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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Girona as a meeting point for madridistas

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In 1976, a unique man, Maurici Duran García, became President of Girona. Coming from a farming family, he was too restless and communicative to remain attached to the land and choose other paths. He became a broadcaster and screenwriter in various media from Girona, The voice of Girona, Radio Popular de Figueres, Radio Girona, Radio Olot, Radio Costa Brava, Radio Banyoles… His favorite subjects were popular festivals and sports. This is how he became President of Banyoles before coming to Girona.

In Banyoles he already formed a tandem with Xavier Agustí. He was a plus ultra player when he graduated from Madrid and was in Banyoles when Duran arrived. In football he was everything: coach, organizer, manager… One of those guys who cut a noodle in the air. I read about him using 20 in a Banyoles game at the time when there were no changes. The rivals realized it, they reported the fact to the referee, the files were checked and it turned out that they all corresponded to those who left after the break; those from the first part were those who had played matute.

76-77 the team moved up to Second B after almost 20 years in the Third Division. The management duo thought it was time to make the club big and between Agustí’s contacts in Madrid and Duran’s audacity, they managed to get Madrid involved in the launch of their bright idea, the Girona Immortal City Trophy . At that point, the Montilivi field already existed, albeit with less capacity than today, and the only way to cover Madrid’s cache was to bet literally outrageous prices on a second B field.

But it turned out. On the night of August 20, 1977, the beaches were emptied. Madrid arrived with their best team, in which names like García Remón, Uría, San José, Benito, Sol, Stielike, Santillana, Guerini… ended, things ended 0-0 and the local team threw three shots into the sticks . The trophy went to Real Madrid, who won 3-1 on penalties, feeling the uncertainty of the home shooters.

The following year the experience could not be repeated as Girona had signed a player from Murcia, Vidaña, and the terms of the contract stated that Murcia would take part in the Inmortal de Girona, which would eventually win 3–1.

But for 1979 Madrid returned, already with Boskov as coach. Again with the starting team, this time with Juanito and Del Bosque. It turned out that the chosen date coincided with the Gamper final, for which Barça had qualified, and madridista president Luis de Carlos accepted Girona’s request to postpone the game by a day so as not to coincide let (Barça would invite the madridistas to his end). This detail of the date change acknowledgment was well appreciated by the people of Girona, who drew more crowds. Then the accumulation of audiences at the gates caused a 15-minute delay in the start. Madrid were better forewarned and managed the game well this time and won 0-4.

He returned in 1980, albeit with reluctance because it was difficult to concede the previous year and it was like rain in May for Girona because it was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary and throwing the house out the window and inviting the Real to the Costa Brava Trophy, which has also been played there every year, albeit generally with less aspiration. La Real failed to attract an audience (despite the fact that it was in its prime) and left a deficit that compounded what had already led to the club’s bingo burning. Bingos were very fashionable at the time and a source of funding for soccer teams. That was the best of the games, very balanced. It was 1-1 in the 70th minute as Girona collapsed and ended up losing 4-1. Manuel Gutiérrez Mellado, who spent the summer there, presented the trophy.

And Madrid would still return in 1981, but this time it was clear the formula was coming to an end. There was no full, although once again it was among the best. The game was flimsy, ending 0-3 and again Gutiérrez Mellado handed over the trophy after the duel.

Real Madrid only returned to Montilivi after Girona’s promotion to the First Division a few years ago, happily revived last night but that repeated presence laid the groundwork for the creation of numerous supporter clubs in Catalonia.

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