Spanish football: Real Betis Balompíe
Spain Buddy’s summer of the beautiful game continues with our Spanish football series as Matthew Hirtes journeys around the country’s leading clubs. This week, it’s the turn of Real Betis Balompíe.
Real Betis Balompíe…in 90 seconds
Q: What do Glasgow, Liverpool, and Seville have in common? A: They’re two-club cities. And just as Celtic play in Glasgow’s East End and Rangers in the south west of the city and the grounds of Everton and Liverpool lie on different sides of Stanley Park, the stadia of Real Betis and Seville are on opposite banks of the Guadalquivir river (Baetis the Roman name for this río) which flows through the Andalucian capital with the former based in newly-gentrified Triana.
The great entertainers of Spanish football, the club’s motto is “Vive el Betis manquepierda” which translates as “Long live Betis even when they lose.” Fan favourites down the years have tended to be attacking players. Like Spain international striker Alfonso Pérez (born 1972) who enjoyed two spells with the club, more left winger than left back Robert Jarni (not dissimilar to one of his predecessors at the club Rafael Gordillo) whose mythical 90s number 17 shirt subsequent legends like current club captain Joaquin have chosen as a mark of respect to the classy Croatian, and all-time top scorer Rubén Castro who notched 147 goals in 280 games (2011-2017).
Real Betis Balompíe Form Guide
Real Betis’ history is a long and complicated one. Essentially they formed as Seville’s second club in September 1907 calling themselves Sevilla Balompíe, later merging with Betis Football Club who were created following a spilt within Seville’s first club Sevilla in 1914. They’ve won La Liga once in 1934-1935 and the Copa del Rey twice (1976-77 and 2004-2005).
Club Shop Essential Purchase
Recreate the Estadio Benito Villamarín in your living room by purchasing a 3D puzzle of the stadium for 24,95€.
The Real Betis Sports Bar, a three-minute walk to the stadium, is the club’s official watering hole. Even Joaquin has been known to pop in. It’s open Monday to Saturday from 8:00am to 5:00pm and serves both breakfast and lunch.
52,500 posteriors can sit at the Estadio Benito Villamarín. The fourth most popular club in the whole of Spain, Betis have supporter associations all around the world, from Australia to Scotland. They’re popular on the Canary Islands too, with Gran Canaria home to the Museo Bético Villa de Moya.
Damage to Your Wallet
On the ticketing front, Los Verdiblancos (Green and Whites) are quite old school. In the week leading up to a home game, the club’s box office is open from Monday to Friday between the hours of 10:00am and 2:00pm and then from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. However, if an away game is up next, the box office opens between those hours Monday to Thurday and from 10:00am to 2:00pm on Friday.
Matthew Hirtes has been an expat since moving to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria back in 2004. He's travelled extensively through Spain, covering it for such publications as Telegraph Travel, Metro, and The Independent. The author of Going Local in Gran Canaria: How To Turn a Holiday Destination into a Home, Matthew truly is a resident expert. He's also Mr Gran Canaria Local, the man behind the island's most discerning blog.