Soller Football is 'The beautiful game'

All about the football in the Soller Valley

Written by Shirley Roberts
Photographs by Rachel Fox

Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin
Thursday 27th February 2018

The Soller Football Club ground is 95 years old this year – its birthday is on August 24th. The stadium was built in the centre of town about 5 minutes walk from the town square. Of course when it was built it was on the outskirts of town but these days the urban sprawl has caught up with it and placed it bang in the centre. It has to be the most beautiful football pitch in the world with spectacular mountain scenery all around. It is a very well used club and has its own cafĂ© within the grounds to feed the never ending supply of the Soller population who use the pitch and facilities. It is home to the Soller Football Team who came into being in 1954  they  are still looking forward to better days in the league. It is also a very significant location for hundreds of young people who use the space every week. 

This is the sort of club that has hundreds of bikes left propped up against the wall. The children get on their bike and cycle to the pitch, play football and then cycle home again. The exercise regime for these children is first class and they are very enthusiastic. The children’s soccer life is very well organised with the early training programmes leading to a place with the team which is affiliated to the Spanish Federation of Junior Football. The 'Federation' is much revered and it is the players ambition to be spotted by one of the Federation's coaches and offered a place on the Team. This is certainly the children’s desire and of course the 'Soccer Moms and Dads' will support their children. This is not without cost to them and the day their child gets a place on the team is the day their life changes. Then it is supporting them in home games, driving them all over the Island for the away games, washing the kit, preparing food for the social events and paying the subscriptions. They get to know Majorca's football pitches very well including the smallest villages who are so proud of their facilities.

My family know this pitch very well as Mimi, my 13 year old granddaughter, has been playing in the club since she was 5 years old.  Every week she has turned up as the only girl in the team and played football. Rules are rules, as they say, and this is Mimi’s last season for Soller because later in the year she has to transfer to an all girls team. So it was with this in mind she set off for Palma last Wednesday to play in one of the most definitive matches for her team.

  This is the pace setter for the team that will be top of their league this year. We all went to watch at 8.30 pm on a freezing night at the Miguel Nadal stadium.  The first test of being a supporter was finding the place – my family had to send out a search party for me! The match was between 
SP. Ciutat De Palma B and Sollerense D.S. and the score was a 1 1 draw.

Meanwhile back in Soller the excitement was brewing for the football derby of the year which took place on Sunday at 5 pm in our own stadium. The rivalry between Soller and the Port of Soller is given its football moment occasionally and the whole place turns out to watch.  TV cameras and radio interviews had been in town talking to the teams and helping fire the fury. Football is never just about the game, we all know that, and in a small place like this the players on the pitch are fighting battles that have existed over centuries here. The referee had the most interesting job and deserves the medal.

Sollerics love to join groups and the Football Club and Basketball Club of Soller are in the elite of where incomers like to show their allegiance.  In the end everyone goes home to tell the apocryphal tales of the match and the goal that didn’t quite happen.  The supporters who spend their time in the football zone when they are at the pitch calm down and can communicate normally again. Then the plans start and points are counted so they can anticipate when the next Soller and Port of Soller derby will be.  The score this time was 3 . 2  to the Port of Soller and a good time was had by all. I think…