A Saturday night in Marbella can mean many different things to many different people, but for this writer, last Saturday evening meant my first visit to the Estadio Municipal de Marbella, home to Segunda B Group 4 outfit Marbella FC.
Situated on a street climbing up away from Marbella’s Casco Antiguo, and despite its location in one of the most visited and touristic areas of the Costa del Sol, this 7,000 capacity stadium offers the visitor an authentic Spanish football experience in an idyllic setting.
To the North of the stadium stands the magnificent Sierra Blanca mountain range and its handsome La Concha peak that shelters Marbella from the worst of the weather from the North, while over the southern end, the Mediterranean sea rolls away to the horizon, where, on a clear evening, one can glimpse the coast of Africa.
Tonight, Marbella have African visitors. Spanish Moroccan enclave Melilla are here to put up substantial opposition to a Marbella side languishing in the lower reaches of the league. After a run of four defeats, Marbella have fired their coach and installed old-boy Lorenzo Morón as manager.
It remains to be seen if the change of management will bear fruit, but in the first instance at least, Morón was able to motivate the home side to a point. After a first half which produced little in the way of clear-cut chances for either side, Melilla took a rapid 0-2 lead in the second period, before the home side scored their own two goals equally as swiftly. Both teams then had chances to win the game, but both would have to accept the single point.
With the sun now set behind the West stand, the locals (I couldn’t find any Melilla fans) file out of the stadium and into the night. In my case, in the direction of Marbella’s Casco Antiguo, where tapas awaits.