Sevilla Case of Final Friendship

SEVILLA beat Real Madrid 4-3 tonight but were edged out of a Champions League place because Osasuna won as well. I was gutted for them, the team and the fans. That can’t be right.
Sevilla battered Boro four nowt in the UEFA Cup final. They ripped away our Eindhoven dream, stole our destiny, humiliated us on the biggest stage and handed our rivals a supersize stick to beat us with. We should hate them with a passion. We should spit at the very mention of their name. We should brainwash our children into despising them, locking them into a generational spiral of irrational hostility. We should never eat another orange again.
But in fact I watched the game on the box and was urging on the players who ripped us apart. How does that work?


There is a major league love-in going on between Boro fans – the ones who were there at least – and Sevilla. It is totally unprecedented. There was no shirt swapping with Chelsea after they beat us in those finals. Punch swapping maybe. At Cardiff there was mutual indifference to Bolton. And most other European games have seen limited outbreaks of handshakes over the barricades but on the whole a distanced respect. But Sevilla…
Partly it was to do with numbers. In other European matches Boro have travelled in force but seen very few opposition fans until they have reached the stadium. The general public of Lisbon, or Rome or Bucharest were polite and bemused and very friendly but we never mingled on masse with rival fans. And when the opposition came to the Riverside it was in very small numbers, too small to make a mark on the Teesside pysche.
But in Eindhoven Sevilla fans were everywhere. So were Boro. And they were wearing the same colours and the same inane grin of proud anticipation. It was a shared experience. In bars and restaraunts fans sat together buzzing with anticipation and gabbled away freely to strangers. The red tide sloshed between one square and another. Everyone was on a high, barriers dissolved and it was smiles all round. It was brilliant.
In the Sevilla square I spent an hour shaking hands, exchanging pleasantries and discussing how Boro would line-up. Iin English naturally. My Spanish extended to ‘Soy periodista futball Inglese. Me llammo Vic. Cerveza por favour’. That seemed to be enough to have a great time. I came away with a Sevilla scarf swapped for a Smoggy ‘Small Town In Europe’ badge and a lasting impression that these were good people.
There wasn’t the slightest bit of tension and fans mixed along on the road to the stadium and inside the ground too. The neutral areas were packed with groups sat side by side and it is to the credit of both sets of fans that raw emotions never spilled over into animosity or friction.
sevilla.jpg
After the game too they were great. There was no gloating. They were magnanimous in victory and seemed to genuinely feel for us in defeat. “Next time you will win and I will cheer for you,” said one in a bar over a beer hours after the game. And it was sincere too. That was echoed across the city as groups of celebrating Spaniards criss-crossed with deflated Boro fans. Teessiders are to be applauded too. There was no spite, no recriminations and no delusions. They were the better team and we congratulated them honestly without rancour.
In the airport the following day the Sevilla team plonked the UEFA Cup on a table and invited Boro fans to come up and touch it and get their photographs taken with it. Some youngsters got to wear winners medalstoo. There was an element of ‘let’s see what you would have won’ torture to it but it also underlined that the final was a collective experience that Boro fans and Sevilla fans had enjoyed together. It was a nice touch.
It would be nice to build on that. Certainly I will be looking to take a flying visit to Sevilla next season and hope to take in a match and I’m sure other Boro fans will be thinking the same. Sevilla are our Spanish side now. We have adopted them as we adopted Banik. There is a soft spot for Steaua too.
It would be nice if the two clubs can firm up relations too. I’m not asking for the club shop to sell half-and-half beanie hats but a pre-season friendly at the Riverside would be a masterstroke. It may appear to be teasing us bringing the victors onto our turf but it would allow us to relive the dream, gain some revenge and also extend the hand of friendship to a club who shared in a legendary moment in Boro history.

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35 thoughts on “Sevilla Case of Final Friendship

  1. I was lucky enough to make the trip to Eindhoven and agree with the article in total. Despite my ticket, coming from the former Soviet Bloc buts thats another story, placing me in the middle of the Seville fans, the nearest I got to physical contact was contemplating groping the bella donna sat behind me.
    Despite the loss the day was an event that will live with me until senility sets in. It was up there with being at Stamford Bridge in 1988, the Victoria Ground in 1986 when the club had its second coming, and further back, Ayresome in 1966.
    Yes, lets build a bridge between the clubs – you never know we might want to ask for their club ticket allocation if we make it to another final and they don’t, not to mention loan deals, pre-season friendlies, and so on. Having friends on the continent is not a bad thing.

