Eclipsed By The El Classico


Getafe 0 v 1 Atletico Madrid (26.10.2014)

Rarely will a derby pass by so unnoticed. In fact, I doubt many of the football tourists that descended on Madrid last weekend even realised there was another big game to be had in the capital city. To be honest, I doubt they even cared. Who could blame the El-Plastico’s for being sucked in by the draw of the El Classico? The prospect of watching the most Hollywood of professional footballers, coupled with an eagerly anticipated purchase of a pink Real Madrid away shirt emblazoned with your favourite Galactico proves far too distracting for most, and as such the small matter of Getafe’s home game against defending La Liga champions Atletico Madrid can pass you by like a ‘give and go’ between Modric and Ronaldo!

But here at Look at These Scenes we’re made of stronger stuff and rarely are we satisfied with just one football offering on any given weekend away, even if that happens to be a stag do! OK I’ll be honest (and with the exception of the stag who had bagged himself a ticket on the internet) we were all disappointed to miss out on the chance to see the El Classico first hand, but there was more chance of having tea with the Queen in Benidorm than getting hold of a ticket at a reasonably affordable price!

As such we limited ourselves to the poor man’s El Classico experience – which was more than half decent I have to say! With the late October sun shining and temperatures hitting 26C, we joined what seemed like thousands of Madrid ultras and fans on ‘Calle de Marceliano Santa María’ street (just opposite the stadium) for their al fresco pre match drinks, sing song and pyrotechnics show. The place went berserk as the Galctico’s team bus arrived at the top of the street, flares flickering into life and a cacophony of chants that gave you goosebumps. The burning of the Catalonian flag by a group of ultras stood right next to us, caught us by surprise, but rather symbolically highlighted the hatred shared between the supporters of these two massive clubs.

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 The Galactico’s team bus arrives to flare-tastic welcome!…

As kick off approached the streets were still packed and it turned out nigh on impossible to even squeeze into a local bar to watch it on TV such was the amount of ticket-less Madridistas that had come out to be near the action. We had to settle for a place at a table outside a bar catching glimpses of the action via a reflection of the TV in the window! The poor man’s El Classico had made for a great afternoon out though and is one I would recommend you experience if you ever head out for the El Classico in the future but don’t have a ticket!

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The packed Calle de Marceliano Santa María…


The tifo that most of us missed but the stag got to see!…

A group of us had headed out to Madrid for my mates stag do, and the La Liga fixture computer had handed us a really decent ‘under-card’ in the shape of Getafe v Atletico. In fact this football mad city is home to four La Liga clubs, so remember if you’re heading out to Madrid for a spot of football, open your mind and take in an alternative experience by watching Atletico, Getafe or Rayo Vallecano.

Onto to the main focus of this article then – Getafe – a club that gives you the distinct impression that its punching above its weight, but equally holding its own alongside the more established names of Spanish football.

Formed as recently as 1946 as ‘Club Getafe Deportivo’, Getafe have had a rather eventful history that’s more complicated than Mario Balotelli’s psyche, and one that would normally befit a club that had been in existence twice as long!

Starting out in the regional leagues of Madrid, Getafe rapidly worked their way up the league pyramid system and gained promotion to the 3rd Division in 1956. It was a further 20 year wait  until they gained promotion to the 2nd Division. Then after five seasons there, the club fell on financial hard times and at the end of 1981/82 season they were relegated, and sadly the club was liquidated.

This is where it gets complicated, but bear with me. Six years previous to the liquidation, a new club was founded in the local area called Pena Madridista Getafe (which ironically translates to Real Madrid Supporters Club of Madrid) where they played in various local leagues until taking the name of Club Deportivo Pena Getafe.

Still with me?

In 1982 they joined forces with another local club called Club Getafe Promesas and were registered in the ‘Regional Federation of Castille’. At the time of the merger they were then renamed Getafe Club De Futbol and started out in the regional leagues again in the 1983/84 season.

If like me your head is spinning after taking all that in, you can relax, as the rest gets slightly easier from here on in!

