Sevilla vs Real Betis | El Gran Derbi Sevillano Is Back!

Tuesday 9pm BST sees two old foes lock horns again in the 125th instalment of one the most explosive derby matches in Europe. The game is never without drama and flashes of controversy and form never really counts for much – I suggest you get to grips with el gran derbi in this post before:

  1. Sitting back and enjoying the action (neutrals)
  2. Being put through mild heart complications (more likely Betis fans)
sevilla real betis el derbi BlogBetis JHall Graphics

El Derbi Sevillano: Designed by J Hall Graphics

Continue reading

It’s Derby Time!

Betis head into one of the biggest fixtures in their calendar in good form. Two wins and a draw out of three. Sevilla head into el derbi not so good form, the opposite in fact: two losses and a draw. As we know from past experience form really doesn’t count for anything. Nada.

The derby is its own beast. It’s passion-filled, furious and frantic. In jornada 16 this season the first encounter finished 0-0 before Sevilla went on to beat us comfortably in the copa del rey. Tomorrow’s battle will take place in Sevilla’s Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán home with those ‘locos de la cabeza’ in green and white occupying a small wedge of the stadium.

The atmosphere will be electric as always with nothing but whole hearted pride and prestige on the table. Including this game, there are four games left in this seasons edition of la liga, but both teams have pretty much accomplished their goals. Betis are safe from the drop and Sevilla are sitting in 7th position, six points clear of Valencia in 8th.

Last time out Betis played fairly well against Las Palmas, beating them 1-0 thanks to a late goal from the unlikely hero of Ricky Van Wolfswinkel. The game should have been finished off earlier but we couldn’t quite find the break through even though Las Palmas were down to 10 men for most of the game. Van Wolfswinkel won’t have done enough to stake a claim in the starting line-up, but Ceballos will almost definitely be there after having one of his most impressive performances of the season. Ceballos set up Van Wolfswinkel for his goal and created a whole load of other chances, something which he just hasn’t done this season. Hopefully this will give him the self-confidence to dictate play tomorrow afternoon.

In terms of squads, Betis bring in two new faces from last weekend: Xavi Torres and Montoya. Not sure why Xavi Torres is in and Jorge Molina is out, but there you go. Sevilla are likely to have top goalscorer Kevin Gameiro back in action after being missing recently. The Frenchman has got 15 goals this season and he’s a key figure for the eternal rivals but Betis have their own formidable frontman with 17 goals this season: Rubén Castro, of course. He’s the joint top Spanish goalscorer alongside Aritz Aduriz and Borja Bastón.

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 18.36.30The flames have been well and truly stoked pre-game with Sevilla defender Adil Rami having a few choice words to say on Instagram; saying the game is a pre-season game and that Betis’ future lies in the segunda. Stupid man. He quickly back-tracked on saying “I have maximum respect for Real Betis.” Stop talking out of your arse with an apology you don’t mean. Don’t mind a bit of banter but let’s hope that he well and truly lives to regret his outburst by the end of tomorrow’s game.

Game kicks off at 3pm UK time and 4pm in Spain.

Vamos Betis!

Honours even in a fairly football free derbi

From a football perspective there’s not much to write home about on last night’s derbi match, there wasn’t much played. It was frantic, tense, fast paced yet very stop-start. Chances were few a far between, especially from Betis standpoint, and the game ran out zero apiece.


Brilliant banner: Muy noble, muy leal, invicta y verdiblanca. Ciudad del Betis.

Saying all that it shouldn’t really have been an entertaining affair, but it was. It was terrible ugly, yet still an intriguing match from start to finish. The tune was set after the 3rd minute when Molinero scythed down Tremoulinas on the left flank. Definite yellow card. After that the referee didn’t have his whistle out of his mouth all evening. It seemed to be blowing every minute, contact or no contact. I do think the game, especially in Spain, is almost becoming a non-contact sport.

Continue reading

All goals from round 36 of La Liga

As Betis are likely to be making a highly anticipated return to La Liga, I thought I would share a video of all the goals from round 36. Also, with a strike announced for the remaining of the season (correct when published), it could be the last La Liga goals you see for a while!

Juan Carlos Ollero: The Steady Ship of Betis


The new board: Ollero is the small guy in the centre in the dark suit.

It was just five months ago when Juan Carlos Ollero was elected president of the great Spanish instution that is Real Betis. Before that event occured, Betis were enduring, at best, a slight state of disturbance: at its worst, it was all-out tumultuous turmoil.

As we know, at the start of the 2014/15 season because had just dropped down from the pinnacle of Spanish football, La Primera. The club was in disarray and this was reflected in the league form running up to Ollero been sworn in at the end of November: Won 6, Drawn 3, Lost 5. In short, not the form that would see Betis ascend again to the top level.

In came Ollero, the man from the Spanish enclave of Melilla, surrounded by Morocco in Northern Africa. The turnaround of the club since his election has been like the mountain range in the south island of New Zealand: Remarkable(s). Since Ollero the form guide reads: Won 15, Drawn 5, Lost 1. Of course, Ollero has nothing to do with the training of the players or team selection. What he does do is make decisions.

