Real Sociedad Express !
Back in the Landes for the end of the year celebrations, I took a look at the calendar of the local clubs around, and decided on Real Sociedad de San Sebastián. I had been wanting to visit Anoeta, also known as the Reale Arena, for a while. For this stadium adventure, I am being joined by … my mother-in-law to my biggest surprise! On this occasion, it will be her first time in a stadium. And it is safe to say that she will remember it for a long time!
Express football trip to Real Sociedad
For this little football excursion, no visit to the city, which I have already had the opportunity to explore in the past. My personal favourite is the old town, where you can naturally enjoy the best of Basque and Spanish cuisine. Special mention should also be made of the bay of La Concha. It is a perfect spot for a walk or a swim, depending on the season of course!
As I was saying, I took the direct stadium shortcut. A very easy stadium to get to from France. We find parking quite easily. From a logistical point of view, it’s perfect! We only had to walk a few hundred meters to get to Anoeta, which we could enjoy the view all the way from the car park. A quick visit to the shop to get the Real Sociedad scarf for my collection, and off we go!
First of all, I love this stadium’s architecture! Its newly built blue shell changes according to the sunlight and makes for great photos, both inside and outside! With this, the Reale Arena is recognizable among thousands, and I am delighted to be able to observe it with my own eyes. I’m not necessarily a fan of a 4pm kick-off, but the Basque sun is definitely there. And it allows us to avoid much lower temperatures at this time of year, had the kick-off been scheduled later in the evening! No beer for sale… Covid measure or general rule? I won’t have the answer, but I’ll still enjoy a snack that I particularly love: pipas (roasted sunflower seeds)!
Real Sociedad – Villarreal CF December 2021
We take our seats in the longside of the stadium, pretty close to the short side, close to the almost empty visitors’ sector. The stadium screen announces 20,000 spectators, but at a glance, I could have bet that the 40,000 seats were much more occupied. Strange… Anyway, we can still feel a delicious atmosphere inside. The stakes are high for this match, as Real Sociedad is very well positioned in La Liga table, and receives a big opponent in the person of Villarreal CF. Despite falling behind in the table, the ‘yellow submarines’ are having an admirable European campaign with a current participation to the ⅛ final to be played in February. There are some great players on both sides of the pitch, including Oyarzabal, Gerard Moreno, David Silva… Spanish football is rapidly developing before our eyes. A game based on possession that I always enjoy watching.
In the stands, the atmosphere is at its peak. The sector where the most fervent Real Sociedad supporters are based sets the tone for the whole stadium. The whole audience is very reactive and takes up most of the chants or movements launched by the ultras curve, even in the more family-ish areas like the one where we are seating. I must admit that I didn’t expect such a great investment from the whole stadium, nor such a beautiful symbiosis. The game is open and it’s Villarreal who opens the score first. It is quickly followed by the equalizer of the local team by Isak, on fire and by far the best Basque player today. The stadium massively celebrated this goal, and everyone started to jump a few moments later. A moment that was as pleasant as it was unexpected, but who cares. The show is on!
A quick end to a great party…
After the break, the game took a completely different turn, when Real Sociedad captain Oyarzabal was sent off for a dangerous and unnecessary foul. Villarreal took advantage of the confusion in the locals’ ranks and quickly took the lead 1-2, before punishing the hosts again later. Final score 1-3.
The party was short-lived after half-time, but the fans did not give up. Despite this setback, Real Sociedad still have a long season ahead of them, and can hope for big things at the end of the season.
Meanwhile the night had fallen, and we were now to take the direction of the return. Last glances and shots of the magnificient blue envelope of Anoeta, which is lighting up in the Basque night, and it’s already the end of our Real Sociedad football adventure.
Thanks San Sebastián.