CD Criollos v FC Británico

Details

DateTimeLeagueSeasonFull Time
12th May 202418:00Tercera Regional2023-202490'

Results

ClubResultOutcome
CD Criollos0Loss
FC Británico6Win

Recap

Paco has a speaker in hand, is dancing and trying to flirt with someone’s flatmate. Arren and Cal are drumming on the table, leading a rendition of Stand By Me. Mats – for some reason or other – is wearing ski goggles and is drinking Pastis from a baby’s bottle. Matthieu is smoking a cigar and looking like the coolest person this side of the Pyrenees. And Karlos, no word of a lie, has just done the most incredible thing with three croquetas that I have ever seen in my life. 

There have been some amazing evenings at Argayo but this, surely, has to go down as the best.

And that’s because after a long, gruelling and at times nervy year, FCB showed the necessary composure to see off Criollos with a 6-0 win on Sunday and secure their place as league champions. 

___________

The game really couldn’t have gone any better. 

FCB started well, and it was clear from the off that they had come into this game with the right mindset, despite the long wait for the 6 o’clock kick-off. Possession was dominated immediately, and the edginess of previous weeks was replaced by composure and calm. 

Even Rafa was able to complete some five-yard passes, and he and Mats in midfield picked up the ball well off the centre backs Josh, Rama and Arren to build moves from defence. 

Landon and Will were able to make some inroads down the flanks, and the early pressing from Cal, Harry and Padg meant Criollos found it almost impossible to get out of their own half. 

Despite whingeing about having to play in red, it was the ever-reliable Padraig who opened the scoring, heading home a cross from Will after 20 minutes. 

Harry scored the second – also with his head, also from a Will cross – and it was about now that people realised that this would be our day. 

It was 3-0 before half-time when Will slotted one home after some neat play down the right from Landon, Mats and Padraig. 

The message at half-time was to keep going and that’s exactly what the FCB boys did. 

Harry got his second of the match, coolly finishing a one-on-one in the 65th minute, and now all but a few of the Canillejas players who had turned up hoping for a loss had left, heads down, looking forward to another year in Tercero. 

Changes were made: EQ and Mads replaced Rafa and Mats in midfield; Luigi replaced Will and Karlos, Landon on the wings; Macca and Ed came on for Arren and Cal; while Paco swapped in for H up front. 

As ever, the quality did not drop. FCB continued to link up well and Mads finished off a very strong end to the season by netting the fifth.

Despite this, there was a certain calm around the ground. Perhaps the totality with which FCB dominated had taken something out of the drama? 

One thing was certain: the game needed a moment. 

In the 101st minute, that moment came – Paco, leaping, diving, heading past the Criollos keeper into the net, running hand in the air pointing at Harry as the ref blows the final whistle, jumping into his best mate’s arms as everyone else around them hugs and rolls on the floor and starts taking their tops off because there is an understanding that this one, this one, meant more. 

And then came the champagne and the pictures and the CAMPEONES and everything else that happens when you win a league. 

What a team, what a club, what a way to end a season. 

___________

So then, the season, let’s start with some numbers. In descending order: 114, 74, 33, 26, 16, 15, 12, 1. 

For those that haven’t spent the last 10 minutes on MatchApp, that is:

114 – goals scored;

74 – goals scored by either Harry or Padraig;

33 – goals conceded;

26 –  players that have played for the club this season; 

16 – games played in 2024;

15 – games won in 2024; 

12 – countries represented by FCB players this year (the Británico can be misleading);

1 – the position we finished thanks to all of the above. 

It’s silly numbers. The turnaround since Christmas has been phenomenal, the number of goals scored by our two forwards really is silly and every single one of the 26 players who has represented FCB this year should be proud of their achievements. 

But this season has been so much more than just the stats. 

It has been Dorus kicking the ball into his face trying to make a clearance, Rafa thinking that Joe was just a really keen old man (which he kind of is), clean sheet Pacs, half-cut Padg, predicting we’ll be invincibles in October, Rami trying to sack the entire team in December, Simon managing to wait 25 ½  games before finally telling Rami to shut the fuck up, Karlos leaping like a salmon, Josh breaking his leg (twice), Arren spreading anxiety, Flaquito’s rise, Calvito’s fall, and – roughly – about a million jaras.  

There have been so many amazing moments, that looking back now promotion seems like the icing rather than the cake – a happy coincidence. Because the 90 minutes on a Sunday is such a tiny part of what this club is. 

This club is about turning up at Barajas, Atocha or Mendez Alvaro and thinking shit. Arriving in a new city and not knowing anyone, the language, what you’re doing. And maybe a friend, or a friend of a friend, or your mum or someone from work mentions a team. And initially, you’re sceptical because they’re literally called FC Britanico and you can’t move to Spain and join a team called FC Britanico, but you do, because the idea of not playing football is worse. And you go down to training and you don’t really have a clue what’s going on and some people get it immediately and sometimes it takes longer but for everyone it eventually clicks: this is just a great group of mates having the time of their lives in an amazing city. 

And soon their friends become yours. Relationships get built, strengthened over playing time, team talks and post-match drinks. An awareness grows inside of you that this club and your time in Madrid are inextricably linked, they are the same. And that you may be miles from home and not completely sure what you’re doing in your life or how much longer you may be in Madrid; but whatever happens, wherever you go, you know that FCB is here and we’ve had this season and we’re going up.

CD Criollos

FC Británico

1Marco Luna Goalkeeper 68'
2Ramiro Pérez Toledo Defender
8Calum Cant 5 Midfielder
9Harry ‘Jax’ Newman 12 Forward 33', 65'
11Padraig Slane Midfielder 22'
13Rafael Perez 10 Defender
19Josh Emerson Defender
20Landon Green 18 Midfielder
23Mats Blyth 7 Midfielder
25Arren Sutfcliffe 3 Defender
32Will Sewell 16 Midfielder 49'
47'
3Edmund Keith 25 Defender
5Andrew McLeod 8 Defender
7Mads Rasmussen 23 Forward 88'
10Erik ‘EQ’ Quevedo 13 Midfielder
12Karlos Wysom 9 Defender
16Luigi Bosetti 32 Midfielder
18Paco Garcia 20 Midfielder 101'
  6 2
Goals
0
6
Assists
0
0
Yellow Cards
0
2
Red Cards
0
0

Ground

Las Cocheras
Calle San Lamberto, 21, 28017 Madrid, España