One of the staples of being a football fan in Spain is somewhere, somehow you'll get to watch Real Madrid or Barcelona live on telly at some point during a typical weekend. It matters not who the big two are playing, your local team won't get a look in, even with a semi attractive looking home fixture. Once or twice a month Canal+ intervene and put a bit of a spanner in the works of any smaller club hoping for a decent gate, because, with complete indifference, the locals frequently prefer to head off to their favourite bar to get a fix of the Spanish equivalent of Rangers versus Celtic.
The only thing that comes close to matching the national obsession with two of the world's wealthiest football clubs is the opportunity to guess the result of fifteen carefully selected fixtures for a weekly cash prize; La Quiniela. A combination of La Liga and Segunda matches, "La Kinny-ella", features a column of football games and the choice is simple, home win, away win or draw. Game number fifteen, which also needs to be correct to have a chance of trousering a healthy wedge of cash, is almost always a bit of a killer.
Marca before heading off to make my investment. Unfortunately, that will be the last I'll ever see of the Euro coin I've just parted with, so far it has always ended up in the pocket of a bloke from somewhere like Ciudad Real or Jaen.
In 2008/09 Sevilla Athletic for example, rustled up just two Segunda A wins in forty two attempts, (their season at one point also included an 8-0 away defeat), they eventually finished bottom of the table, sixteen points off the team above them. Doubtless, on one of the two occasions they somehow grabbed three points last year Pedro from Jaen called it right and is still living off the interest.
You'll notice I thoughtfully posted this blog entry and last weekend's losing coupon after the event so nobody would be tempted to to copy it.