The Atlético de Madrid was the leader of the league and the European indoor athletics championships claimed their share of prominence: this February 23, 2021 has more similarities in sports than in other spheres with that 23F of 40 years ago that is commemorated today.
Oblivious to the attempted coup that would take place that afternoon in the Congress of Deputies, what the Spaniards commented in the bars of the bars on the morning of February 23, 1981, a Monday, were the results of the twenty-fifth day league.
The Atleti trained by José Luis García Traid had beaten Hercules 1-0 on Sunday, with a goal from Miguel Angel Ruiz, and had thus maintained his leadership in the league … a league that Real Sociedad would finally win.
That Monday the Madridistas celebrated their victory the day before by 1-2 against Osasuna, in a match refereed by the incomparable Emilio guruceta and in which numerous public incidents were recorded. One of the linesmen was hit by a bottle, “although he recovered from the blow,” say the chronicles of the match. Guruceta had to negotiate with a group of spectators to stop throwing objects onto the field in exchange for not suspending the match.
The barcelonistas, meanwhile, lamented the tie yielded in Seville against the Betis (1-1), which distanced them one more step from Atlético de Madrid. The Betic draw was received with an ovation by the fans present at the Vicente Calderón who followed the day from their transistors.
The win of the day was signed by Sporting with a 5-2 victory over Almería.
The newspapers of that Monday reflected a league classification with Atlético in front with 35 points, followed by FC Barcelona with 33 and Valencia with 32. Real Sociedad, before of the comeback that would give him the title, he was still sixth with 29 points, the same as Real Madrid, seventh. UD Salamanca occupied the bottom position, with just 14 points.
Two days later, Atlético and Barça would face each other (1-0) and on February 23 the Catalan club sent the one from the capital its request for tickets: 10,000.
That same day the president of Atlético de Madrid, Angel Head, undertook a trip to Mexico to negotiate with Cruz Azul the signing of Guillermo Mendizábal, which did not materialize. The rojiblanco club had spent 86 million pesetas in signings that season.
The attention of international football was in Buenos Aires, where Diego Maradona he had debuted on Sunday with Boca Juniors at La Bombonera. The ‘kid’ scored two goals in a 4-1 victory over Talleres, on a momentous date in his career.
The classification sealed by Brazil for the 1982 World Cup in Spain was also celebrated, with a 1-2 to Bolivia in La Paz.
On February 23, the members of the athletics team that had competed in Grenoble (France) in the XII Indoor Europeans and that had obtained a prize of three medals, undertook a return trip to Spain.
Javier Moracho He was proclaimed continental runner-up in 50m hurdles (6.48) and Antonio Corgos He also won the silver medal in longitude with a jump of 7.97. In the 800 m the bronze went to Antonio Paez (1: 48.31), who two years earlier had been the first Spanish champion of these championships with a gold in Vienna.
Spain occupied eleventh place in the medal table in Grenoble.
Forty years later, the Spanish athletics team is preparing to once again compete in indoor Europeans, this time in Torun (Poland).
In the Spanish dawn of February 23, 1981, still in the afternoon in California time, the American Jimmy connors extended his series of consecutive victories over the Czech to seven Ivan lendl by defeating him in the final of the Palm Springs tennis tournament by 6-3 and 7-6.
Almost simultaneously, another Czech racket, Hanna mandlikova, took the Houston tournament with a 6-4 and 6-4 over the North American Bettina bunge.
The cyclo-cross World Cups were also disputed in Tolosa (Guipúzcoa), in which he participated Fede Etxabe (18th) before turning professional and giving Spanish cycling great joys such as the victory at Alpe d'Huez in the 1987 Tour.