Ruth Perez and her boyfriend Oscar Ortiz were eagerly waiting for a new European tour of their favorite football club – Real Sociedad. After a four-year break, the San Sebastian team returned to the European map and secured participation in the second-tier competition under the umbrella of UEFA Europa League. Given the high ratings of Spanish football, “blue and white” did not have to play qualifying matches, they provided direct participation in the group stage. When the draw for opponents was given to the Russian Zenith, the Norwegian Rosenborg and the Macedonian Vardar – it was clear. You will travel to Skopje.
“We are both journalists, we worked hard all summer to secure financial means and we did not leave our city. Therefore, we waited for October and then we organized two in one: let’s go on a vacation, but primarily in the game of our favorite football team”, said Ruth and Oscar, who we met in the center of Skopje just hours before playing the sword of the Arena “Filip Vtori”.
Dressed in the Basque team’s recognizable shirts, they explain that their Real is rarely providing a place in Europe, which is why they do not have the opportunity to make tours. At home, they rarely miss a match, and they travel through Spain, but European matches have a special touch. All lovers of “the most important supporting thing in the world” know this.
“There was no chance to miss this. What did we do? First we went to Dubrovnik, and from there we landed towards Belgrade and here we are not in Skopje. After the match, we go to Ohrid, and through Albania and Montenegro we return to Dubrovnik, so we fly by plane. The trip costs 1,200 euros. It is interesting that my parents Jose and Marian, as well as his brother David, are also fanatics of the Real Sociedad, they have directly arrived at the match in Skopje and immediately return home. From small legs we are taught to live for our club, so we will educate our children”, Ruth and Oscar are decisive.
For some real and “normal”, for other “crazy” – football fans are “a special sort”. According to the University of Oxford, these are “individuals with enthusiasm or interest in football or a football team”. Fans, however, will tell you that there is a huge difference between ordinary football fans and supporters of a particular club.
“Football fans are sports lovers who do not follow a particular club or league, but for example they are interested in major competitions and competitions such as world championships, derby – swords of the strongest national championships, or the Champions League. So, for example, ‘everyone is cheering’ for Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester, Chelsea, Juventus … On the other hand, there are fans who are willing to ‘die’ for their club. They know all the players, all the players of the competing teams, know who he has played with whom he has played, all the conspiracy theories, who will be the champion and who will fall out of the league … They do not regret the means and time to follow their club , tweet club symbols, give children the names of their favorite players. They cry when the team loses, it’s in delirium when it wins”, said English psychologists.
Unfortunately, neither fans nor part of them today are not what they were, the business of football has entered each time, money is guided by cheering, individuals and groups “cheer” only of interest. Hooligans and those who go to games only to cause an incident or to break someone’s head are a problem for society, but political authorities have no interest in rooting out this evil.
Ruth and Oscar are not part of this story. They came to Skopje to have fun and to watch the live match of their favorite team. Real Sociedad won with a convincing 6-0, but that’s not so important, because the real fans cheer up their club and when it wins and loses. As they will say: “The result is a trend, the ideals are eternal”.