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Malaga women’s 1998 treble winners angry at Supercup snub

The Atlético Málaga squad which dominated in 1998.
The Atlético Málaga squad which dominated in 1998. / SUR
  • The Atlético Málaga treble winners have been responding to claims that Barcelona are the first winners of the women’s Spanish Supercup

The past shouldn’t be forgotten so quickly; after all it’s part of the present. Last month, Barcelona women’s team thrashed Real Sociedad (10-1) in the final of the Spanish Supercup. The competition was unprecedented in terms of the four-team format, but no, it wasn’t the first edition of the Supercup to be played in Spain, as it was widely portrayed across the country.

Among the clubs that previously lifted it were, in August 1998, Atlético Málaga who in doing so sealed the first treble in Spanish football (league, cup and Supercup).

Saddened by the fact that this feat fell into oblivion, some of the stars of that team have voiced their dissatisfaction on social media. The first was Alicia Fuentes, who is still active today as a striker for Seagull Badalona in the Second Division. “It bothered me that it was called the first Supercup. So did I dream the one I won?” she told SUR.

She remembers perfectly that it was against Lagunak that she scored to make it 3-3 in the first leg (it eventually finished 4-3) and that her team-mate Auxi scored the winning goal, 1-0 in the return leg in the La Rosaleda annex.

That goal is well remembered by Auxi herself. “It was, as always, from a pass from Alicia that I scored with my left foot,” she recalls. To talk about Auxi is to talk about one of the great pioneers of women’s football in Spain. She made it to the Spanish national team, winning the Superliga (then First Division), cup and also the Supercup. “In fact, Alicia and I won the Supercopa again later with Levante. It’s a shame that we have such outstanding titles and that they’ve been lost in time,” she says.

Another of the mainstays of that Atlético Málaga team (today Malaga) was Isa Guerrero, now a delegate of the AFE’s women’s football committee. Deeply affected, she said: “They seem to want to erase our history.” “People are jumping on the bandwagon of women’s football now, but it existed before and so did the Supercup. It’s something we worked hard for.”

Her protest is also directed at the Spanish Football Association. The reason for this is explained by Manuel Hernández Navarrete, the so-called “father” of women’s football in Malaga: “I’ve been contacted by people who told me that they had spoken to the Federation and were told that our Supercup was not official. How can it not be official? Our trophy, which is the same as the men’s, bears the stamp of the RFEF and I have my letter from [then RFEF president] Ángel Maria Villar, acknowledging me as the first coach to achieve the treble.”

With so many memories to erase, rewriting history won’t be so easy.