This story happened 73 years ago. And the sevillistas dream of repeating it now. It was 1945 and Sevilla occupied the first place in the Spanish championship after eight competitive matches. Months later he conquered the title. The only League in its showcases. Three quarters of a century later, the first part of history repeats itself. The Nervión club crowns the qualifying table in the eighth day. Where some see a simple coincidence, others see an omen. But all agree in an illusion: the project of President Pepe Castro led by Pablo Machín on the bench falls in love with his parish.
"I had not seen a title in my life: we only celebrated promotions to First." The first time Antonio Cano stepped on Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán was 13 years old. It was 1993, with adolescence to the surface. At 17 he broke his heart after the fall of Sevilla FC to Second. Now, at 38, Cano, manager of the Peña Sevillista Macarena headquarters, celebrates his 25th season as a Sevilla player with the pride of having lived nine titles since 2006 and a recently won leadership in LaLiga Santander. "The first money I keep every year is for the Seville card, that's fundamental," he says. "We've already got used to winning." And new generations of fans, he says, have become more demanding. "You have to go to win always. The more you get, the more you have and the more demand there will be. "
"When we started competitions we always thought about getting the most out of it. try everything, try everything, try everything"
"We think about sevillismo every time we get up. We have a well-known brand worldwide, we are a club united to its colors and its shield "
"90% of the players left the quarry they were born in Seville"
"When you go out to the field you are totally trapped, feel that stadium singing the a cappella anthem is something mystical"
The management of the club has picked up the glove. They are the first to demand the limit. Sevilla has been installed in the elite of LaLiga for years. José Castro, president since 2014, is a witness and driver of the change of direction of the entity. He came to the vice presidency in 1999, with Sevilla on the decline, and he experienced the transformation in the first person: "Success is based on the work of these 20 years in which the entity's inertia has changed. Before, the team did what it could. But we had to go a step further and we gave it. The board of directors bet, even with money from our pockets, to sign important players. And, above all, we were not afraid to sell to any of them, "explains the president. The successful succession of player sales transactions differentiated Sevilla's strategy and left an important economic margin with capital gains of close to 200 million euros (see chart).
Today the strategy has not changed. The entity closed this summer operations of sale with 13 million surplus. But, in addition, now it has the stability of audiovisual revenues. "Let's not forget that today football survives on television, and also thanks to marketing. Both things are done through LaLiga, "says Castro as an argument for success.
The club's centenary in 2005 is a historic milestone for Sevilla at all levels. From the entity insist on the idea of "before and after" of this date. The twentieth century and the twenty-first century. The data endorses them. For 100 years Sevilla had only lifted four titles (one League and three Spanish Cups). In the last 18, he has already won nine (five UEFA Europa League, one European Super Cup, two King's Cups, one Spanish Super Cup). And he has played 18 finals so far this century.
Sevilla, without doubt, is the team of the moment in LaLiga Santander. He leads the classification of the best world championship of clubs led by Pablo Machín, the fashion coach of Spanish football, with a defined and recognizable style, competitive to the maximum, and driven by a committed and passionate hobby. His sports and management model has been producing good results for years. The sports director, the utrerano Joaquín Caparrós, analyzes the moment of this Seville leader: "It is a sum of many things. We have a good technician, with a solid team also in the lower categories. The players who have arrived wanted to come here and succeed. And they joined Banega, Mute Vázquez, Sergio Escudero, Sarabia, Captain Navas. "
There is another pillar, apart from the strategic one, which relies more on the emotional than on the sport. President Castro calls it the "sevillista faith". Caparrós abounds in this idea: "That faith is what makes all of us inside do not relax and think about sevillismo every time we get up".
That feeling has a hymn that the fans sing a cappella before each game. It was composed by El Arrebato, from Seville and Sevilla, former player of the youth club, to commemorate the centenary in 2005 and has become the strongest connection between the team and the fans. Cove in all players. Antonio Álvarez, former player and club legend Dorsal, director of the club's soccer school explains: "When you go out to the field you are totally trapped, feeling that stadium singing the a cappella anthem is something mystical". "The players of the quarry want to reach the first team and their goal is to hear the Seville anthem on the pitch," says Caparrós.
The quarry is another of the pillars of the winning Sevilla. "The arrival of Caparrós (in April) has been sensational," says Álvarez. "Organize a training day a week with players from different divisions so that they become aware of what it is like to be in Seville." To these classes come great legends of the club, such as Francisco López Alfaro, Marchena or Gallardo. "In the sports city, there are always people watching the filial team, the youth, the children … People love the quarry and dream of seeing them in the first team," he stresses.
"For always, for those of us who have started grassroots football many years ago, our greatest pride was to belong to the first team," explains the director of the youth academy, Pablo Blanco, a Seville myth that, with 415 official matches between 1971 and 1984, is the second player who has dressed the nervous shirt more times. Blanco highlights the close relationship between the institution and the city: "90% of the players who left the quarry were born in Seville".
"That's what we want," says Caparrós. "As a matter of necessity and policy of the club, we have not had the presence of youth players in recent years. And that historically we have been a team of quarry. Now we want to give it a boost, that there is more participation of the talented guys trained here. " Antonio Cano, the fan, describes Joaquín Caparrós as "the one who started everything". And with "everything" refers to the previous stage of Caparrós, in 2000, when players such as Reyes, Sergio Ramos and Navas, who were raised in the club, were consolidated.
This weekend Sevilla visits Barcelona at the Camp Nou. First versus second. The leadership at stake. The sevillistas want to continue dreamed in one of the most exciting championships of the last five years. The start of LaLiga Santander promises: more equality, more competitiveness, more spectacle. And more surprises! Caparrós thinks further. "I'm optimistic about the future. We have a sports city with good facilities, which will be our factory, the brand Sevilla is a brand known worldwide, we are a club attached to its colors and its shield ", highlights about the project that has given so many fruits. "If when we have a doubt we think about the amount of people behind us and the sacrifices they make to come to the countryside every Sunday, then the future will be good," he says.
That future is near, but also far from Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán. President Castro was last week in the United States to inaugurate an academy in Seville. In Miami, a taxi driver asked him what equipment he was. "Del Sevilla", he replied. The driver, Brazilian, but based in that city, replied informed: "The leader of LaLiga Santander and the king of the Europa League." Pablo Blanco, the director of the quarry, adds: "LaLiga is doing a great job to sell the product to other countries with less soccer culture".
Buy well and sell better, boost the quarry, work and be demanding. There are no bizarre explanations to explain the successful present of Sevilla. When the own resources do not reach, it appears again the mystery of the "sevillista faith", that for these protagonists of the day to day of the club embodies different dimensions. "Believe in what you do," Blanco says. "When we play with more important teams, that faith is what has made us win. Never give up. Try to get everything until the last second, "adds José Castro. "It's just that we never lose it!" Says the Peña Cano. "With so much faith we have achieved many goals. I've been to all the finals of Sevilla. And hey: that's what my team gave it to me. "
And always with the same objective. President Castro sums it up like this: "When we started competitions we always thought about getting the most out of it. What else we have left! Try everything, try everything, try everything … " El Arrebato, the author of the most hymns of Spain's hymn, says: "We are an ambitious club, we have never conformed, we do not accept a second plane. Caste and courage. It is not necessary to achieve it, it is necessary to compete. Whoever fights to the end really never gets a defeat. "