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Music

Feel the rapture

Sevilla fans in full voice as they belt out their club anthem is one of the great sights and sounds of European football. So take our advice: get yourself to a Sevilla home game and experience it for yourself

WORDS Graham Hunter | ILLUSTRATION Lawerta

First of all, not everyone has an anthem. Manchester United still stride out onto the Old Trafford pitch to a tune that their former striker Brian McClair chose (The Stone Roses’ This is the One); Celta de Vigo to the strains of the A-Team TV show theme. Manchester City and Chelsea, respectively, have curtain-up tunes from a 1934 radio show (Blue Moon) and an admittedly brilliant 1960s ska-reggae staple: Liquidator by The Harry J All Stars. 

Maybe the most famous of all club songs is You’ll Never Walk Alone. Go ahead and try to discern, for sure, whether it was Celtic or Liverpool who first adopted the 1945 tune from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. The song is indelibly linked to both clubs, but it wasn’t written for them. 

Sevilla are different. They had a specific anthem for many years, a tune typical of a country under a dictatorship until 1975: very martial, lots of flutes, drums and trumpets, and played at a beat to which uniformed men could march jauntily and haughtily.

Composed and written by father-and-son duo Manuel and Ángel Luis Osquiguilea 40 years ago, it wasn’t until the club’s centenary celebrations, in 2005, that anyone considered updating or replacing it. But if you’ve been in Los Rojiblancos’ stadium on any night between then and now, you’ll know that Sevilla’s 100th birthday brought the gift that keeps on giving – win, lose or draw, good times or bad. It gives everyone goosebumps – lifelong fans, football tourists, journalists, rival supporters – and feels like it cuts to the essence not only of the club, the city and the region’s culture, but football itself. 

It begins the way you want every move in a match to finish: with clapping. Then, in the recorded version, there’s wailing electric guitar like you might hear from 1980s and 1990s bands such as Van Halen or Guns N’ Roses. 

But that’s decorative: the things that truly lift this tune to the Mount Olympus podium of football anthems are the brilliant lyrics, the triple chorus and the fact that this hymn to Sevilla (they really are called himnos in Spain) just begs to be sung a cappella.

As the players are getting ready for kick-off, the stadium lights are dimmed, the red and white spotlights start sweeping the stands, the fans turn on the torches on their phones, the rhythmic Flamenco-style clapping tells you what’s coming and then the opening lines: 

“The old stories tell of an immense hope and desire which was born on 14 October.

Its mother was Sevilla and she gave it her name – and to defend it, she created supporters.”

As always, you need several more words in English to capture what one word says in Spanish. But it goes on to hit the triple chorus throughout this marvellous, inspirational, infectious anthem and that becomes a statement. Loud and proud. 

It’s a triple chorus because there are two sung parts, different but repeated and more unifying, so that every voice in the stadium roars them. The first part of the chorus starts: 

Y es por eso que hoy vengo a verte,

Sevillista seré hasta la muerte

“It’s for all these reasons I’m here today to watch you,

First of all, not everyone has an anthem. Manchester United still stride out onto the Old Trafford pitch to a tune that their former striker Brian McClair chose (The Stone Roses’ This is the One); Celta de Vigo to the strains of the A-Team TV show theme. Manchester City and Chelsea, respectively, have curtain-up tunes from a 1934 radio show (Blue Moon) and an admittedly brilliant 1960s ska-reggae staple: Liquidator by The Harry J All Stars. 

Maybe the most famous of all club songs is You’ll Never Walk Alone. Go ahead and try to discern, for sure, whether it was Celtic or Liverpool who first adopted the 1945 tune from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. The song is indelibly linked to both clubs, but it wasn’t written for them. 

Sevilla are different. They had a specific anthem for many years, a tune typical of a country under a dictatorship until 1975: very martial, lots of flutes, drums and trumpets, and played at a beat to which uniformed men could march jauntily and haughtily.

Composed and written by father-and-son duo Manuel and Ángel Luis Osquiguilea 40 years ago, it wasn’t until the club’s centenary celebrations, in 2005, that anyone considered updating or replacing it. But if you’ve been in Los Rojiblancos’ stadium on any night between then and now, you’ll know that Sevilla’s 100th birthday brought the gift that keeps on giving – win, lose or draw, good times or bad. It gives everyone goosebumps – lifelong fans, football tourists, journalists, rival supporters – and feels like it cuts to the essence not only of the club, the city and the region’s culture, but football itself. 