  2. Hilarious, you harp on about visiting Sevilla and what great relationships you have with them and other clubs you have played.The truth is that Boro are are no mark club and nobody except Boro fans give a hoot about them!
    “gain some revenge you say.” Forget it, Sevilla will have already completely forgotten about you as all the others do. You keep trying to big tourself up as a big and special club who have some sort of parity with the European big boys, well I have got news for you, YOU AINT.
    You will soon be back where you belong playing the likes of Swindon, Grimsby and Doncaster.
    PS – you are funny.

  3. Given the opinion of ‘red devil’ why is he reading the article about Boro?
    Pre-season friendly with Sevilla…great idea.
    I suspect the mutual respect and friendliness between clubs was also because both sides were in a UEFA cup final for the first time, neither side is regarded as a big club in their respective leagues and so there was quite a bit in common.

  4. Red Devil – For a no mark club about whom nobody gives a hoot except our fans you surely spend a lot of time on our message boards. Interesting.
    Do 4-1 and 0-0 (and all hope of the Prem ended) ring a bell or are they amongst the ‘already completely forgotten’ too.
    Instead of exercising your inferiority complex here you might want to give your lot some ideas about what to do about the Gunners, Scousers and how to get into the knockout stages or the final of a UEFA competition instead of wasting your time on us no marks – except we did that too, didn’t we.
    PS We think you are funny too – but not in the same way.

  5. To the Red Devil,who probably lives in Scunthorpe,Torquay or somewhere other than the team he supports:
    The Boro getting to the UEFA Cup final was a massive achievement. 20 years ago we were lucky to have a club, now we are on the european map, big names,cup finals and long may it continue.
    By the way, ManURE the league cup this season,wow, and the FA Cup last season,strange, the biggest trophy they’ve won in the last 2 years is the same trophy they were too big to enter when they thought they were the best.LOL.

  6. Couldn’t agree more.
    The Seville fans lit up Eindhoven with big smiles and Spanish sunshine.They could all sing like Jose Carreras and instead of gloating and swaggering, they were kind and gracious.
    For most of us who were there, their warmth and generosity made the heartbreak easier to bear.
    If we had to lose, it couldn’t have been to a classier act.
    A trip to watch one of their games next season would be great.

  7. I remember the comments of many in the red square “It’s the best day of my life”.
    Outside the PSV ground we initially felt a bit intimidated by the mass of Spanish fans cheering and singing outside the entrance we wanted till we realised they were cheering in Sevilla off the team bus. My wife and I waded through the throng without any shoving or nasty comments and were lucky enough to see the Boro team alight from their own coach.
    Inside the ground two Sevilla youths sat next to us, looking like they’d done the old equivalent of a “squeeze” and chanted and cheered and waved their scarves alongside ours.
    Good luck to them, I hope we meet in another final, and win quatro nilo!

  8. Hello, I’m a sevilla FC fan and I agree with you in the god time we spent together in Eindhoven. If you ever come to Sevilla you’re welcome.
    Good luck next year

  9. Hello, I’m a Sevilla FC supporter too, and I’m so glad because of the article.
    It was a great experience to meet Boro fans, and from now on Sevilla fans will be always at Boro side.
    I hope this is the begining of a nice red an white brotherhood.
    Let’s demonstrate football can make good friends, as far as we both are gentlemen and love fair play.
    (Hope my english is not too bad)

  10. Red Devil,
    I was in Eindhoven and I assure you that weÂŜll never forget BORO and not only cause we won. Indeed IÂŜm at work and IÂŜm wearing a Boro shirt exchanged with an english fan. We had a great time together and I agree 100% with Anthony
    Hope to see you again!
    CÂŜmon Boro and…vamos mi Sevilla!!!!!!!!

  11. Hi,
    I’m a Sevilla F.C. supporter, i was in Eindhoven, and i only would like to say: Thank you!
    Good luck, Boro.

  12. Hi friend. I’m Raul (no of real madrid :P) i’m sevilla supporter and i want tell you:
    In england i love BORO and Arsenal (Jose Antonio Reyes)
    Thank you for all.

