Madrid, Spain. The Cup Final has already taken over the streets of Madrid, where millions of fans sporting red and white have come to support Athletic at today’s final. Madrid Athletic fans have greeted the others with open arms; used to being the minority they are now retaliating tucked behind the tide of zurigorri (white/red). Madrid’s Euskal Etxea is the meeting place for various Madrid fan clubs (peñas)– like the Peña Iribar, the Madrid Peña and the Euskal Etxea Peña – who has organized a special program of activities including showing the game on a giant screen.
The Basque club will gather several members of Madrid Peñas that didn’t get tickets to the game. The Peña Iribar, founded in 1971, is the oldest of the nine fan clubs that exist in the Spanish capital. In 1977 a second Peña was born of it, the Madrid Peña. And as part of the Basque club the Euskal Etxea Peña was founded in 1998, the centennial of the club and is presided by Jose Luis Gomez Muniain. These along with the six others will live this day to the fullest.
Club in Barcelona
The Euskal Etxea in Barcelona will be the meeting place for not only Athletic fans but also for those of Barcelona’s team, creating a very special atmosphere. Additionally, and to add a little more spice between the fans, the Barcelona Basque Center has organized a virtual 'porra' (bet), opened to betters around the world.
At Murcia’s Basque club there will be another Athletic dinner in hopes that the football played will be better than the dishes provided. The menu, continuing with the red and white theme will honor current players: "Koikili Nachos with Amorebieta's Amatxu's sauce, Txanpi salad from the garden of Toquero with gulas from the ria, Llorente Cheeks, desert, café or tea and beverage".
The members of the Gure Txoko Basque Center in Valladolid will also gather to support the team, just as they did at the dinner for the European League final, when this photo was take:
[The members of Gure Txoko were so pleased during the final dinner of the Europe League, although the result was what they had hoped. Tomorrow they will be back at it with more desire, if possible. Go get ‘em! (photo ValladolidEE)]
There is no shortage of Athletic fans, even hundreds of thousands of kilometers away from the Basque Country and Madrid, who are ready to go to bed early or go to bed late in order to see this historic game. From Shanghai to Paris and London, from Mexico City to Caracas, Montevideo or Rome, the number of Basque clubs, bars, and private houses full of fans is countless with fans around the world following the game. To mention a few in Buenos Aires at the Laurak Bat Center (Av. Belgrano 1144) they will show the game on a large screen, and invite anyone who would like to enjoy the game to join them free of charge [remember that today is May 25th, public holiday in Argentina].
In Venezuela at Caracas’s Basque club they wouldn’t miss it, members have followed Athletic with a passion along with Real, Osasuna and Alaves (the group lives and breathes soccer). In Australia, members of Gure Txoko in Sydney will hold another breakfast for the game. In Chile, the Donosti restaurant at the Basque club in Santiago will host a special meal for fans that will allow them to eat and enjoy the game beginning 13:00 local time. Similar things will happen in Mexico City, Miami, New York, Havana…
Zorte on eta aurrera!
[Ska version of the Athletic anthem by Novato]