A small club with a big history: Eibar
I attended FC Barcelona versus Eibar at Camp Nou on Saturday. Though I am not an FC Barça fan specifically, going to to Camp Nou is obviously an invitation to fall under the spell of FCB; the chanting and cheering, the build-up of excitement as you enter the stadium. Stadiums are always overwhelming, but walking into the stadium of one of the biggest teams in Europe... it's a rather big deal.
With my parents - it was their first time at Camp Nou and I think I saw the exact moment they started to understand why I love football so much.
With all this in mind, watching Eibar play against one of the biggest teams in the world, at one of the most famous stadiums in the world, I found myself cheering on the underdog. Continually impressed by their ability to face up to some of the biggest players in the sport, and playing like its 0-0 right to the end (for context, it was 5-0 at the end). What is the story behind this team? Who plays for them? I want to know it all.
This week I am taking a look at Eibar - A team you probably don't know much about (neither do I, don't worry). So, here's some facts about Eibar that you can bring to your next football trivia quiz.
What you need to know:
Full name: Sociedad Deportiva Eibar (SD Eibar)
Nicknames: Armagiñak/Los Armeros (Spanish for The Gunsmiths)
Founded: 30 November 1940 (80th year this year!)
Head coach: Josê Luis Mendilibar
Team colours: claret and blue shirts with blue shorts (actually originating from FC Barcelona kit. See below!)
Eibar is an area of the Basque Country in the north of Spain. Their football team played in La Liga for the first time in 2014, with the rest of their club history being spent in Segunda Division and at lower levels.
Stadium: Estadio Municipal de Ipurua (seats 8.164 spectators)
The team are fan-owned with around 10,000 shareholders from 48 different countries.
Current Standings: 16th on the La Liga table on 24 points. Behind Valladolid and ahead of Celta Vigo.
A little (big) history:
In the 2013-14 season, Eibar was promoted to La Liga with a 1-0 win over Deportivo Alavés at home. Interestingly however, the team was threatened with relegation due to financial instability, launching a campaign names "Defiende al Eibar" (Defend Eibar) with the aim of reaching the required share capital. On July 15 2014, they reached their goal - raising over 1.7 million Euros.
On July 18 2015, Eibar played their 75th Anniversary game against Celtic. They invited the Scottish team as a way of acknowledging the strong connection between the Basque Country and Scotland as well as the large Scottish presence in Eibar. The main supporter group of Eibar is actually called Eskozia la Brava - Scotland the Brave.
To date, their best season was 2017-18, where they make it to 9th place and finished as the highest ranking of all the Basque teams.
Some of their most famous players (those who have played in at least 100 league games or have reached international status) include:
- David Silva
- Xabi Alonso (Liverpool connections!!)
- Sergio Álvarez
- Pape Dio
- Pedro Bigas
- Iván Ramis
- Marko Dmitrovic
- Dejan Lekic
- Takashi Inui
- Paulo Oliveira
- Simone Verdi
+ many others!
Check out this awesome documentary about Eibar made by COPA90.