Huesca prepared a special armband in tribute to FC Barcelona and the city of Barcelona to celebrate their meeting in LaLiga Santander last night.
The reigning LaLiga SmartBank champions, now playing in only their second-ever top-flight season, pay tribute to their opponents’ home city or region through a truly unique initiative.
The captain’s armbands worn in Spanish football are colourful and varied. There’s no homogeneous league-branded armband that all captains must wear. Instead, each club captain can don one that means something special, perhaps with a design based on the club colours or the regional flag.
SD Huesca captains, however, wear genuinely unique armbands. In an initiative that began last season – during which time they have crowned LaLiga SmartBank champions for the first time in their history – and which has continued this campaign, their armbands change every away match in tribute to their opponents.
In collaboration with a Huesca-based graphic design agency, the club has created armbands that reflect the culture and identity of every one of the clubs they’ve been taking on during the 2020-21 season.
For this week’s match-up with FC Barcelona, the club conjured up a very special armband with a nod to their rivals and their city, incorporating elements paying tribute to Johan Cruyff; the club’s La Masia academy; the cross and flag of St. George – an insignia both clubs share –; Antoni Gaudi’s famous mosaic-style tiles; the Catalan capital’s famous Panot street tiles; Barça’s European Cup win at Wembley in 1992 and the sextuplet-winning side of 2008-09; and, a goat in reference to the ‘Greatest of All Time’ (GOAT), Lionel Messi!
The trip to Camp Nou may be the most recent, but definitely not the only example of the club’s creativity. Huesca’s trip to face reigning champions Real Madrid back in October saw captain Jorge Pulido sport an armband in tribute to Los Blancos legend Alfredo Di Stefano, featuring stylish arrows in reference to his nickname: la saeta Rubia – the ‘Blond Arrow.’
For their away day at Athletic Club, the armband featured the façade of the Basque side’s iconic San Mames stadium, while their trip to Athletic’s local rivals Real Sociedad was designed around the famous seaside promenade railings that run along San Sebastian’s beachfront.
Other creative designs include a colourful ceramic tile-style design for the visit to Villarreal CF (whose home province produces much of Spain and Europe’s ceramics); a charming geometric pattern mimicking the designs found inside Granada’s Alhambra Palace; a bat-based design for the early season visit to Valencia CF (the bat features traditional features of the city’s crest); and a style paying tribute to the floral designs which adorn the floor of Pamplona’s Plaza del Castillo square to face CA Osasuna.
“We may be rivals on the pitch, but there’s also a need to establish links between cities,” SD Huesca’s communications director Jara Echeverría explained to Spanish newspaper El País last season when the initiative began. “Football is the best way to promote the beauty of our regions.”
With Spain made up of 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities, it is a diverse country with many different cultures and traditions and this initiative from Huesca has been a unique and fun way to celebrate this. The directors at the other 19 clubs in LaLiga’s top tier have loved this unique project too, and the club produces a second copy of each captain’s armband to present as a gift during each away trip.
For more information on each individual armband, visit the Huesca Fan Club online.
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