Real Sociedad won the Copa del Rey for the first time in 34 years on Saturday and manager Imanol Alguacil marked the occasion in style, donning a retro shirt and treating us to rousing song in an brilliant post-match press conference.
In a tightly contested game, La Real edged out Basque rivals Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to clinch the trophy. Mikel Oyarzabal was the hero, converting a second half penalty for the game’s only goal.
After the win, Alguacil greeted the press in unconventional fashion. First he pulled on an old white and blue jersey before breaking into song.
He began chanting: “This is for all of you, Guipuzcoa! For all those who feel the Real! Come on Real! Real! Come on, Goazen!”
Prior to becoming first team manager in 2018, Alguacil had a long association with Real Sociedad. He started his playing career at the club, spending nine years there between 1989 and 1998 before becoming part of the youth team coaching setup.
After enjoying a lengthy stint as B team manager and an interim spell in charge of the senior side, he finally landed the managerial gig in 2018. Since then, La Real have performed well. Alguacil guided the club to a strong ninth place finish after taking over midway through 2018/19, and they followed that up by finishing in La Liga’s top six during 2019/20.
They are on track to replicate that this term, but there is little chance of them breaking into the top four. However, La Real have some talented players who they may struggle to retain in the summer.
Their Copa del Rey final match winner Oyarzabal has previously been a target for Manchester City, while young striker Alexander Isak has also been turning heads. The Sweden international has managed a goal every other game in La Liga this season, benefitting from the creative genius of David Silva.