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They lost reds and blues

first_imgMadridistas Ricardo Zamora and Santiago Bernabéu had to go into exile in France, both sympathizers of the rebel side. The historic doorman, who was imprisoned during the first days (“He told us that he was once going to be taken out of prison with a group of prisoners, surely to be shot, when he was recognized by a militiaman who saved his life”, relates his son), played for Nice, where he retired. Bernabéu returned to Spain to fight the Republicans.Although the championships could not be played, each sought their own friendly matches. Soccer has always been an instrument to do politics and neither side missed it. International recognition and financing were, mainly, what the nationalist side sought with the Selection. In blue, to avoid, for obvious reasons, the color red, the Spanish team could only manage to play two games against Portugal (defeats 2-1 and 1-0). The Basque Government promoted the Basque Country team, which toured Europe and the USSR. Bilbao fell when they were outside our borders and they decided to extend the international matches in America, where they came to play the Mexican league. At the club level, the Catalan and Valencian federations organized the Mediterranean League (for Barcelona) and the Free Spain Cup (for Levante), tournaments to which the RFEF has never granted any official validity.Taking up football in 1939 was not easy since stadiums like Villamarín, which was used as a tank warehouse and shooting range for Italian troops; Chamartín, which lost its wooden stands, used as fuel; or the Metropolitan, almost in ruins. The most extreme case was the Buenavista of Real Oviedo, destroyed, and that forced the club to abstain one year from the competition if they respected the place. Therefore, for that same season there was a place to assign and they played it at Mestalla the new Athletic-Aviation Club (union of Athletic Madrid and the National Aviation Club) and Osasuna, a club that claimed merits from the people of Navarre in the victory of the national side. The madrileños won and got the permanence to, in that same year, win their first league with Zamora as coach. Will we see such a strange restructuring when our football resumes? The military uprising began in the summer, so it gave time to finish the 1935-36 league that Athletic raised. On the last day of April 19, football ended – official, now we will see – until September 39. The justification for why a civil war is not comparable with the situation we are living now because of the coronavirus, but, and without counting strikes for specific days, It was the only time that Spain has had to suspend all its football as we are seeing in this 2020.It would be impossible to give a list of all the soccer players, managers or employees who lost their lives in the conflict, but one of the many that deserves a special mention is Josep Suñol, president of Barcelona. “He has gone down in Barça’s history as the martyred president due to his tragic death, when he was in office, in the early days of the Civil War, shot by the Francoist army in the summer of 1936”, can be read on the Barcelona club website. Suñol was a member of the ERC and a member of the party, an ideology that cost him his life when, in the Sierra de Guadarrama, he entered the Franco zone without realizing it. The news took a week to reach the club and then an Employees Committee was created to rectify the loss of the “absent president”, as he was named after his death.His tragic disappearance caused such an impact on the republican side that the Federation formed a group of volunteer forces with the name of the ex-president culé: “As many athletes as willing to defend republican liberties can enroll in this new force. The headquarters of the new republican militia has been installed on the ground floor of the Madrid Fútbol ClubOne day before leaving for the front, on September 6, a Madrid-Valencia game was played with which funds were raised for blood hospitals.In its non-sporting facet also was the founder of La Rambla, a sports weekly located where its own name indicates. The Barça fans came under the newsroom to find out the result of their team when they played away from home and celebrated it right there in case of winning. A meeting place that has become a tradition and is still active today, as it is where the Canaletas fountain is located. Another of the traditions that continue to be part of our day to day es foosball, the work of the Galician poet Alejandro Finisterre when he was admitted to the hospital for his war wounds.last_img read more

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