It begins the way you want every move in a match to finish: with clapping. Then, in the recorded version, there’s wailing electric guitar like you might hear from 1980s and 1990s bands such as Van Halen or Guns N’ Roses. 

But that’s decorative: the things that truly lift this tune to the Mount Olympus podium of football anthems are the brilliant lyrics, the triple chorus and the fact that this hymn to Sevilla (they really are called himnos in Spain) just begs to be sung a cappella.

As the players are getting ready for kick-off, the stadium lights are dimmed, the red and white spotlights start sweeping the stands, the fans turn on the torches on their phones, the rhythmic Flamenco-style clapping tells you what’s coming and then the opening lines: 

“The old stories tell of an immense hope and desire which was born on 14 October.

Its mother was Sevilla and she gave it her name – and to defend it, she created supporters.”

As always, you need several more words in English to capture what one word says in Spanish. But it goes on to hit the triple chorus throughout this marvellous, inspirational, infectious anthem and that becomes a statement. Loud and proud. 

It’s a triple chorus because there are two sung parts, different but repeated and more unifying, so that every voice in the stadium roars them. The first part of the chorus starts: 

Y es por eso que hoy vengo a verte,

Sevillista seré hasta la muerte

“It’s for all these reasons I’m here today to watch you,

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

I’ll be a Sevilla supporter until I die…”

And the second part of the chorus begins: 

Mi Sevilla, Sevilla, Sevilla,

Aquí estamos contigo Sevilla.”

“My Sevilla, Sevilla, Sevilla,

We are all here with you Sevilla.”

Then the chorus concludes with the thing a large crowd likes more than anything: chanting a sound that needs no words, no memorising. “Oh-oh-oh oho! Oh-oh-oh oho!”

It reads very simply. Perhaps – almost certainly, in fact – simply reading this undermines the primordial, inspirational, hypnotic effect that it has live in the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán. Every time it’s sung, it hits the mark. Every time. But if you’re there on a dark winter or spring night, every seat taken, and Los Rojiblancos are hosting their most disliked rivals – Real Betis, Real Madrid or Barcelona – then it becomes a roar of independence, of pride, of history. Of naked, raw defiance. 

And there’s a man to thank. His real name is Javier Labandón, but he goes by the moniker El Arrebato: The Rapture.

Back in 2005, when Sevilla were casting about for ideas and inspiration, they made that fact public and a friend told El Arrebato that he should compose something and enter it. Sceptical at first, this highly successful flamenco popstar went home, had his tea and strolled out to his leafy patio. He sat down, started strumming in the jacaranda-scented night air and composed a masterpiece. 

“I talked about lenguas antiguas [ancient languages] to begin with because I drifted back to thinking about my dad and my elderly relatives telling beautiful tales about Sevilla – how they played, what they won in the old days – and that set me off. 

“For anyone to have their music attached to a club, made the himno and to have thousands of people singing it every couple of weeks is magnificent. But, for me, a diehard Sevillista, it’s been – indescribably – the best, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.” 

This himno, arguably the best tailor-made football anthem anywhere in the world, has been a close, loving companion to Sevilla’s unparalleled success over the past 17 years. Their fuel, the wind beneath their wings and a Pavlovian response to triumph. A trophy lifted? Cue the music. Bring on the anthem. 

Last season was a massive struggle for Los Rojiblancos: three different managers, injuries and a long flirtation with relegation. Yet come the end of May, the song was echoing through the cobblestone streets of Budapest as Sevillistas celebrated a seventh Europa League triumph against the odds, and the Champions League spot it earned. “They say that you never give up,” verse three begins. And they didn’t. 

A masterpiece like this anthem probably won’t be repeated in the history of this or any club. But the never-surrendering, never-beaten theme is forever. Make it a promise to yourself: get to Sevilla’s stadium for a home game. Learn the words, learn the rhythm and sing till you feel the rapture. 

First of all, not everyone has an anthem. Manchester United still stride out onto the Old Trafford pitch to a tune that their former striker Brian McClair chose (The Stone Roses’ This is the One); Celta de Vigo to the strains of the A-Team TV show theme. Manchester City and Chelsea, respectively, have curtain-up tunes from a 1934 radio show (Blue Moon) and an admittedly brilliant 1960s ska-reggae staple: Liquidator by The Harry J All Stars. 