  13. Hi,
    I am a SevilleÂŜs fan and I would only say that your article has been really moving. BoroÂŜs fan has been an example of the real english supporters at the world.
    You have build a new concept of how the english people must live football together supporters from opponent team.
    I look forward to see Boro win a championship as soon as possible. Good luck!
    Come on Boro…Vamos mi Sevilla, Vamos Campeón..

  14. Hello Anthony, I am a supporter of the Sevilla FC, and I want congratulate yuo for your article.
    Also I want to congratulate to the fans of the Boro because we demonstrate together that the football can serve to do big friendship.
    Good luck Boro

  15. Hello, I am a fan of the SEVILLE F.C. I wanted to also thank for the magnificent behavior of the fans of Boro. I was in n Eindhovenand it was pleasant to take a walk by Europe with so good company. Desearos much luck in all your competitions because in the city of SEVILLE you have left many friends.
    This is the translation of your article to the Spanish.
    El caso de la final amistosa con el Sevilla
    El SEVILLA derrotó esta noche al Madrid por 4-3 pero quedaron fuera de una plaza para la Liga de Campeones porque Osasuna también ganó. Yo me sacaría las tripas por ellos y sus hinchas. No hay derecho.
    El Sevilla le metió 4 a cero al Boro en la final de la Copa de la UEFA. Nos quitaron nuestro sueño de Eindhoven, robaron nuestro destino, nos humillaron en la mayor de los teatros y nuestros rivales agarraron una barra de tamaño enorme para darnos con ella. Deberíamos odiarlos con pasión. Deberíamos escupir con la simple mención de su nombre. Deberíamos lavar el cerebro de nuestros hijos para el mayor de los rencores contra ellos, encerrándolos en una espiral generacional de hostilidad irracional. Nunca más deberíamos tomar una naranja. Sin embargo, vi el partido en la tele y estuve empujando a los futbolistas que nos echaron. ¿Cómo puede ser eso?
    Hay una atracción existente entre los hinchas del Boro – al menos los que estuvieron allí- y los del Sevilla. No tiene precedentes. No hubo intercambio de camisetas con Chelsea después de que nos ganara en aquellas finales. Intercambio de golpes, tal vez. En Cardiff hubo indiferencia mutua hacia el Bolton. Y la mayor parte de los otros partidos europeos se han visto limitados choques de manos sobre las barricadas pero con toda una distancia de respeto. Pero Sevilla
. En parte tiene que ver con los números. En otros partidos europeos Boro ha viajado como un ejército pero ha visto pocos hinchas contrarios hasta que han llegado al estadio. El público en general de Lisboa, o Roma o Bucarest era educado y curioso con nuestro comportamiento y muy amistoso pero nosotros nunca nos mezclamos en masa con los hinchas rivales. Y cuando los contrarios vinieron a Riverside, eran en escaso número, tan escaso para dejar huella en el psíquico del Teesside. Pero en Eindhoven los hinchas del Sevilla estaban por todos lados. Igual que los del Boro. Y llevaban los mismos colores y la misma sonrisa necia de anticipación orgullosa.
    Era una experiencia compartida. En bares y restaurantes los hinchas se sentaban juntos, bebidos anticipadamente y hablando libremente con los extranjeros. La marea roja rompió en una y otra plaza. Cada uno estaba en las nubes, se disolvieron las barreras y por todos lados había sonrisas. Fue brillante. En la plaza del Sevilla eché una hora dando la mano, intercambiando amabilidades y discutiendo cuál sería la alineación del Boro. En inglés, naturalmente. Mi español simplemente llega a “’Soy periodista futball Inglese. Me llammo Vic. Cerveza por favour’. Que parecía suficiente para pasárselo muy bien. Me fui con una bufanda del Sevilla intercambiada por una insignia de “una brumosa y pequeña ciudad de Europaâ€? y con la impresión de que éstos eran buena gente. No hubo la menor tensión y los hinchas se mezclaron a lo largo del camino hacia el estadio y dentro también. Las áreas neutrales fueron rellenas con grupos sentados unos a lado de los otros y habla en favor de ambos conjuntos de hinchas que las crudas emociones nunca llegaron a la animosidad o la fricción.
    Después del partido, todo fue grande también. Nadie anduvo chinchando. Fuero magnánimos en la victoria y parecían sentirlo por nuestra derrota. “La próxima vez vosotros ganaréis y brindaremos por vosotrosâ€? decía uno en un bar con una cerveza, horas después del partido. Y también era sincero. Esto hacía eco por toda la ciudad cuando grupos de españoles celebrándolo se cruzaban con hinchas del Boro deprimidos. Los Teessiders deben ser aplaudidos también. No hubo pesar, ni recriminaciones ni desilusiones. Ellos fueron un equipo mejor y nosotros les damos la enhorabuena honestamente sin rencor. En el aeropuerto al día siguiente, el equipo del Sevilla pusieron la Copa de la UEFA sobre la mesa e invitaron a los hinchas del Boro a cercarse y tocarla y hacerse fotos con ella. Alguno de los jóvenes lograron hacerse una foto con la medalla de los ganadores también.
    Hubo un elemento de tortura en “vean lo que vosotros habríais ganadoâ€? pero también subrayado que la final fue una experiencia colectiva que los hinchas del Boro y los del Sevilla han disfrutado juntos. Fue un detalle lindo. Sería muy bonito construir sobre eso. Ciertamente estaré mirando para volar a Sevilla la próxima temporada y espero asistir a un partido y estoy seguro que otros hinchas del Boro estarán pensando lo mismo. Sevilla es ahora nuestro lado español. Los hemos adoptado como adoptamos a Banik. Hay un detalle también para Steaua. Sería muy bonito si ambos clubes consolidan su relación. No estoy pidiendo a la tienda del club que venda sombreritos sino un amistoso en la pretemporada en Riverside sería un golpe maestro. Podría parecer una tomadura de pelo traer los vencedores a nuestro campo pero nos permitiría volver a vivir ele sueño, ganar la revancha y también extender la mano de amistasd a un club con quien hemos compartido un momento legendario en la historia del Boro

