Madrid is very much known as a footballing city, however, one team often gets lost in the shadow of the other giants of La Liga with Getafe CF often having to fight from underneath.
The cliché of David versus Goliath is often used in football when a minnow comes to face one of the league’s greats, Getafe CF very much fit the description of ‘David’.
With the pride and glory of the 170,000 citizens of Getafe behind them, this ‘David’ has become one of the staples of Spain’s top tier since they burst onto the scene in 2004.
If there’s one side that knows how to beat a ‘Goliath’ of football it’s Getafe.
Many attribute the mystery of their bravery and resilience to their stadium, Coliseum Alfonso Perez, where the giants of La Liga have often come to dread visiting.
Coliseum Afonso Perez is located in the north of Getafe, a city in the metropolitan area of Madrid, with a capacity of little more than 17,000.
Getafe was the home of Perth superstar Diego Castro before his move to Australia and the Coliseum Afonso Perez has also been one of the inspirations for Football Federation Victoria CEO Peter Filopolous’ vision for stadia in the NPL and A-League.
Getafe’s home is very much a boutique stadium at just a 17,000 capacity but the atmosphere inside brings football to the next level for fans.
For such a small stadium compared to the likes of the Bernabeu and Camp Nou in La Liga, this coliseum has seen some wonderful and exciting moments in Spanish football history.
On the 10th May 2007, Lionel Messi scored that Maradona-esque goal to truly stamp his claim as one of the best in the first leg of the Copa del Ray semi-final helping Barcelona defeat Getafe 5-2.
The second-leg at Getafe’s home will go down as one of the greatest comebacks in history as Azulones defeated Barcelona 4-0 to overturn the tie and reach their first-ever Copa del Rey final.
That team is where Getafe truly gets their ‘David’ nickname as they became known as giant-killers not only in Spanish football but in European football as well.
In April 2008, Getafe experienced one of the greatest nights in the history of the club, which also turned out to be one of its most heart-breaking – involving none other than Bayern Munich.
In the first leg of the Europa League quarter-finals, Getafe managed to pull off a 1-1 draw away from home and in the return leg at the Coliseum they continued to keep the Germans at bay with another 1-1 draw taking the tie into extra time.
Getafe went up 3-1 in extra time, yet Bayern scored twice through a Luca Toni double in the last five minutes to send Bayern through on away goals.
Legendary Bayern keeper Oliver Kahn said he had never experienced an atmosphere like the one he felt that night, commenting “I’ve never witnessed anything quite like that.”
That series of matches not only put Getafe CF on the European football map but also the Coliseum Afonso Perez and the fans who gave their all for their team.
The locals have a genuine feeling of pride in their team with the courage and commitment the team play with showcased every time they play in front of their fans.
The David and Goliath stories that have been played out at the Coliseum Afonso Perez have made the ground one of the most feared by all other teams as Getafe continues to reach for greatness.