Maybe the most famous of all club songs is You’ll Never Walk Alone. Go ahead and try to discern, for sure, whether it was Celtic or Liverpool who first adopted the 1945 tune from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. The song is indelibly linked to both clubs, but it wasn’t written for them. 

Sevilla are different. They had a specific anthem for many years, a tune typical of a country under a dictatorship until 1975: very martial, lots of flutes, drums and trumpets, and played at a beat to which uniformed men could march jauntily and haughtily.

Composed and written by father-and-son duo Manuel and Ángel Luis Osquiguilea 40 years ago, it wasn’t until the club’s centenary celebrations, in 2005, that anyone considered updating or replacing it. But if you’ve been in Los Rojiblancos’ stadium on any night between then and now, you’ll know that Sevilla’s 100th birthday brought the gift that keeps on giving – win, lose or draw, good times or bad. It gives everyone goosebumps – lifelong fans, football tourists, journalists, rival supporters – and feels like it cuts to the essence not only of the club, the city and the region’s culture, but football itself. 

It begins the way you want every move in a match to finish: with clapping. Then, in the recorded version, there’s wailing electric guitar like you might hear from 1980s and 1990s bands such as Van Halen or Guns N’ Roses. 

But that’s decorative: the things that truly lift this tune to the Mount Olympus podium of football anthems are the brilliant lyrics, the triple chorus and the fact that this hymn to Sevilla (they really are called himnos in Spain) just begs to be sung a cappella.

As the players are getting ready for kick-off, the stadium lights are dimmed, the red and white spotlights start sweeping the stands, the fans turn on the torches on their phones, the rhythmic Flamenco-style clapping tells you what’s coming and then the opening lines: 

“The old stories tell of an immense hope and desire which was born on 14 October.

Its mother was Sevilla and she gave it her name – and to defend it, she created supporters.”

As always, you need several more words in English to capture what one word says in Spanish. But it goes on to hit the triple chorus throughout this marvellous, inspirational, infectious anthem and that becomes a statement. Loud and proud. 

It’s a triple chorus because there are two sung parts, different but repeated and more unifying, so that every voice in the stadium roars them. The first part of the chorus starts: 

Y es por eso que hoy vengo a verte,

Sevillista seré hasta la muerte

“It’s for all these reasons I’m here today to watch you,

Feel the rapture
Music

Feel the rapture

Sevilla fans in full voice as they belt out their club anthem is one of the great sights and sounds of European football. So take our advice: get yourself to a Sevilla home game and experience it for yourself

WORDS Graham Hunter | ILLUSTRATION Lawerta

First of all, not everyone has an anthem. Manchester United still stride out onto the Old Trafford pitch to a tune that their former striker Brian McClair chose (The Stone Roses’ This is the One); Celta de Vigo to the strains of the A-Team TV show theme. Manchester City and Chelsea, respectively, have curtain-up tunes from a 1934 radio show (Blue Moon) and an admittedly brilliant 1960s ska-reggae staple: Liquidator by The Harry J All Stars. 

Maybe the most famous of all club songs is You’ll Never Walk Alone. Go ahead and try to discern, for sure, whether it was Celtic or Liverpool who first adopted the 1945 tune from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. The song is indelibly linked to both clubs, but it wasn’t written for them. 

Sevilla are different. They had a specific anthem for many years, a tune typical of a country under a dictatorship until 1975: very martial, lots of flutes, drums and trumpets, and played at a beat to which uniformed men could march jauntily and haughtily.

Composed and written by father-and-son duo Manuel and Ángel Luis Osquiguilea 40 years ago, it wasn’t until the club’s centenary celebrations, in 2005, that anyone considered updating or replacing it. But if you’ve been in Los Rojiblancos’ stadium on any night between then and now, you’ll know that Sevilla’s 100th birthday brought the gift that keeps on giving – win, lose or draw, good times or bad. It gives everyone goosebumps – lifelong fans, football tourists, journalists, rival supporters – and feels like it cuts to the essence not only of the club, the city and the region’s culture, but football itself. 

It begins the way you want every move in a match to finish: with clapping. Then, in the recorded version, there’s wailing electric guitar like you might hear from 1980s and 1990s bands such as Van Halen or Guns N’ Roses. 

But that’s decorative: the things that truly lift this tune to the Mount Olympus podium of football anthems are the brilliant lyrics, the triple chorus and the fact that this hymn to Sevilla (they really are called himnos in Spain) just begs to be sung a cappella.

