A red truck reminiscent of the great cycling tours appeared this Wednesday behind one of the Mutilnova’s goals but labeled with the words Copa del Rey. The written press and radios had to be housed inside it, distributed in different booths and with television monitors, in order to leave more space for the public. La Mutilvera could accommodate 400 fans and all of them came to witness a historic match for their team spread out between the stands and the band in front of them.
As public assistance to soccer fields is allowed but complying with a strict protocol due to the covid-19 pandemic, clubs must have a significant number of volunteers who collaborate in organizing tasks. This Wednesday, there were 40 people who made the game take place under current sanitary guidelines.
And although 400 people were able to enter the field, it was again the case of many fans who tried to watch the game from outside the facilities. In fact, a group of young people had the opportunity to exchange a few words with Betis’ substitute goalkeeper, Claudio Bravo. They questioned him about the cold to which the veteran goalkeeper answered them when he went to collect a ball, that he felt a lot. And they insisted if in San Sebastián, due to his past in the Royal Society, he had not been so long ago. He said no while he continued with the warm-up.
And Bravo was right. The game started at 3 degrees but as the little heat from the sun faded, the temperature dropped to 0 degrees. If it is a great reward for the players of a Second Division B team to face a First Division team, for the fans it is also gratifying to see players of that category. In fact, among the substitutes, French midfielder Nabil Fekir, the fourth most expensive signing in the history of Betis, sat down on Wednesday. He even got to play. He jumped onto the pitch in the 75th minute. However, as he emerged from the locker room tunnel towards the bus, he barely glanced at the few remaining fans in the stands and continued steadily while listening to his mobile phone.
Yes, Borja Iglesias turned to them; some located in the stands, the second, on the grass. He exchanged a few words with them. Iglesias already played in that field with Celta B against a Mutilvera in the Second Division B in 2016. He started yesterday. Betic coach Manuel Pellegrini changed him and as soon as he left the field he took off his shirt and handed it to a fan. Perhaps he is the only lucky one since the protocol for the pandemic prevents players from giving away the shirt to those of the rival team. Be that as it may, for everyone, fans and team, it was an unforgettable day.