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LaLiga Rivals : Eibar vs Barcelona

Eibar are, for many, LaLiga Santander’s smallest club; they hail from the smallest town in the division and boast the smallest stadium in the league. Yet they’re now into their sixth consecutive season in the top flight and have never looked better. Last year they finished comfortably in twelfth, picking up a comprehensive 3-0 win over Real Madrid along the way. Definitely not a club you’d want to underestimate.

They’re also known as Los Armeros - the ‘Gunsmiths’ – a name that originates in the town’s traditional metal manufacturing industry.

Talent throughout the squad

Eibar have talent throughout the squad, thanks in no small part to sporting director Fran Garagarza’s ability to build on a deep and balanced squad each summer. They have talent at almost every position, from the wall-like Marko Dmitrovic in goal and Anaitz Arbilla in defense to Pape Diop in midfield and Sergi Enrich in attack.

The smallest stadium in LaLiga Santander

They have played at Ipurua Stadium, a 7,000-capacity ground that sits at the top of a hill in the tiny Basque town of Eibar, which has a population of just 27,000 – far fewer than the Camp Nou, Santiago Bernabeu, Wanda Metropolitano or many other LaLiga stadiums fit in on matchdays. Ipurua is always full, a testament to the love this small town has for its club.

Mendilibar, a no nonsense kind of guy

José Luis Mendilibar has sat in the Ipurua dugout since 2015; only Diego Simeone has been in place at the same club longer in LaLiga Santander. A no-nonsense kind of coach, Mendilibar has spent most of his career working in Basque football and is actually in his second stint at the club, having originally coached Eibar to the brink of promotion to the top flight in 2004/05 only to be denied on the final day of the season. Today he’s tasked each year with consolidating the club’s position in LaLiga Santander, an objective he’s passed with flying colours.

A day that went down in LaLiga history

The greatest moment in Eibar’s history was the night of their first-ever promotion into the top division of Spanish football. Nobody gave the Basques a chance – so small were they in comparison to division rivals such as R. Zaragoza and RC Deportivo – yet that’s exactly what they achieved on the night of May 25th, 2014 with a 1-0 win over D. Alaves. A historic day in Spanish football history.

Did you know?

Eibar wear blue and red stripes in the same style as Barcelona’s traditional kit. The reason for this goes back to Eibar’s early years after their foundation in 1940. It is believed that the local football federation donated some Barcelona jerseys for the players to wear and the colors stuck, given that they also matched the town’s crest.

Watch SD Eibar vs FC Barcelona live and exclusive on Facebook Watch from 4:30PM onwards on 19th October 2019


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