  16. I do not speak much in Ingles and less to write it, as in that is called on to you to translate it. Thanks for the treatment received on the part of the fans of Boro and in general by all the good that we have passed it in Eindhoven, this is an example for all the fans of this sport. It is an extraordinary coexistence. We feel your defeat I wish luck you in your next visit by the UEFA cup.

  17. IÂŜm a Seville F.C. to supporter, i was in Eindhoven. My Ingles is very bad. Good luck in Premier League. Ojala we celebrate a friendly party. Good luck, Boro.

  18. Thanks friend, although I do not have nor idea of ingés I have translated your article. I was in Eindhoven and lived what your you comment said exactly, the harmony and the respect between the two fans was good.
    A triangular tournamnet between Boro, 04 Shalke and Seville would be good.. Luck in the next Premiere for Boro, from now on my English team.

  19. Hi there. It seems this blog has become the realm of Sevilla’s supporters… the Spanish version of the article has been published in our most important blog and that might explain the number of sevillistas writing.
    I was also in Eindhoven and I fully agree with the opinions expressed above: it was an excellent opportunity to see football as a tool to make friends and not for confrontations.
    By the way, the idea of a friendly match would be nice.

  20. I forgot to let you the address of the blog you were quoted in (www.jesusalvarado.com). I guess Boro’s fans comments would be welcome, although I am afraid the most of the users won’t be able to read English (hey, that’s a good opportunity for you to learn Spanish so that we can talk when we face each other again in another final)

  21. I`m a Sevilla FC fanatic and I am really pleasure about yours text.
    I WISH BORO AND SEVILLA FC WILL PLAY EVERY SUMMER ONE FRIENDLY MATCH, one in Sánchez-Pizjuan, and aonether in Riverside.
    VIVA EL SEVILLA FUTBOL CLUB!!!
    VIVA EL BORO!!!
    ANTHONY VICKERS, VERY GREAT.

  22. Hi Anthony. I spent May 10 in Eindhoven. I drunk beer between english , nederlanders and my sevillistas mates, arrived from many sides around the world. ¿ Enjoy ? So much, you can be sure.
    I got my ticket in a zone where I was with boro fans all around me, and I was singing our songs, like yours, I could celebrate our goals, I stood all the match speaking with Mark, translating our songs, while I did the same. I got no problem.
    It was an experience so similar in Gelserkirchen with SchalkeÂŜs fans and everytime I see my fotos only can say, you have won a little bit of my heart. Come on Boro, good luck and hope to see you soon. (Ramón, un sevillista )

  23. I am fan of Seville, was in the end of the UEFA and want to congratulate to fans of BORO for its exemplary behavior. I wish you muchisima luck from today.
    FORZA BORO, FORZA SEVILLE FC.

