When visiting Seville and talking to its locals it’s almost inevitable to be asked (or ask) which of the teams you (or they) support. Seville is renowned for the passion of its football fans. However, you either wear the white and red of Sevilla or the green and white of Real Betis, there is no middle ground.
“It’s only when your team makes you suffer that you really come to love them.”
When football was introduced in Seville at the end of the 19th century, a group of British and Spanish youths decided to start a football team under the English name Sevilla Football Club. Sevilla F.C. is the oldest club in Seville, now known as Sevilla Fútbol Club, as well as the second oldest in Spain. A couple of years later a new team was founded, Betis (Baetis which is the Roman name for the Guadalquivir river). They later merged with another team an became Real Betis Balompié (balompié is the old Spanish translation for the English ‘football’).
Sevilla F.C.’s Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadium is in the city’s commerial district Nervión, which has reflected on the team’s prestige and money with supporters from the social elite. The rivals Betis play in Estadio Benito Villamarín, which is the second largest stadium in Andalusia and located in the Heliópolis neighbourhood in the south of the city. Both stadiums combined hold almost 100,000 spectators, a seventh of the city’s population, filled to the brim almost every time.
There is a great and passionate rivalry between the two. From when the kids are born (even before) the team is chosen for them and for the rest of their lives. The matches between the two teams are referred to as the Sevilla Derby. There have been a few incidents of violence throughout the years, although the norm is the standard teasing. After all, the teams do respect each other and that includies some families having supporters from the two rivalling teams. Even though they have to share the city of Seville they are able to exist in a state of symbiosis, showing the dual character of the city.
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