On Tuesday morning on my regular slot with Radio 1 Mallorca I said to presenter Richie Prior that it would it be amazing if UD Ibiza drew a big team in the last 32 of the Copa Del Rey…..well they don’t come any bigger than FC Barcelona – officially the biggest club in the world (in revenues).
‘Big’ is an overused word but this is the biggest game in the history of football on the island of Ibiza. Historians may argue differently and there have been some big matches in the past, all of which are etched in local folklore, but when you consider the global reach of modern day football coupled with the irresistible allure of FC Barcelona (even if they field a team of youngsters), this game is as big as it gets for the White Isle.
Full credit must go to UD Ibiza who play in the 3rd tier of Spanish football and especially their ultra ambitious president Amadeo Salvo who has pumped in plenty of his own money with a clear strategy to bring big time football to the island whilst simultaneously utilising the brand of Ibiza.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand the possibilities when combining the world’s most popular sport with the world’s most famous island and Sr Salvo’s previous experience as President of CF Valencia has taught him well. Everything about UD Ibiza from their social media to match day organisation tells you that El Presidente isn’t going to stop until he reaches the highest level possible.
UD Ibiza have been steadily climbing the table and have a realistic chance of gaining promotion to the Spanish 2nd division which is the gateway to La Liga and weekly games against the big boys not to mention the money that that brings in. But for now the focus will be on the Catalan giants coming to town.
The downside to a fixture of this magnitude is that the Can Misses stadium only holds around 5000 spectators although they are trying to increase the capacity to 7000 by erecting extra stands on the night. Tickets go on sale from tomorrow but on a football mad island with around 200,000 inhabitants it’s not a good equation for genuine football fans looking for tickets.
Everyone will want to be there on the night that the superstars of Barcelona came to Ibiza to play football (rather than relaxing on super yachts or partying at Ushuaïa) but it will be impossible to fit everyone in however the upside is that the spotlight will be on Ibiza on what will be an unforgettable night regardless of the score.
Scalps don’t come any bigger than Barça and on a relatively small, artificial pitch with a fervent home following you never know what might happen. Of course Barcelona will win comfortably…..won’t they?