La Cartuja stadium, Sevilla. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


After a week when there was great anticipation in Palma Nova with the news that a fusion restaurant combining Chinese and Middle Eastern cuisine was due to open soon – called “Wok Like an Egyptian” ! – Real Mallorca have had some time off after their Cup semifinal heroics and are expecting a tough game in the Son Moix on Sunday at 18:30.

Second top Girona are the visitors with the Catalan side picking up the nickname of La Liga’s “fairytale” side. They earned promotion to LFC a Liga in 2021 for the first time in their 87-year history in what was a sensational turnaround for a club that was sold for just one euro back in 2012 because of huge debts. The financial situation was so desperate at times that it took about 20 years to mend one of the stands damaged in a storm. Most football fans in Girona used to support Barcelona but they gradually became emotionally involved with the club and are now proud to wear red and white striped shirts.

Girona are now part of the Manchester City stable of worldwide partner clubs like New York City FC, Melbourne City plus teams from Japan and South America. The present side are known for playing with a high press and a fast-passing game. They have two big Ukranian strikers they bought for peanuts and a Brazilian forward called Savinho who’s been described as one of the best young players in European football.

A few weeks ago we knocked Girona out of the Cup 3-2. For the first half hour Mallorca played their best football of the season. Then towards the end, Girona brought on their big guns which included another Brazilian on loan from Manchester City, the purple-haired Yan Couto. They scored two goals in 10 minutes and if extra time had been a bit longer, we could have been knocked out of the Cup.

Mallorca may well have a Cup hangover after the excitement in San Sebastian and will have a real fight on their hands to keep the high-scoring Girona attack at bay. For the first time ever, the Bulletin’s sister publication, Ultima Hora, gave every Mallorca player a maximum three stars for their fantastic achievement in getting to the final.

One player who must get a special shout out is No. 2 goalkeeper Dominik Greif who saved two penalties in the game. There’s no doubt without his input we wouldn’t be in the Cup final. He arrived here from Slovan Bratislava in 2021 but his start wasn’t good. We went down 2-3 to Osasuna and Greif was responsible for two of the goals.

That was the start of the rot for the tall ’keeper who then hurt his back, an injury that kept him out for almost a year. He’s only played two La Liga games as Rajkovic’s form denies Greif much chance of first team football. He will, for sure, be between the sticks for the final and his two penalty saves have boosted his career.

The big question being asked now is “What about tickets for the final in Seville on April 6 ?” Nothing is official yet but it’s likely the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFED) plan to follow the same pattern as previous finals in La Cartuja. Incidentally, it’s not a football ground but an athletic stadium with a running track around the outside.

Everything indicates that Mallorca will have 20,500 tickets which is 40% of the stadium’s capacity of 57,600, for the game against Athletic Club (Bilbao).

Real Mallorca has not revealed how it will organise the distribution of seats but it seems season ticket holders will have priority and they number 20,000. However, that doesn’t mean that those who don’t have season tickets cannot obtain a seat, although they will have to wait until all the season ticket holders have received their entradas. Last season’s final between Osasuna and Real Madrid saw prices fluctuate between 35€ and 220€.

19-year-old Turkish sensation Arda Guler will leave Real Madrid in the Summer as he’s struggled for playing time since arriving from Fenerbahce in 2023. He looks likely to be loaned out to gain much-needed game time before returning to the Bernabeu next Summer 2025 and Real Mallorca are interested in gaining his services.

With Kylian Mbappe odds on to sign this Summer, Guler’s chances of getting game time at Real Madrid look to be depleting even further. This guy, like Take Kubo and Kang In Lee, is box office and would be a huge asset to Real Mallorca and their supporters.

AND FINALLY, a Mormon was seated next to an Irishman on a flight from London to the States. After the plane was airborne, drinks orders were taken. The Irish guy asked for a whiskey and the Mormon was asked his preference. He replied in disgust “I’d rather be savagely raped by a dozen whores than let alcohol touch my lips.” The Irishman handed his drink back to the attendant saying “Me too, I didn’t know we had a choice !!”