Call yourself a Spanish football fan? Meet uber supporter Matthew Hirtes who has been watching the beautiful game on mainland Spain and its islands following an Iberian relocation in 2004. This week, he offers the lowdown on Madrid’s Getafe.
Getafe C.F….in 90 seconds
Getafe Club de Futból’s most famous son is Alfonso Pérez who played for Barcelona, Reals Betis and Madrid, and Spain in the 1990s and early 21st century. Although he never sported the blue, red, or, indeed, yellow of his hometown club, Getafe have been playing their home games in the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez since 1998… in front of a match-day crowd which, at full capacity, numbers 17,393.
Getafe’s “golden” years have been more recent than other clubs. So their legends are all living. Legends like Catalan centre back and six-footer David Belenguer whose imposing defensive displays guided the club first to promotion after signing from Real Betis in January 2004 and then to reaching the quarter-finals of the 2007-08 UEFA Cup.
A team-mate of Belengeuer’s was another veteran, Javier Casquero, who also joined Getafe after turning 30. Casquero, however, moved to the Madrid municipality side in time for start of the 2006-07 season. And unlike Belengeur, he was a central midfielder. One of his most celebrated contributions was netting in the 4-0 away defeat of Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey which meant Getafe qualified for their first-ever final after winning 6-5 on aggregate.
Also moving to the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez in the summer of 2006 was one Manu del Moral. Equally at home up front or on the wing, his January 2010 strike dealt former club Atletico Madrid their first ever away defeat to Getafe. Del Moral entered the history books rather more bizarrely in March 2001 by scoring a 25-minute hat-trick at home to Athletic Bilbao in a 2-2 draw (one an own goal).
Getafe C.F. Form Guide
Whilst Getafe the town’s Hill of the Angels is considered to be the centre of the Iberian peninsula, Getafe the football club have largely operated on the periphery of Spanish football. They originally formed in 1924, playing in lower leagues from 1928 to 1932. Their current set-up dates back to 1983 and since then they’ve finished as Copa del Rey runners-up in successive seasons (2006-07 and 2007-08) and won Group 1 of the Second Division B back in 1998-99.
Club Shop Essential Purchase
Casuals will love the retro stylings of the club cagoules available in blue, black, and green.
Blue is most definitely the colour at El Azulón, a (tapas) bar in Calle Agustina de Aragón whose signature dish is wasapines: mushrooms stuffed with cream of cabrales cheese and prawns. Slightly further away from the ground, El Rincón del Tío Eulogio on Avenida Rigoberta Menchú is a good place to tuck into the exception to the rule that Spaniards don’t like spicy food: patatas bravas. On the same street, El Rescoldo is temple to traditional Spanish staples such as Andalucian-style squid, Galicia’s take on octopus preparation, and black pudding from Burgos.
There’s an urban myth that for the fans of Getafe, the Alfonso Perez is very much a third home with the second one being the Wanda Metropolitano: Atletico Madrid’s stadium. Except when the big boys come to play, the Coliseum is usually less than half full. The club have reacted with some peculiar recruitment drives to boost support including the launch of a Tinder-like introduction service intended to breed new fans as existing supporters undergo some serious coupling: Getafinder.
Damage to Your Wallet
Technically, you can purchase Getafe tickets online. Although the link appeared a bit wonky when I tried it. To reiterate, you should be able to buy a matchday ticket on the day/night for all but the biggest games.
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.