans play a huge part in this fixture, which is why both teams tried to postpone it until fans would be allowed back, but sadly to no avail. They create a special and friendly atmosphere for a significant derby: there’s traditionally a joint supporters parade towards their stadiums before games in Spain, while their respective supporters clubs in my hometown of London will sometimes arrange to watch it together.
Header photo: Team captains Inaxio Kortabarría of Real Sociedad (left) and José Ángel Iribar carry the Ikurriña, while still illegal, before the December 1976 derby. Photo courtesy Real Sociedad