Think of 1,165 people. Now look in them, about 25 soccer players, a coach, a physical trainer, a utillero or a journalist to issue press releases and write tweets. Surely if they take a random sample they won't find them. Surely there would not be any in the small town of Atzeneta d'Albaida before the foundation of the club. Luckily, the soccer planet does not understand borders and David Albelda has been able to form a competitive team, which has just made history. It has already reserved a place in Second Division B and has also become one of the smallest towns in history to play in the bronze category.
According to a study by ABC, never a locality with so few inhabitants had played in Second Division B. The closest case is that of Somozas, a Galician team residing in a town, by then, of 1,211 people. According to the registry, in 2019 it has 1,098 although at the time of establishing this comparison, the moment in which they competed in Segunda B is taken into account. Atzeneta currently has 1,165 people, as indicated by the information portal Argos, which would make it the smallest town of history. Albelda is the visible head of a project in which the illusion reigns and in which, of course, everyone knows each other.
Atzeneta d'Albaida is a town in the province of Valencia. If you want to 'google' it, be careful and look for the full name. If they stay in Atzeneta, the search engine will take them to another municipality in Castellón. This, the Valencian, has 189.34 inhabitants per square kilometer, on an area of only 6.10. His name is adzanetin, which will complicate the work of the journalistic profession. The local team or Albelda's team will be more frequent. Excuse me in advance.
In the town the Socialist Party governs, from the hand of José H. Descals Guerrero, nicknamed Pepe and in office since 2007. Before Rafael Mompó Sanchís, of the PP, won in three consecutive elections. When it comes to demographics, Atzeneta d'Albaida has been reducing its population over time, although it has never had a significant contrast from one measurement to another. In 2016, it had 1,153 inhabitants and now 1,165. In 2004 it reached its peak in the 21st century, with 1,349.
Albelda, a local idol
Regardless of what happened in the Playoff, Atzeneta announced the renewal of David Albelda for one more season. The ex-soccer player from Valencia, unlike other teammates in the guild, opted to start his sports career in a modest club to grow over the years. Perhaps he did not expect to do it in the same entity, with which he has achieved a dream promotion. After a bad start, he was questioned, but he quickly turned the situation around. The closing of the party was achieved against Alzira and Alcoyano, two teams that he could defeat despite being below the classification.
While Albelda is the native of the town of La Pobla Llarga, also in Valencia, it would not be surprising that his name was honored in a small town that has reached the elite thanks to his work on the bench. At the moment, the town's Wikipedia page does not leave characters too recognized by the public. The one who is most Joan Ignasi Pla, who was secretary general of the PSPV-PSOE in the Valencian Community and who is now a member of the Advisory Legal Council.
A modest Twitter and for your people
He has 2,045 followers, more than villagers and these days it is filled with media retweets praising his feat. It is not customary for “a group of friends”, as his player Nacho Porcar writes. Everything comes after Alex Chico hit him with 'toa his soul'. He said it, excited after the match. Network activity, however, did not arrive until a few hours after celebrating the heroic on the pitch. Before, there were other priorities.
Thank you very much to all! Tomorrow we will answer all of you, but for the moment, thank you all! This account becomes inactive until tomorrow 🤪🤪🤪
– Atzeneta UE (@Atzeneta_UE) July 25, 2020
“Thank you very much to all. Tomorrow we will answer all of you, but for the moment, thank you all. This account becomes inactive until tomorrow“The person responsible for the account wrote on Twitter. At eleven in the morning, a reasonable time for the night that was approaching in the small town, the CM dawned:”Hello good day. How was your night? They have been telling us all the time something of congratulations and things like that. Silly is the first day of the story that we woke up in Second B, hey. “
A couple of hours later, they remembered the promise of the previous day, without expecting such a flood of praise: “I am already regretting to say last night that we were going to answer all of you, but be clear that you read we readSince then, dozens and dozens of messages shared by the official Atzeneta account congratulate them on the feat they have achieved. If you fulfill the promise and also reach these lines, we join in the congratulations.
I am already regretting to say last night that we were going to answer you all, but be clear that you read we read to you 😍
– Atzeneta UE (@Atzeneta_UE) July 26, 2020
July 25, local day?
Only the mayor will be able to decide if every July 25th the heroes of the promotion are honored. Who knows, but already in the bronze category, anything can happen. While evaluating this possible new holiday, Atzeneta will continue to enjoy a complete party calendar. It remains to be seen to what extent they can be held in 2020, due to the worrying outbreaks that the pandemic is causing across the country. The most traditional celebration is that of Moors and Christians, which is celebrated in early September with festivals and parades of comparsas. The employers are a few weeks later and each day a saint is honored, like Saint Matthew, patron saint of the town.
Mestalla, an hour away by car
From next season, the inhabitants of Atzeneta d'Albaida will be able to enjoy their team among the 150 best of all country. However, it is not surprising that after so many years in a lower category, most of them also feel love for other colors. The closest elite stadium is Mestalla, just over an hour's drive down the A-7. Actually, Google Maps does not even present the possibility of using public transport. With no elite football involved, closer towns like Gandia (40 km), Olive (45 km) or Alcoy (22.5).
El Regit, a stadium with more capacity than the town's inhabitants
In 2017, the Diputación de Valencia made an investment of 80,000 euros for the installation of a stand in the El Regit football field, following the mayor's request to improve infrastructure and bet on the growth of sport in the town. So, a field of a capacity of approximately 1,500 spectators, about 400 more than the total number of inhabitants of the town. However, the sports goals of the Atzeneta guarantee the bet. The first team has already shown this with a historic promotion and a place in the Second Division B.