The very first decision he made was to say hasta luego to the first team manager, Julio Velázquez. The result was an immediate change in fortunes. The last four games before Velázquez was sacked read: LWDL. The four games immediately after his sacking, under the interim management of Juan Merino read: WWWW.

Ollero had a decision to make now. Does he stick with untested Merino or sign a more experienced first team coach? As he put it, it was, ‘una decisión muy meditada y en cierto modo arriesgada’ – a very thoughtful and somewhat risky decision. He signed fan-favourite Pepe Mel who just a year ago had been sacked after a bad run of form in La Liga and even more recently had been sacked at English club, West Bromwich Albion, after not been given much of a chance. You win some, you lose some. For Betis, it was a winner.


Pepe Mel and Juan Carlos Ollero with a drop of fine sanluqueñan manzanilla. Let’s hope they will be celebrating come the end of the season.

Mel was appointed first team manager once again, but not before Juan Merino had been rightful commended for the stupendous job he did in the intermediate; a job Béticos won’t forget. Merino returned to his role as coach of Real Betis B team, plying their trade in Segunda B.

In more recent times, the board at Betis have made another possibly key decision in the signing of new sporting director, Eduardo Maciá. In just two days time, his tenure at Betis will begin. Ollero is hoping that Maciá can, ‘alleviate the historical deficit at Betis.’ Maciá comes from a good pedigree having held similar talent scouting positions at Valencia, Liverpool (with Rafa Benitez), Olympiacos and Fiorentina. He is going to working closely with Pepe Mel to plan the future with two current hypotheses in mind: one that Betis will be promoted, the other that they won’t. Luckily, it looks like it is going to be the first hypothesis.


Nuevos de Betis: Maciá y Ollero

So, the steady ship Ollero is going strong. He has already made some tough, but progressive, decisions in the hope that Betis can move through the gears once again.

Beñat returns home


Beñat and Cañas, both have left Betis this summer (photo from Al final de la Palmera)

The moment has finally arrived; Betis are Beñat-less. The little, bearded, Basque string-puller has returned to his spiritual home, Athletic Bilbao – the club who released him 4 years ago, deeming him not good enough. It has been on the cards for quite some time so it has come as no surprise to anyone who follows Spanish football.

Betis maybe could have recouped around €20 million last summer for Beñat, but have finally settled for something in the region of €8-10 million. Good business for Athletic? Yes, very much so. He is still only 26 and is on the fringes on an exceptional national team. However, I also think it is fairly good business from Betis. If we wouldn’t have kept hold of him for one more season then who is to say we would have made it into the Europa League?

It is true that season 2012-2013 was not as effectual as the season before, although he still scored 4 goals and assisted with 8, but Beñat has played his part majorly and now he has moved on to pastures new.

Beñat has a lot to be thankful to Betis for, but so do Betis to him. He made his debut for los verdiblancos at the start of the 2010/2011 season, helping them to regain promotion to the pinacle league of Spanish football. He has gained a reputation as the engine room of the team, with the ability to dictate player and with the visionary capabilities to split defences in two with a wave of his wand-like right boot. A proper footballer, which was recognised immediately by Pepe Mel, who transformed him into a integral player.

There have been lots of great moments. For me the greatest was Beñat’s dismantling of Sevilla in their backyard. Sevilla took the lead after six minutes through Alvaro Negredo. Beñat dragged Betis back into the contest in the 43rd minute thanks to a brilliantly struck freekick crashing in off the post. Up stepped Beñat again in the 93rd minute to nonchalantly slide a freekick under the wall and again crash in off the post. Here’s my match report at the time for Inside Spanish Football.

However, it does seems about the right time for Beñat to leave, especially after his inseparable amigo, Cañas, made tracks to Swansea a couple of weeks ago. Béticos will be forever grateful to Beñat and I’m sure he will get a terrific reception upon return to el estadio Benito Villamarín.

Peña Cultural Bética Chipiona.

ImageThe first post is much more daunting than I thought it would be. You set up a blog to share your words and none end up coming! Then logic kicks in, why not start at the beginning?

And here it is, the beginning, where my journey on the beticismo road kicked off. It was July 2010 and it was a bright, glorious day in Chipiona – a small, coastal town in the south-west corner of Spain. Home no less, to the tallest lighthouse in Spain, the third tallest in Europe and to several exquisite varieties of Moscatel (or what was soon to be known as ‘sunshine in glass’). My girlfriend and I were also only staying here because there was no room to stay in the town of our intentions, Sanlúcar de Barrameda.

However, it was in this town of Chipiona where I first came across this great piece of artwork that captured my attention – Peña Cultural Bética. It made me think and it made me want to learn more. Now at this point I must admit, as I embarked on my journey to live in Spain I fully expected that I would come to support the nearest La Liga team, which was Sevilla FC. A certain Real Betis side, languishing in La Segunda, did not cross my mind.

We soon made it to Sanlúcar where I was introduced and further inducted to the sleeping giant of Real Betis. The green and white bandera of Andalucía was everywhere as were lots of Béticos! There was even more green and white to be seen from the local team, Atlético Sanluqueño. It seemed natural that I should support Real Betis. And so I did. And here I am now, still.

My plan now is to bring news and write musings about Real Betis and other such verdiblanco-ness. I hope you enjoy reading the work in progress that is this Bético Blog.

Viva Andalucía y musho Betis!