Day 3 of KICK OFF's LaLiga media tour of Bilbao, Spain


Day 3 began with a one-hour bus ride to Vitoria, where we visited the impressive 15 000-seater Fernando Buesa Arena, the biggest basketball stadium in Spain and home of local basketball team Basikona.

The football connection? Basikona became the first basketball team to own a football club after their purchase of then third-tier football club Deportivo Alaves, who have now spent the last three seasons in LaLiga.

Following the stadium tour and lunch, the media group was given a short tour of the ancient town of Vitoria, inhabited by 250 000 citizens, and where the 20 000-seater Estadio de Mendizorrotza – home of Alavez – is situated.

Thereafter we joined the throngs of fans who walked the streets on the way to the stadium ahead of the night’s monumental clash against Spanish giants LaLiga.

Upon taking our seats just above the ultras behind the goalposts, we could immediately feel the energy of the boisterous home fans, who chanted and cheered for the entire 90 minutes without fail.

Alaves had enjoyed a solid start to the LaLiga season with three wins, two draws and two losses, and refused to give in to their kore illustrious opponents, who looked flat and lacking creativity on the night.

With the game goalless and the fourth official already signalling the five minutes’ extra-time, Alaves won a corner. And as in a fairy tale, midfielder Manu Garcia was on hand to strike home with the last touch of the game, as Alaves stunned the European champions and secured a home win against Madrid for the first time in 87 years.

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