Ready for a big celebration of Balearic football

How can I get a ticket for Atlético Baleares – Ibiza? That’s the question that was asked the most around Ibiza’s football fans once the historic Copa del Rey clash with FC Barcelona had taken place. With each passing day since that match, the people’s appetite for Sunday’s Balearic derby match grew and grew. Once the day had arrived to get one’s hands on a ticket for the match, the hype surrounding the game was visible for everyone to see. In just 45 minutes, Ibiza’s contingent of 255 tickets provided by Sunday’s opponents for the derby had sold out. Apart from those fans supporting the Sky Blues in the stadium, Ibiza will also count on the support of all Ibizans living in Mallorca. There could have been plenty more sky blue supporters making the trip to Palma on Sunday had the return flights not booked out equally as quickly. The 2159 members that the club signed up over the course of summer and winter season ticket campaigns know that it’s these types of moments and matches that shape the collective minds of a fan base. Plenty of reasons, then, for everyone to either want to be a part of the match in Mallorca and not to miss it on television.

“It’s going to be the away trip attracting the most amount of travelling Ibiza fans. We hope to witness a great match at the Estadi Balear and hopefully we can bring the three points back home”, explained Juan Carlos Maneiro. The president of the Corsarios fan club, the first official fan club of the Sky Blues, speaks with authority on the nature of the upcoming trip having been part of a number of away matches over the last five years. He’s witnessed both the sweet and bitter moments in person flanked by colleagues and fellow members of the fan club. “I look back on the trip to Getafe for a playoff to reach Segunda B, we were 150 Ibiza fans. The trip to Buñol, for instance, when we played against Levante Atlético in a decisive match, there were even more fans, because plenty of Ibiza fans also live in Valencia and Madrid. We didn’t get promoted due to an arguable penalty, but that particular match was the tipping point in terms of creating the Corsarios fan club. I remember that travelling back to Dénia not a word was spoken among the fans (after the defeat), but then on the ferry, the idea of creating the fan club came about”.

Forty Corsarios travelled to Madrid in November to support Ibiza at Real Madrid’s Valdebebas sports complex for the away match against Real Madrid Castilla. “It was a beautiful moment”, says Maneiro, “because we were able to stage a great comeback to win the match and we gave it our all, on the pitch and in the stands”. On Sunday in Palma, the Corsarios will be joined by just as many supporters representing Ibiza’s Penya Pagesa fan club. “It will be an historic day and I believe that each and every one of us Ibiza fans will have a great time. Some of our fan club’s members will already travel on Friday or Saturday to spend the weekend in Mallorca. On Sunday morning we will create a fantastic environment on the streets of Palma before heading to the stadium to receive and welcome our squad. Between both fan clubs and all the club members we will create an atmosphere that will make the team feel as though they’re playing at home. It’s vital to do that as we’re playing a great side in Baleares”, says Pepe Roig, president of the pagesos. The fan club he oversees, will also travel to Mallorca with a mini-van to transport the percussions and traditional Ibizan instruments – flutes, drums and castanets – to accompany the chants of this loud and boisterous group of fans which was created only a few months ago.

“We love watching football matches in a fun environment and we will do everything in our power to create a great atmosphere in the stadium. The most important thing is to enjoy ourselves and to support our team, no matter the result on the scoreboard”, says Roig. Just as the Corsarios have done, the fan group has spent the past days preparing for the big match on Sunday. Both groups will do their part in putting on a show and celebration of Balearic football. For those who weren’t able to get a ticket, it’s a great opportunity to gather around friends and family to watch the derby to be televised by IB3 Televisió. Football is an expression of love, joy and celebration, and Sunday will be no different.