  24. I am a Spanish fan and I write from Sevilla.No travels to Eindhoven but it enjoys my team by TV. It is incredible what one feels when a rival fan congratulates to you and turns brotherhood the relation between fans.

  25. Gracias Anthony. El fútbol nos hermana.
    !! VIVA EL SEVILLA F.C. ¡¡
    !! VIVA EL BORO ¡¡

  26. Hello! I`m Spanish. Im sorry, but I dont know speak English very good, hehe. I`m SEVILLISTA. We are very happy, because we are the champions! I`m sorry for the “Boro”, but Sevilla is the better. Sevilla are the champions! Excuse me if I`ve got any “error?”, but I dont know speak english well, because only, I`m 13 years old.
    VIVA EL SEVILLA!

  27. I just want say that now we feel like one heart, one colour and one team.
    Since May 10 Boro and Sevilla FC are bigger than ever cause in the final both of them won, we added friends, feelings and fans. Thas’s the true football spirit.
    BORO & SFC JUNTOS PARA SIEMPRE

  28. COME ON, BORO!!!
    COME ON, BORO!!!
    SEVILLA’S FANS ARE VERY SURPRISED ABOUT BORO`S PEOPLE, TRULY, U`RE FANTASTIC. GET LUCKY NEXT YEAR IN PREMIERSHIP,AND….
    COME ON, BORO!!!!!!!
    COME ON, BORO!!!!!!!
    VIVA EL SEVILLA FÚTBOL CLUB!!!!

  29. HI, I DONÂŜT SPEAK ENGLISH TOO GOOG. BUT I WANT TELL TO MISTER VIC AND BORO SUPPORTERS I, AS A SEVILLA F.C. FAN, I AM VERY HAPPY FOR MEET A SUPPORTERS AS GREATS AS YOU.
    WE LOVE PLAY FOOTBALL WITH OUR FREND. AND YOU WILL BE OUR FRIENDS FOREVER BECAUSE WE, YOU AND US, ARE LIVED THE GREAT EXPERIENCE OF OUR EUROPEAN FIRST FINAL.
    WE WON but MORE BEAUTIFULL IS MEET A ENGLISH SUPPORTERS SO LOVELY.
    GOOD LUCK FOR BORO IN THE FUTURE AND VERY GOOD LUCK FOR ENGLAND IN WORLD CUP!
    IÂŜM VERY SORRY FOR MY VERY BAD ENGLISH, BUT I NEEDED TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE A LOVELY PEOPLE.
    XXX (MUCHISIMOS BESOS)

  30. IÂŜm very sorry for my very bad english, I’m a sevilla fc fans.
    Thank you boro’s fans, thank you boro. Get lucky next year in Premiership.
    COME ON BOR0, COME ON SCHALKE 04, COME ON SEVILLA FC.

  31. I’m a fan of Sevilla futbol club and I have to say that boro it’s a great football club. Sorry for my english, fan’s of boro are the best fans of England. I liked Arsenal because they have Jose antonio Reyes (ex player of Sevilla), but now I prefer Boro than the gunners. Luck for the next season!!And thank you for your article Anthony Vickers, it’s fantastic.

  32. Hello Anthony! Hello Boro supporters!
    My name is Alvaro,Im SFC supporter and I was in Eindhoven.I like your article.
    I support your idea of will play a friendly match the every summer in Riverside, and other in Nervion(Aka Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium), and will strengthen bonds.
    COME BORO, VAMOS MI SEVILLA

  33. VAMOS MI SEVILLA, VAMOS CAMPEON!!!
    REGARDS FROM GELSENKIRCHEN
    COME ON, BORO!!!
    SCHALKE 04!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Así debe de ser el futbol, jugar, divertirse, amistad, y si se pierde, nunca se debe de perder el señorio, y los aficionados a disfrutar. Algún día nos encontraremos en otro gran partido y ahi estaremos las dos aficiones dejadonos el alma durante el partido animando cada uno a sus colores los que llevamos en el corazón, antes y despues del partido a disfrutar.
    Un saludo desde SEVILLA y …
    ¡VAMOS MI SEVILA! ¡VAMOS CAMPEON!
    ¡VIVA EL BORO!

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