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. ♥♥