We’ve already brought you many articles by Rory Smith, the leading soccer correspondent for The New York Times, who covers all aspects of European soccer, writing for one of the leading global newspapers that is most interested in Basque affairs.

This time, he’s published an article about Club Atletico Osasuna, the only first-division Basque team whose name is actually in Basque, as they were playing a Cup final against one of the biggest monsters in global soccer, Real Madrid.

The article was published on May 5, that is, on the day of the match, which, as we all know, was a Real Madrid victory by only one point (2—1).  Osasuna may have lost, but they fought until the bitter end, putting up an incredible fight against a team that has 11 times more budget and that takes the best players from the whole world, rather than just from its local area.  Navarre, in contrast, according to one study, has one professional player for ever 22,000 inhabitants.

Because of that, because of its cantera, because Osasuna was able to overcome a crisis that saw it almost dip into third division, because of its players’ commitment and connection to Navarrese society, because of all those reasons, this New York Times article covering all this is magnificent.  It ends by focusing on the most important theme:

De todo esto, de su cantera, de su capacidad del Osasuna de salir de una crisis que casi le lleva a tercera división, de la implicación de sus jugadores, de su conexión con la sociedad navarra… de todo eso y mucho más habla este magnífico artículo del New York Times, que finaliza centrando el tema en los más importante.

“And so, whatever happens on Saturday, Osasuna will go on being run as it has been for these past eight years, from the nadir to the zenith. There might be a celebration. There might be a commiseration. The club that emerges on the other side will be exactly the same.

“Monday,” Canal said, “will still be Monday.”

The New York Times – 5/5/2023 – USA

It is not quite eight years since Osasuna found itself at what Fran Canal, the team’s chief executive, described as the “worst moment in its history.” The team was a single defeat from the ignominy of relegation to Spanish soccer’s third tier. Bankruptcy loomed. The club, he said, stood at the precipice “socially, economically, in terms of credibility.”

(Follow) (Automatic translation)

Last Updated on Dec 3, 2023 by About Basque Country

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