December 11th, 2008

Spain // Casa Batlló

I love Astorga.

The Barça-Real Madrid rivalry reaches nearly ridiculous levels in Astorga
The presidents of the Peña Barcelonista and the Peña Madrid share a stairwell.

Last weekend we were in Astorga to attend the anniversary party of PB Maragata, which we will talk about soon. And we were shocked at not only the beauty of the Leonese town and for its gastronomical delights -among which its unmatched stew ["cocido maragato"] stands out- but also for some curious views of the Barça-Madrid rivalry.

We'll say to begin that among its thirteen thousand inhabitants there's a majority of Madrid sympathizers. But those Barcelonistas are, from what we could tell, much more active. And its peña, with almost 200 members, is good proof of that.

The rivalry between culés and merengues, especially among its peñas, leaves us some very curious instances, borderline ridiculous. And that's because, for example, the president of the PB Maragata, Pedro González Nistal, sleeps every day on top of his counterpart of the Peña Real Madrid, Roberto Callejo Magaz. Let us explain. For the past nine years they live in the same building in the Rectibia quarter, and their flats are one on top of the other. González lives in 5º D and Callejo, in 4º D. And their beds, three meters apart, are only separated by the ceiling and the floor, just the way they like it.

They are, on the other hand, good friends and were even president (Pedro) and secretary (Roberto) together of the neighborhood community. González comes from a family of culés while Callejo's father was barcelonista. The merengue president is, on the other hand, good friends with Alfonso, spokesman and founder of the peña barcelonista... one of the four sons of Horensiano Galindo, vice-president of the Peña Real Madrid. Three of his came out of the "eternal rival".

The strangest case, nevertheless, is that of Evangelino Oviedo who is the secretary of the peña merengue but who defends his case that his heart is divided and that it's half white and half "azulgrana" because "above all else I like football". Many say that this isn't possible but the good thing about Evangelino is that he's spent his entire life trying to prove it. And, just so people believe him, he follows one half of the clásicos at the headquarters of the peña madridista and the other, at Barça's of which he's also a member. What no one knows is how he decides the order...

Goes to show how strange these people from Astorga are. But they're good people.


That's football for you.

This is Astorga. ♥♥
[♥]roaming gnome

Juande not sure if Iker will play on saturday

"No sé si Iker jugará en el Camp Nou"
Juande resalta la labor de Dudek y no confirma la presencia de Casillas contra el Barça

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Basically it says that Juande isn't sure if Iker will play in the Clásico or not. He's very happy with Dudek and thinks it'll be hard to decide who to play on saturday. The article also mentions the close relationship he has with Raúl and how Raúl has more power than Mijatovic which, idk if El País is starting to stir up shit by saying that Iker not playing has something to do with the influence Raúl might have over Juande.
  • tanaaz

Rivals meet

Higuaín and Xavi shared their views on the upcoming Clasico

Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuaín and Barcelona's Xavi coincided in the presentation of Adidas' new football shoes. Both men shared their views on the upcoming Clasico at Camp Nou.


Higuaín: "We will fight hard to take the three points at stake. The team is doing a good tactical job and we will have to concentrate hard on the match. We have a good enough team to win."

Xavi: "We know we are in better form, but these games are unpredictable; you never know what's going to happen. We'll have to take advantage of the good form we are in. Men like Casillas and Raúl always stand out in encounterslike this. We will have to watch out for them."

Higuaín: "The league will be complicated. Barcelona, Sevilla, Valencia and Villarreal are very strong this year. They've been fighting hard to win for years and we'll fight them for the title to the very end. We know we are favourites to win the Champions League."

Xavi: "Real Madrid will always fight for the league title, and Villarreal, Valencia and Sevilla also have chances to win this year. I think Manchester United, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid are favourites to win the Champions League."

Higuaín: "I hope I'm lucky to join the Argentinean national team in this new era. I will try to work well at Real Madrid in order to get my chance. I think Argentina could win the World Cup. The qualifying stage will determine how strong the team really is. I hope they do win and that they prove to be a side with great personality."

"Concerning Real Madrid, having a new coach is an important change on the team and we will all work hard together in order to pull through. There is still much time left in La Liga and the Champions League. We hope to give our best and we all wish the new coach luck this season."

Xavi believes Iker is good when he plays with Barca but then again you never know! Damn I love these two.

awooo waka waka espagna
  • c0rrine

lol he'll be 39

Van der Sar to sign another contract extension at Manchester United

Manchester United will announce on Friday that Edwin van der Sar will continue as the club's No 1 goalkeeper next season after the Dutchman's agent Rob Jansen confirmed he will sign a one-year contract extension.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been delighted with the former Juventus and Fulham goalkeeper's form and will reward the 38-year-old with another season at Old Trafford.

The move will come as a blow to Ben Foster who, along with Tomasz Kuszczak, has been forced to wait for his first team chance.

With Foster desperate to be included in Fabio Capello's 2010 World Cup squad - assuming England qualify - the 25-year-old may be forced to look elsewhere for first team football if he wants to be involved in South Africa next summer.


awooo waka waka espagna
  • c0rrine

JT gives his support to an anti-knife crime campaign

John Terry on knife crime

There has been a fall in the number of stabbings in areas where police have adopted a tough new approach to knife crime.

Ten forces in England and Wales have been taking part in the government's Tackling Knives Action Plan. They have experienced a 17% drop in stabbings.

England footballer, John Terry, visited a community centre in London with Prime Minister Gordon Brown to talk to knife crime action groups, families of knife crime and community leaders.

The England captain talked about his childhood and the message he wanted to get across to youngsters who carried knives.