Girona

When you set foot in Catalonia, the whisper of “Barça” and “Espanyol” typically catch your ears. But, tucked away in northeastern Catalonia is a gem that goes by the name of Girona FC. This club has crafted a story that seamlessly interweaves the passion for football with the rich Catalan culture.

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Estadi Montilivi - Girona
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Estadi Montilivi - Girona
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Estadi Montilivi - Girona
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Estadi Montilivi - Girona

Girona FC has a history peppered with resilience. Founded in 1930, the club started its journey in the lower divisions. Their patience finally paid off in 2017, when they climbed into the big leagues – LaLiga, becoming a symbol of determination in Spanish football. While they’ve fluctuated between divisions, their fighting spirit remains unscathed.

Throughout their time in LaLiga, the club has seen a parade of talented players, each contributing significantly to its history. Cristhian Stuani, the Uruguayan forward, left an indelible mark with his striking prowess, later bringing his talents to the Premier League with Middlesbrough. Bono, the Moroccan goalkeeper, made his mark with Girona before moving to Sevilla, helping them to Europa League glory. Lastly, Pere Pons, a product of Girona’s youth academy, showcased his talent before making a move to Alavés. These players are a testament to Girona’s ability to nurture talent, a credit to the club’s robust youth development program.

Girona FC’s journey is replete with fierce rivalries that add spice to their games. The Catalan derby with Barcelona, although not frequent, certainly heats up the atmosphere. Girona also has a more personal rivalry with Espanyol, a team they’ve battled with more regularly for regional supremacy. Beyond LaLiga, Girona has seen their fair share of intense face-offs in the Copa del Rey, where they have clashed swords with giants like Atlético Madrid. Each of these rivalries carries with it the essence of Girona’s feisty football spirit, making their matches an exhilarating spectacle.

Now, no discussion of Girona FC is complete without a mention of their home ground, the charming Estadi Montilivi. Sitting in the heart of Girona city, the stadium has a seating capacity of just under 10,000, offering an intimate and intense atmosphere. The Tribune, the main stand, offers the best views of the match, although it is pricier, with tickets often going for around 70-80 Euros. The Goal Ends stands, North and South, offer a more economical alternative, with tickets usually priced around 40 Euros, yet still offer an exciting matchday experience. One of the unique features of the stadium is the Gol Terrace. Here, spectators can enjoy the match standing, absorbing the raw energy of football in its purest form. Tickets here can be bought for as low as 25 Euros. However, regardless of where you sit, you’re bound to catch the infectious spirit of Girona fans.

Girona FC, with its roller-coaster journey, talented players, fierce rivalries, and vibrant home ground, offers a unique and authentic Spanish football experience. The club serves as a reminder that football is not just about the glamour of the top tier, but the shared love and passion of a community that keeps the spirit of the beautiful game alive. For those willing to take a detour from the beaten path of mainstream LaLiga clubs, Girona FC promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of Catalan football.

Come Together as One

  • First LaLiga Victory Over Real Madrid: Girona FC, in their debut LaLiga season, pulled off a significant upset by defeating football giants Real Madrid. The match, which took place at their home ground, Estadi Montilivi, ended 2-1 in favor of Girona. This victory is a milestone in the club’s history and a testament to their competitive spirit.
  • Partnership with Manchester City: In August 2017, the City Football Group (CFG) and Girona Football Group, owned by Pere Guardiola, purchased a combined 88.6% of Girona FC. This strategic partnership enabled Girona to benefit from shared resources, including player loans, a scouting network, and technical expertise.
  • Motto and Emblem: The motto of Girona FC is “Girona Sempre,” which translates to “Girona Forever.” It represents the enduring spirit and loyalty of the club and its supporters. The emblem is quite distinctive, featuring the shield of the city of Girona, a football, and the club’s founding year.
  • Unique Celebration: Girona has a unique goal celebration tradition. Every time the team scores a goal, the PA system plays “Toc de Corn” (Call of the Horn), a famous Catalan tune. The entire stadium joins in this celebration, which adds to the rich matchday atmosphere.
  • Famous Coaches: Girona has been helmed by some noteworthy coaches. Pablo Machín led them to their first promotion to LaLiga, implementing a unique 3-4-3 formation. Francisco Rodríguez, who managed Almería in LaLiga, has also been at the helm of the team.
  • Resilience in Adversity: Girona’s history is characterized by resilience. The club has suffered multiple financial crises and relegations, but each time it has bounced back stronger, demonstrating the fighting spirit of the team and its fanbase.