Sevilla FC boasts glittering record

18May 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Sevilla FC boasts glittering record

SEVILLA FC that will take on Simba of Tanzania in an international friendly match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam next week, won the first-ever organized football match in Spain.

Sevilla FC

For many years it was believed that the club was formed in 1905 but the discovery of a copy of the Dundee Courier in the British Library in 2012 traced the club back to 1890.

The newspaper revealed that the club’s first president was in fact Edward Farquharson Johnston, then the British vice-consul in the city and owner of a shipping company, which sold Andalusian oranges in the UK.

In that same year, the club challenged neighbours Huelva Recreation Club (today known as Recreativo Huelva) to a match at a horseracing track near the city limits on the 8th March.

Amid driving rain more typical of northern Europe, Sevilla won 2-0 with goals from Ritson and Yugles in front of a crowd of 150 spectators… and Spanish football was born.

Their Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium is named after their iconic league-winning president

Since 1958 Sevilla have played at their now much revered Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium, a ground named for their long-time president.

Born in 1900, Sanchez-Pizjuan was a locally-born lawyer who ran the club for 17 years over two terms between 1932 and 1956, during which time Sevilla established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the top-flight and picked up three Copa del Rey trophies (1935, 1939, 1948).

Later the vice-president of the Spanish Football Federation, Sanchez-Pizjuan passed away in 1956 just as his former club were completing a new ground, right next to their old home in the city’s Nervion district, which was then dedicated to his memory.

The inaugural match at their new home – a thrilling 3-3 draw with fellow Andalusian side Real Jaen – set the tone for what would become a stadium famed for thrilling encounters over the years.

A Gambian striker who played for the club in the 1970s is still Sevilla fans’ number one cult hero Alhaji Momodo Nije, widely known as Biri Biri, became the first African to play for the club in 1973, going on to score 32 goals in 99 La Liga games before leaving in 1978.

Regarded as the greatest player in Gambian history, Biri Biri is well known around La Liga for his five-year stint in Seville.

The club’s ‘Biris Norte’ fans take their name from the much-loved figure, who in recent years has become a regular visitor to games at the Sanchez-Pizjuan.

Sevilla were the first Spanish club to field a full foreign-born XI

Sevilla’s global reach was also shown during the 2016/17 La Liga campaign when they became the first club in Spanish football history to field a full starting XI born outside the country.

The team picked for the away trip to Eibar in September 2016 contained players from six countries on three different continents.

The side consisted of Salvatore Sirigu (Italy), Gabriel Mercado (Argentina), Adil Rami (France), Daniel Carrico (Portugal), Timothee Kolodziejczak (France), Hiroshi Kiyotake (Japan), Matias Kranevitter (Argentina), Paulo Henrique ‘Ganso’ (Brazil), Raphael Correa (Argentina), Samuel Vietto (Argentina) and Wissam Ben Yedder (France).

They have a history of World Cup winners.  Summer 2018 saw Sevilla celebrate a World Cup victory, with rojiblanco midfielder, Steven Nzonzi, playing a key role as France beat Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup final in Moscow.

But Nzonzi is not the only World Cup winner in Sevilla’s history. Current teammate Jesus Navas lifted the Jules Rimet trophy with Spain in 2010.

Argentina’s hero in 1986 Diego Maradona played for Sevilla at the Sanchez-Pizjuan in the mid-90s, as did Daniel Bertoni after scoring in Argentina’s 1978 World Cup final win.

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