As the players are getting ready for kick-off, the stadium lights are dimmed, the red and white spotlights start sweeping the stands, the fans turn on the torches on their phones, the rhythmic Flamenco-style clapping tells you what’s coming and then the opening lines: 

“The old stories tell of an immense hope and desire which was born on 14 October.

Its mother was Sevilla and she gave it her name – and to defend it, she created supporters.”

As always, you need several more words in English to capture what one word says in Spanish. But it goes on to hit the triple chorus throughout this marvellous, inspirational, infectious anthem and that becomes a statement. Loud and proud. 

It’s a triple chorus because there are two sung parts, different but repeated and more unifying, so that every voice in the stadium roars them. The first part of the chorus starts: 

Y es por eso que hoy vengo a verte,

Sevillista seré hasta la muerte

“It’s for all these reasons I’m here today to watch you,

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

First of all, not everyone has an anthem. Manchester United still stride out onto the Old Trafford pitch to a tune that their former striker Brian McClair chose (The Stone Roses’ This is the One); Celta de Vigo to the strains of the A-Team TV show theme. Manchester City and Chelsea, respectively, have curtain-up tunes from a 1934 radio show (Blue Moon) and an admittedly brilliant 1960s ska-reggae staple: Liquidator by The Harry J All Stars. 

Maybe the most famous of all club songs is You’ll Never Walk Alone. Go ahead and try to discern, for sure, whether it was Celtic or Liverpool who first adopted the 1945 tune from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. The song is indelibly linked to both clubs, but it wasn’t written for them. 

Sevilla are different. They had a specific anthem for many years, a tune typical of a country under a dictatorship until 1975: very martial, lots of flutes, drums and trumpets, and played at a beat to which uniformed men could march jauntily and haughtily.

Composed and written by father-and-son duo Manuel and Ángel Luis Osquiguilea 40 years ago, it wasn’t until the club’s centenary celebrations, in 2005, that anyone considered updating or replacing it. But if you’ve been in Los Rojiblancos’ stadium on any night between then and now, you’ll know that Sevilla’s 100th birthday brought the gift that keeps on giving – win, lose or draw, good times or bad. It gives everyone goosebumps – lifelong fans, football tourists, journalists, rival supporters – and feels like it cuts to the essence not only of the club, the city and the region’s culture, but football itself. 

It begins the way you want every move in a match to finish: with clapping. Then, in the recorded version, there’s wailing electric guitar like you might hear from 1980s and 1990s bands such as Van Halen or Guns N’ Roses. 

But that’s decorative: the things that truly lift this tune to the Mount Olympus podium of football anthems are the brilliant lyrics, the triple chorus and the fact that this hymn to Sevilla (they really are called himnos in Spain) just begs to be sung a cappella.

As the players are getting ready for kick-off, the stadium lights are dimmed, the red and white spotlights start sweeping the stands, the fans turn on the torches on their phones, the rhythmic Flamenco-style clapping tells you what’s coming and then the opening lines: 

“The old stories tell of an immense hope and desire which was born on 14 October.

Its mother was Sevilla and she gave it her name – and to defend it, she created supporters.”

As always, you need several more words in English to capture what one word says in Spanish. But it goes on to hit the triple chorus throughout this marvellous, inspirational, infectious anthem and that becomes a statement. Loud and proud. 

It’s a triple chorus because there are two sung parts, different but repeated and more unifying, so that every voice in the stadium roars them. The first part of the chorus starts: 

Y es por eso que hoy vengo a verte,

Sevillista seré hasta la muerte

“It’s for all these reasons I’m here today to watch you,

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

I’ll be a Sevilla supporter until I die…”

And the second part of the chorus begins: 

Mi Sevilla, Sevilla, Sevilla,

Aquí estamos contigo Sevilla.”

“My Sevilla, Sevilla, Sevilla,

We are all here with you Sevilla.”

Then the chorus concludes with the thing a large crowd likes more than anything: chanting a sound that needs no words, no memorising. “Oh-oh-oh oho! Oh-oh-oh oho!”

It reads very simply. Perhaps – almost certainly, in fact – simply reading this undermines the primordial, inspirational, hypnotic effect that it has live in the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán. Every time it’s sung, it hits the mark. Every time. But if you’re there on a dark winter or spring night, every seat taken, and Los Rojiblancos are hosting their most disliked rivals – Real Betis, Real Madrid or Barcelona – then it becomes a roar of independence, of pride, of history. Of naked, raw defiance. 

