‘Oblak, you’re going to let in 3 or 4’ – Atletico Madrid defeat can’t hide deserved celebration for Cadiz

Atletico Madrid’s goalkeepers jogged over towards the fondo sur of the Nuevo Mirandilla to begin their pre-match warm up. Once within earshot of the nearside, the few clustered fans on the front row fired across their taunts. “Oblak, se te caen tres o cuatro!” (Oblak, you’re going to let in three or four!). This throwaway comment brought about some chuckles from those who heard it. It was funny because the home side had only scored three or more goals in a game once this season. That happened in a 3-1 victory over Villareal on the 1st of September last year – the last time they won a match in La Liga. 

Yet despite the lack of something to cheer about, the people of Cadiz still approach each game with the same humorous attitude as they have always done. For this is a fan base that brings the laid back and spontaneous nature of its city to its football club. You’ll find Spain’s biggest carnival here which makes the small explosions of silly no surprise. For example, spotted on the streets surrounding the stadium before kick off was a blow up Pikachu with a Cadiz CF scarf around its waist being followed by a group dressed as Ash from Pokemon.

The club adheres to its fans liberal views and will always make an effort to be conscientious in a way different to most other clubs in the country. To mark International Women’s Day, which fell the day before this match, the club invited its two oldest socias (female members) to take the honorary kick off. One of the old ladies made the most of her time in the spotlight waving her yellow scarf around ferociously to which the crowd responded immensely before the same woman embraced goalkeeper Conan Ledesma who greeted her with a bouquet of flowers. No other La Liga game on Saturday featured such a gesture.

Cadiz is a club who have traditionally plied their trade in the second and third tiers of Spanish football which doesn’t create a whole lot of expectation from the fans now that they are playing at the highest level. They are watching their team compete for the fourth consecutive season in La Liga – their longest run in the division since the late 80s into early 90s. They’ll admit they’ve ridden their luck in the last couple of seasons; surviving by one point in 2021-22 and by two points last term. That’s made this season somewhat more bearable as they know they’re on borrowed time.

But whilst bare able, it doesn’t mean to say the fans haven’t suffered. They have drawn more games (13) than any other side in the league and are the lowest scorers in the top two divisions (yes, even less than Almeria). It has come to the point where any slight attempt to get the ball close to the opposition’s goal is applauded by the crowd. This was evident as an eighth minute throw-in won deep into Atletico’s half was met with an encouraging rupture of support. Not to be deterred by stats and form or even an uncharacteristic day of wind and rain, the Nuevo Mirandilla faithful settled in once again to get behind their team.

The home side withstood early possession from their visitors who had lost 8 times in all competitions away from home before this match. Some quick feet from Robert Navarro in the center of the pitch took him away from Rodrigo de Paul and set Cadiz on the attack. The ball was eventually worked to the left hand side where Rubén Sobrino floated in a first time cross finding the head of Juanmi who nodded his side into the lead. The fans had seen this part before. In the 23 league fixtures since their last win, Cadiz had gone ahead in six of those but weren’t able to hold on in any. 

This prompted a chant of ‘si se puede!’ (yes we can) to ring around the ground. A chant you would associate with a bunch of mums on sports day or rather a team from Segunda Federacion having just won a corner in a Copa del Rey game against Real Madrid whilst already 4-0 down. The crowd were almost mockingly willing their team on towards the finish line, knowing that there were still three quarters of the match to be played and the probability of an Atleti turnaround high. After all, they did go 2-0 up at the Metropolitano back in October only to come away empty handed. 

But when that man Juanmi doubled the advantage with a scuffed first time finish from a long ball over the top midway through the second half, February’s carnival atmosphere re-emerged. This time in early March in the form of 16,000 scarf waving gaditanos that knew they were well on their way to a famous victory. 

Cadiz’s last two outings have seen draws salvaged in the one hundredth and one hundred and thirteenth minutes respectively, sparking wild scenes of climatic jubilation amongst fans at the last breath. However, this time the fans were provided with a rare opportunity to party their way through the rest of the game without having to watch their team suffer. Thanks to a rather lamentable performance from Atletico Madrid, Cadiz endured little to no bother in seeing out the remaining half an hour. 

Perhaps the chant that best got the crowd going in the closing stages was their very own version of ‘Muchachos Esta Noche Me Emborracho‘ by La Mosca Tse-Tse which was famously adapted by the Argentines for the 2022 World Cup. The Cadiz fans sing ‘me quiero quedar en primera’ [I want to stay in the first division]. They don’t want this four year celebration to end just yet. 

Tags Atletico Madrid Cadiz
La Liga - Club News