Roberto Olabe explains the unique culture of Real Sociedad

Real Sociedad are one of the most impressive clubs in European football. The Basque side are well-known for their attractive playing style, reliance on youth and close ties to the local community. In a sense, they’re a utopian ideal. A football club that’s both local and global at the very same time.

La Real are currently sixth in La Liga, embroiled in a competitive battle to finish in the top four with Real Betis, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Villarreal and Rayo Vallecano. They face Betis in the quarter-final of the Copa del Rey next Thursday and can also look forward to a Europa League playoff with Leipzig next month.

But the first team is only the tip of the iceberg. La Real’s true glory comes in the way the first team relates to their academy, as detailed superbly in LaLigaTV’s Talking Football episode, which airs this evening at 20:00 GMT. The episode examines the unique philosophy of the club and details how they engage with their community while building one of the finest academies in Spain.

“Real Sociedad has a model that isn’t perfect but is full of strengths and weaknesses, it’s full of opportunities,” La Real’s sporting director Roberto Olabe said. “It’s sustained by the neighbourhoods, the beaches, the villages. It’s a model where we let boys and girls be kids, for them to become football players.

“Real Sociedad is a winning team. We have created an environment where people identify with what they see on the pitch, where the fans and players want to be a part of it, where players want to have the ball and they want to feel pressure.”

Watch Guillem Balagué’s Talking Football special featuring Real Sociedad exclusively on LaLigaTV, live at 8pm GMT on 27 January or on-demand via Premier Sports and Amazon Prime Video Channels.

Tags Real Sociedad Roberto Olabe
La Liga - Club News