Spanish football: Real Sociedad
It’s all kicking off again at Spain Buddy as our latest Spanish football guide goes live. Matthew Hirtes continues his tour around the country’s leading clubs. This week, it’s time for Real Sociedad’s close-up.
Real Sociedad…in 90 seconds
One of Spain’s royal clubs, San Sebastián’s Real Sociedad de Fútbol received their patronage from King Alfonso XIII a year after forming in 1909. The monarch used the Basque city as his summer residence. Due to his intervention, the club formerly known as Sociedad de Fútbol, initially made up of students returning from Britain who had learned of the beautiful game in the sport’s birthplace, were allowed to add Real to their name and include the Spanish crown in their badge.
La Real were founder members of La Liga back in 1928 and they’ve certainly had some glory years, particularly in the early 1980s when little-and-large strikeforce Pedro Uralde and Jesús María Satrústegui combined to fire the Txuriurdin (Blue and Whites) to a duo of titles. The early 21st century saw Real Sociedad return to form, thanks this time to the combination of Turkey’s Nihat Kahveci and Yugoslavia’s Darko Kovačević up front. Captain of that team was homegrown midfielder Xabi Alonso who would go on to make 114 appearances for Spain and win the Champions League with both Liverpool and Real Madrid.
Real Sociedad Form Guide
Although they’ve had their spells in Spain’s second division, Real Sociedad have upset the country’s bigger clubs on a number of occasions. Primarily by winning back-to-back La Liga titles in 1980-81 and 1981-82. They’ve also triumphed twice in the final of the Copa del Rey, in 1909 and 1987.
Club Shop Essential Purchase
Blue (and white) is the colour of a wallet emblazoned with the club’s year of foundation, yours for 10€.
Nearby watering holes including the cheap, cheerful, and chic Bar Restaurante Zorroaga on Zorroaga Ibidea. Then there’s Restaurante La Hipica set in some very green and pleasant land. Bar Maite, where the walls wear scarves, is on Olaeta kalea.
The Anoeta Stadium holds 32,000. It cost €21 million to build and opened in 1993. There are 40 Real Sociedad peñas (supporters associations) principally in and around the city of San Sebastián, although there’s one based in London too.
Damage to Your Wallet
There’s a confusing online box office. It’s better to pop by the stadium in advance of the game. Especially if one of Spain’s bigger clubs are visiting.
Matthew Hirtes, our resident broadsheet journalist, moved 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.