Four back to back promotions followed which took them up to Segunda Division B. It then took a further seven years to reach the Spanish 2nd Division proper in 1994/95. Ten years on from that and they finally took the massive step up to the Promised Land and became the 4th club from Madrid to play in the top flight. 21 years from playing local league football to reaching La Liga is quite some story.

Ten years since taking their place in La Liga Getafe have rarely struggled to remain in the top flight. Often finishing mid table or above their one real wobble came in the 2008/09 season where they avoided relegation by just 1 goal in the goal difference column after finishing equal on points with Real Betis in 17th place.

Fast forward to today, and this evening’s visitors were defending La Liga champions Atletico Madrid. It must be games like this that bring a wry smile to the faces of the more elderly of the Getafe fans. Long may it continue.

So just in case you’re ever thinking of making the trip to the Estadio Coliseum Alfonso Perez I’ll do my tourist guide bit for you now. Getafe is a suburb of Madrid located to the south of the city. The stadium is easily reached by train from the city centre, and there are a couple of routes you can take. The most straightforward is to take Line C3 from Sol to El Casar, and then it’s a 10 minute walk to the ground. The second option is to take Line C4 from Sol to Getafe Centro, and then connect for Metro Line 12 to Los Espartales. The latter involves a slightly longer train journey but drops you within 2 minutes’ walk of the ground. Single train tickets will set you back just shy of 2 euros.

Located right opposite the stadium on the corner of ‘Calle Margarita Nelken’ is the ‘Federation de Penas Getafe’, a small little club house which houses loads of old Getafe memorabilia and a small room from which ice cold cans of Mahou Classic are served at 1 euro a go! A number of Getafe scarves from yesteryear adorn the walls and are only interrupted by the random placement of Fulham, Brentford and Aston Villa scarves!


The Mahou Classic bar in the Federation de Penas Getafe…

Tickets are readily available at Getafe homes games even when the ‘big boys’ are in town. On paper this was a derby, but as Spanish fans don’t do ‘away’ games quite like the English, the away turnout was in the hundreds rather than the thousands. With a capacity of 17,700, a surprisingly low 9,300 turned up for this game. Apparently ticket prices are doubled for the visits of Atletico, Barca and Real, and we purchased our tickets 45 minutes before kick off from the ticket window outside the ground on Av. Teresa de Calcuta. A spot behind the goal cost 40 euros.

Simeone and Lummers

Word has it that Diego Simeone models his hairstyle on our Stag – Lummers!….

With opinions purely formed on the basis of this one game Atletico don’t quite look the force they did last season. I suppose the loss of a striker of the quality of Diego Costa will hurt any team, and although Mandzukic should prove a decent replacement he seemed to struggle to get going on the night. French winger Antoine Griezmann looked a lively addition to the team though and caused problems in wide areas, and it was his shot from the edge of the box that lead to Ateltico’s opener. The Getafe keeper spilled the low drive, Turan miss kicked the rebound, but the ball fell into the path of the grateful Mandzukic who slotted the ball into the empty net.


The stag party with Diego Simeone (middle right)….

Early on in the second half Getafe fans hearts sank as skipper Alexis earned himself a straight red on 56′ for throwing a flailing fist into the face of Mandzukic. At that stage we were thinking ‘bring on the goals’ but rather than take the game onto Getafe, Ateltico seemed happy to just defend the lead they held. Combine that with a variety of spoiling tactics and gamesmanship to slow the game down at every opportunity, and you couldn’t help but think the short fused Simeone has ingrained that into his players as part of his teams philosophy!

Atletico’s defensive approach seemed to lift Getafe though, and the introduction of Senagalese midfielder Baba Diawara caused panic down the Atletico left side. On loan from Sevilla, Diawara looked quality, highly skilful with an end product too, and seems one to keep an eye on in the future I reckon. But despite gaining plenty of possession in the attacking third Getafe just didn’t quite have enough to penetrate Ateltico’s defensive line and set up that opportunity to grab the equaliser. Ateltico saw the game out to the delight of the travelling Frente Ultras.


All 10 outfield players celebrate Mandzukic’s winning goal…


A few hundred Atletico had made the long trek across town for the derby!….

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