And there’s a man to thank. His real name is Javier Labandón, but he goes by the moniker El Arrebato: The Rapture.

Back in 2005, when Sevilla were casting about for ideas and inspiration, they made that fact public and a friend told El Arrebato that he should compose something and enter it. Sceptical at first, this highly successful flamenco popstar went home, had his tea and strolled out to his leafy patio. He sat down, started strumming in the jacaranda-scented night air and composed a masterpiece. 

“I talked about lenguas antiguas [ancient languages] to begin with because I drifted back to thinking about my dad and my elderly relatives telling beautiful tales about Sevilla – how they played, what they won in the old days – and that set me off. 

“For anyone to have their music attached to a club, made the himno and to have thousands of people singing it every couple of weeks is magnificent. But, for me, a diehard Sevillista, it’s been – indescribably – the best, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.” 

This himno, arguably the best tailor-made football anthem anywhere in the world, has been a close, loving companion to Sevilla’s unparalleled success over the past 17 years. Their fuel, the wind beneath their wings and a Pavlovian response to triumph. A trophy lifted? Cue the music. Bring on the anthem. 

Last season was a massive struggle for Los Rojiblancos: three different managers, injuries and a long flirtation with relegation. Yet come the end of May, the song was echoing through the cobblestone streets of Budapest as Sevillistas celebrated a seventh Europa League triumph against the odds, and the Champions League spot it earned. “They say that you never give up,” verse three begins. And they didn’t. 

A masterpiece like this anthem probably won’t be repeated in the history of this or any club. But the never-surrendering, never-beaten theme is forever. Make it a promise to yourself: get to Sevilla’s stadium for a home game. Learn the words, learn the rhythm and sing till you feel the rapture. 

First of all, not everyone has an anthem. Manchester United still stride out onto the Old Trafford pitch to a tune that their former striker Brian McClair chose (The Stone Roses’ This is the One); Celta de Vigo to the strains of the A-Team TV show theme. Manchester City and Chelsea, respectively, have curtain-up tunes from a 1934 radio show (Blue Moon) and an admittedly brilliant 1960s ska-reggae staple: Liquidator by The Harry J All Stars. 

Maybe the most famous of all club songs is You’ll Never Walk Alone. Go ahead and try to discern, for sure, whether it was Celtic or Liverpool who first adopted the 1945 tune from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. The song is indelibly linked to both clubs, but it wasn’t written for them. 

Sevilla are different. They had a specific anthem for many years, a tune typical of a country under a dictatorship until 1975: very martial, lots of flutes, drums and trumpets, and played at a beat to which uniformed men could march jauntily and haughtily.

Composed and written by father-and-son duo Manuel and Ángel Luis Osquiguilea 40 years ago, it wasn’t until the club’s centenary celebrations, in 2005, that anyone considered updating or replacing it. But if you’ve been in Los Rojiblancos’ stadium on any night between then and now, you’ll know that Sevilla’s 100th birthday brought the gift that keeps on giving – win, lose or draw, good times or bad. It gives everyone goosebumps – lifelong fans, football tourists, journalists, rival supporters – and feels like it cuts to the essence not only of the club, the city and the region’s culture, but football itself. 

It begins the way you want every move in a match to finish: with clapping. Then, in the recorded version, there’s wailing electric guitar like you might hear from 1980s and 1990s bands such as Van Halen or Guns N’ Roses. 

But that’s decorative: the things that truly lift this tune to the Mount Olympus podium of football anthems are the brilliant lyrics, the triple chorus and the fact that this hymn to Sevilla (they really are called himnos in Spain) just begs to be sung a cappella.

As the players are getting ready for kick-off, the stadium lights are dimmed, the red and white spotlights start sweeping the stands, the fans turn on the torches on their phones, the rhythmic Flamenco-style clapping tells you what’s coming and then the opening lines: 

“The old stories tell of an immense hope and desire which was born on 14 October.

Its mother was Sevilla and she gave it her name – and to defend it, she created supporters.”

As always, you need several more words in English to capture what one word says in Spanish. But it goes on to hit the triple chorus throughout this marvellous, inspirational, infectious anthem and that becomes a statement. Loud and proud. 

It’s a triple chorus because there are two sung parts, different but repeated and more unifying, so that every voice in the stadium roars them. The first part of the chorus starts: 

Y es por eso que hoy vengo a verte,

Sevillista seré hasta la muerte

“It’s for all these reasons I’m here today to watch you,

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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