Cadiz is one of the poorest and yet warmest, most welcoming places in
Spain. Crammed into a peninsula, walled most of the way round and
jutting into the Atlantic, it has a feel of colonial Spanish America
The club reflects that personality. Rescued by a
consortium led by ex-Liverpool striker Michael Robinson – "simply
because I love the place, the fans, that special feeling," he says –
Cadiz are a real community team, loveably crumbling but very definitely up for fun.
Lauded by neutrals and the media, their self-consciously funny,
self-deprecating fans, decked in brilliant yellow, are famous for their
love of life, exuberance and humour. And for their sing-song accent and
local slang. Their Ramon Carranza stadium might not be the most exciting
or the biggest place to watch football, but it is certainly one of the
most fun. The atmosphere changes, though, when they face Xerez – a passionate and occasionally violent local grudge match.
Cadiz have had a few spells in the top flight, the longest an eight-season spell from 1985. The "Yellow Submarine" (a nickname they share with Villarreal) surfaced again for the 2005/06 campaign, although since then they've been bobbing between the second and third tiers.
Cadiz's favourite players have embodied the local eccentric, open outlook
on life, becoming utterly identified with their club: Kiko, an artist
who ended up at Atletico, and Cadiz's undisputed idol, the wayward San
Salvadorian night-loving genius Jorge Alberto 'Mágico' Gonzalez.
The man who, well into the small hours, consistently led his
exasperated managers a merry dance round the city; the man who once
overslept and missed the first half of the game against Barcelona,
turning up at half-time with his side losing 1-0 to score two and
provide two more. Mágico, indeed.
Cadiz's fans are proud of their little Ramon Carranza stadium, still
standing - if rather the worse for wear and currently undergoing
renovations - after 50 years and considered, along with its fans, the
soul of the club; a place with a special atmosphere. On the Avenida Jose
Leon de Carranza, it's reached by bus (line 1) or easily walkable from
the city centre, going away from the Castillo de San Sebastian.
Club address Plaza de Madrid, s/n 11010 Cadiz
Telephone (0034) 956 261 652
Fly from Stansted to Jerez Airport (with Ryanair).
Avda. Ramon de Carranza s/n, (0034) 956 258 646.
If sherry's your poison, visit a bodega in El Puerto de Santa Maria for a tour and tastings.
SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT
You could always treat yourself to an open-top bus tour of the town, you old romantic.
The Vendimia sherry celebration in nearby Jerez (September) is worth a visit.
For regular updates on the crazy world of Spanish football, see our blog La Liga Loca
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