Spain’s most intense and passionate derby takes centre stage once again when the eternal rivals of Real Betis and Sevilla lock horns once again this Sunday night at the Estadio Benito Villamarín.
It is a derby unlike any other and a match which brings together two historic footballing rivals from opposite sides of the city with the green and whites of Betis hailing from the district of Heliópolis and the red with white of Sevilla residing in the suburb of Nervión.
The Sevillano derby is a wonderful, flamboyant and colourful spectacle and really must be sampled by the true football connoisseur. The wait with for the next instalment of this classic encounter is finally over as the city hits fever pitch in terms of the palpable excitement, intensity and intrigue to welcome its famous derby once again. A derby which has lived many historic moments throughout time. Drama, controversy, entertainment and great goals have all been thrown into the melting pot adding to the fabled storyline of this most fascinating of matches.
Matches which have included a ‘Euroderby’ occurring in the 2013/14 season, where the two foes collided in their first ever European match in a Europa League contest, a contest ultimately won in the finest of margins possible –a dramatic penalty shootout by Sevilla.
Two players who have the DNI of the derby include Joaquín of Real Betis and Sevilla’s Jesús Navas. Two icons and leaders of their respective clubs who know more than anyone what it means for their supporters to win the biggest and most important duel of all.
The tale of the tale between these two heavyweight contenders reads 38 wins for Real Betis, 60 victories for Sevilla and 38 contests ending all square. It remains to be seen who will land the knockout blow this time but one thing is for certain – all form can be ripped up with no favourite going into this type of contest.
Both Andalusian teams enter this edition of the derby on the back of favourable results. Real Betis secured a highly creditable 0-0 draw against Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabéu whilst Sevilla earned a 1-1 draw at home against Atlético Madrid. Both teams in a decent vein of form leading up to their most important game of the season bar none.
A game which will start at breakneck speed and not let up - carried on, by a partisan Betis home support, whipped up in a white-hot caldron of a frenzied and fabulous atmosphere. The match has already begun in the city as in the bars, workplaces and schools with men, women and children of all ages building up the game with pre-match talk, which will not subside once the match finishes and will continue until the next derby arrives. A coveted prize for its loyal supporters the victory would be – the derby matters that much, it is that important, the feeling runs that deep.
This unique derby is not only represented by the men’s game but the ladies too, who have their own version of the rivalry. And not only does the derby take place on the pitch but on the river too, where Betis and Sevilla will go head to head on the city’s Río Guadalquivir in the derby of the river. A race for men, women and children, the rowing race is the equivalent of the storied Oxford vs Cambridge clashes. This weekend will represent the 53rd edition of the men’s rowing race. Betis have the momentum with remarkable winning streak of prevailing in the past eight contests in a row, however, it is Sevilla who holds the overall advantage with 30 wins to Betis’ 22 victories.
Fasten your seatbelts because ‘El Gran Derbi’ is here once more with bragging rights among the chief feelings at play. Points matter of course but pride overrides all. It is Real Betis vs Sevilla, Heliópolis vs Nervión and the fiercely proud supporters of Béticos vs Sevillistas. It is a mouth-watering game for all the senses and ultimately an emotive derby of strong feeling and deep meaning.