The Spain Buddy Spanish football series kicks off again with an overview of Granada CF, as Matthew Hirtes journeys around the Primera Liga clubs.
Granada CF…in 90 seconds
Granada CF play at the Nuevo Estadio Los Carmenés in southside Zaídin, next to the city’s Palacio Municipal de Deportes de Granada. This has been their ground since 1995 when they switched from the original Estadio Los Carmenés. Prior to that, between forming in 1931 and 1934, Granada CF were based at Campo de Las Tablas.
The early 1970s was the era of the legendary Matagigantes side. Although this Granada CF team never made it to the holy grail of actual silverware, they killed some footballing giants along the way with visiting Barcelona player Juan Manuel Asensi likening playing in Granada as going to war. At the back, formidable Argentinian Aguirre Suárez and hardman Paraguayan Pedro Fernandez defended the South American way whilst up front Zaragoza-born Enrique Porta remains the only Granada CF player to finish top scorer in La Liga (he notched 20 league goals in the 1971-72 season).
Granada CF Form Guide
Granada CF have never been a main player in Spanish football. Apart from a trio of 2A, 2B, and 3 league titles, the closest they’ve come to adding to the club’s trophy cabinet was finishing as runners-up to Barcelona in the 1959 Copa del Rey (then the Copa del Generalísimo) final. The team haven’t gelled in the 2016-17 season which isn’t much of a surprise given that the first-team squad includes 17 players loaned from the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, and Watford and look like being relegated despite (or maybe even because of) the best efforts of former Arsenal ledge Tony Adams who was flown in as an emergency solution.
Club Shop Essential Purchase
Ensure you’re always on the right page with a bargain-basement-priced bookmark for 1,50€.
In Spain, Granada is the capital of tapas, where tapas if always free!! Bars serve one complimentary dish of food for every drink you order, and you can choose from a wide range of tapas. It’s easy to have lunch or dinner after three drinks (one drink costs 2€)
The stadium is surrounded by cheap bars like Bar Ecu where you will find one of Granada’s biggest tapas selections. However if you’re searching for quality, the best bars are in the city centre; predominately in Calle Navas (behind the town hall). Drop by Mesón Rincón De Rodri for seafood tapas, El Pesaor for traditional Andalucian dishes, and La Pizzara Café for a more modern take on this gastronomic phenomenon.
If your budget extends beyond beer money, Ruta del Veleta’s a 15-minute drive from the city centre. Dine like a king in the Spanish monarch’s restaurant of choice when he visits Granada, although the €65 tasting menu for five dishes and desserts is a more affordable option. Elsewhere, Los Santanderinos transports you to Cantabria with classic northern dishes such as cocido montañes and anchoas del cantábrico.
The ENLC’s capacity is 22,524. This increased from 16,212 following Granada CF’s promotion to the Primera Liga in 2011. Although for the recent home clash with Málaga, the stadium was only half full and the Andalucian club’s biggest attendance this season came with the visit of Real Madrid on 6th May 2017 (19,094).
Damage to Your Wallet
Given Granada CF’s recent travails, you can almost always pick up a ticket for the match on the day. Ticket prices rise and fall according to the opposition. For example, the 2016-17 clash with Real Madrid saw remaining tickets on sale priced from €100-€150.
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.