"One day you wake up and realize you are from Girona"

“One day you wake up and realize you are from Girona”

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Eduardo Galeano, prolific writer from Montevideo, 80 km. from Cristhian Stuani’s village, Tala, once wrote that a man can change partner, political party or religion during his lifetime, “but he cannot change football team”. Girona, however, continues to show that it is possible, winning fans everywhere: on the outside wall of the Gol Nord de Montilivi there is already the logo of the Penya Gironina Vall del Ges, presented last year. Based in Sant Vicenç de Torelló (Osona), she is the first to be born outside the province of Girona, apart from those of Dubai (UAE) and Kerala (India). “We want to go there little by little and with a head start, because we are a little afraid that it will degenerate to be the first in central Catalonia. When we opened Instagram, a person from Manresa wrote to us in case we took buses for the matches, ”points out the president, Alejandro Blanco, highlighting the passion abroad for Girona, as she comes from Oviedo. In the crowd, there are also supporters of Barça, Espanyol, Madrid and Liverpool. Girona is already the first team of the majority. So will it soon be for those who still doubt.

In the plural, Blanco says his approach to Girona was “unromantically. Relationships usually start with a super romantic moment where you are super in love. And then everything goes wrong. Our history with Girona is completely reversed. Everything goes up”. He explains that they have already sympathized with Girona and that, with their first promotion to the top flight, they approached Montilivi because it is cheaper and easier to buy tickets and to become a member and subscriber, because it is It’s closer than Barcelona and there are no queues and because it’s easier to park. “It’s appealing to have Premier League football close to home.”

Girona gradually seduced and captivated them, almost without realizing it. “Almost involuntarily you end up falling in love with it. Until the day you wake up and realize that you are already from Girona”, confesses Guillem Llach, also Espanyol supporter. In fact, he is a member of Girona and not Espanyol. “I consider myself a fan of both clubs, but I prefer Girona more and more. Especially when I go to Montilivi. The atmosphere, the climate and the heat you breathe are different. In Espanyol, I feel less and less identified, less and less represented.I like the ground of Girona more.Everything is more familiar, closer: you feel more protagonist, as on the field. It’s more like going to see the team in your city,” he recalls.

Llach lived in Montilivi during the 3-1 against Córdoba in the semi-final of the 2015-16 play-off, the final lost to Osasuna. Many of them had already been to Montilivi before becoming members. Arnau Pérez was on the pitch in the 3-1 win over Dépor which confirmed his stay in 2014. He believes what made him fall in love with Girona was that it is “smaller, more human. It’s not like being a member of Barca, where there are millions of people. Girona is more modest football, although it is also part of the modernity of football. It’s important to keep the essentials because otherwise people distance themselves.

Gérard Mas admits that “certainly” he is already more from Girona than from Liverpool. “In 2017, we said ‘go, members and seats’. You can call us trolleybusters,” he laughs. “We did the two years of Primera. And the three years of Second, we kept coming, suffering from December nights. We don’t do this anymore because it’s easy, convenient and cheap, but because we really feel like we’re from Girona,” he says.

They point out that the players, of close character, played a key role in the conversion. Nayra Munmany says: “It’s much easier to sympathize with people like that. You see that when the games are over, Terrats goes to Jovent Gironí and you think that three years ago he could have been there. And you say to yourself ‘my cousin knows how to play football and he could very well end up in Girona’. Or my little brother. They are normal people. It’s not as elitist and classist as Barca, so far. There are stars who are on another level: they don’t even look like people, with so much marketing. She comes from Barca. “I’m still from Barca too. I live with both. Four years ago I would have come in the Barca shirt on the day, but now that I’ve suffered sub-zero games and no goals in mid- January, I said that I will not wear one. I feel that I like this club”.

In this sense, Blanco concludes that “we come from different clubs, but we have a team in common, Girona. It is as if we come from different paths and find ourselves in Girona, a meeting point. We started by associating in the stands, then we started taking trips together to optimize the cars and we ended up doing rock: something to encourage the team and make the club grow and meet, be together , share Girona, in Montilivi and in away matches. Football is very good on a sporting level, but on a social level it is a pass. He points out that before Girona was the second team among many others and that “now it’s the opposite”. And he shares his case: “I am 49% from Oviedo and 51% from Girona. Because I’m from Oviedo because I was born there. But I could choose Girona. Girona is the team you choose, for the friends, for the feeling”.

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