The Last Days of Vicente Calderón
Our Spanish photographer is Lino Escuris (@linoescurisfoto), a portrait and sports photographer originally from Galicia and now based in Madrid. A fan of Galician football clubs Compostela S.A.D. and Celta de Vigo, Lino works as graphic editor for leading Spanish football culture magazine Revista Libero. Lino told us about his photos taken across Madrid, including the final match in the Vicente Calderón.
Where were the photos taken?
The photos show the Vicente Calderón Stadium, the old home stadium of Atlético Madrid. It was Atlético Madrid v Athletic Bilbao, the last match ever at Vicente Calderón. You can also see the CD Leganés stadium and the Atlético Madrid Femenino training camp. I tried to mix photos of professional teams, training camps and life around professional football.
What did you try to show with the photos? Was there any wider meaning with the photos?
I tried to show different views of how you can become a professional footballer in Spain, starting from the streets, to the training camps and First Division. In one photo at Vicente Calderón you can also see photographers had to work at the side of the field.
What does the banner mean?
“Paseo de los Melancólicos” is the name of the street where Vicente Calderón was. The fans wanted to celebrate this at the final match at the stadium. Now the stadium is in a different part of the city.
What are the flowers?
This was a symbol of the stadium and this tradition has continued at the new stadium. The first time was in 1996 by Atlético fan Margarita Luengo, when she threw four flowers to the corner of Milinko Pantić (former Atleti player) - Atlético won 4-1, one flower for each goal. It has continued for 19 years.
Why is football so important for Spain and Spanish people?
Football runs indirectly at the side of politics. You can know which teams like a politician, if you know the team they like – and vice versa.
What role does football play in Spain and Spanish society?
I think that football shows what society is like. If fans are more aggressive it is usually because is something happening in society and it is how they let us know indirectly.
What does football mean to you?
Football gave me a job, because I´m working at Revista Libero. Football was the first thing that I took pictures of professionally.
What is the future for Spanish football?
The football in Spain is turning into a huge business thanks to people like Real Madrid´s President (and team). Step by step it is not an easy place for teams like Athletic Bilbao whose players are all from Basque country or smaller teams like Rayo Vallecano, who defend other values around football - and their fans support equality beyond the field.