Every town in Lanzarote has a football team, and many have several. One of the most inspiring things about the sport on Lanzarote is the way that everyone gets involved.
First published in Gazette Life, May 1st 2020.
While bigger clubs are focused on the success or failure of their mens first 11, there are also clubs who send out several sides of all ages and both sexes every week.
UD Lanzarote are the island’s biggest and most historically successful club. Formed 50 years ago this August in Arrecife, they wear the blue and red of the island’s flag and currently compete in Spain’s huge fourth tier, where they’ve played since being relegated from the Segunda B in 2010.
The early 2000s were the conejeros’ glory years, with the memorable cup run of 2002 still fresh in many fans’ memories. That was when striker Maciot scored a hat-trick against Tenerife, a win which brought Real Madrid’s Figo, Zidane, Raúl and Roberto Carlos to the Ciudad Deportiva, where they won 1-3.
Other island teams such as Unión Sur Yaiza, Arrecife’s Marítima and the Puerto del Carmen club, also have strong followings, and most Sundays will see local football pitches hosting a hard-fought contest.
Islanders also follow bigger teams, and UD Las Palmas from the province’s capital are keenly followed by many – especially middleaged fans who remember the Canaries’ late60s and early 70’s heyday, when they once finished runners-up in Spain’s top tier.
Of course, Spain’s eternal big-two rivalry is also reflected on the island, with locals tending to support Barcelona over Real Madrid. There are plenty of fans of both teams, but Canarian nationalism’s suspicion of Madrid shares similarities with that of the Catalan capital.
These are the main sides you’ll see or hear about on Lanzarote, but, of course there are thousands of fans of hundreds of teams here and wherever you go there’s the chance you’ll end up talking football with a fan of Penarol, Hassania Agadir, Schalke, Ajax, Rangers, America de Cali, Boca Juniors, Lazio or Leeds.
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