Betis, against Winterthur, who played the 1st 'World Cup'

The first green-and-white friendly of the summer, against a team from the Second Swiss team in which former German coach Joachim Löw and Serbian Milutinovic played.


Betis opens this preseason with a friendly against FC Winterthur (15:00, Betis TV), a team that belongs to the Swiss city of the same name and that plays in the Challenge League, the second division of the Swiss country. A 125-year-old entity that was a league champion three times at the beginning of the last century, but which has declined in recent decades after playing regularly in the top flight for much of its history.

Any time past was better for Winterthur, who lifted their last title in 1917 and a few years earlier, in 1909, had the privilege of competing in the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy, considered by some historians to be the first ever World Cup in football. Italy, Germany and Switzerland sent their best respective club but England refused and an amateur team came from the Anglo-Saxon country, West Auckland, which nevertheless ended up lifting the title by defeating Winterthur in the final, 2-0.

Without top players today, the Swiss team has had well-known faces from world football in its ranks. One of them, the German coach until the last European Championship, Joachim Löw, in his last days as a footballer from 1992 to 94. Also playing for Winterthur in the 1960s was the Serbian team trotter Bora Milutinovic, who has trained no less than 8 teams during his career on the bench.

Pellegrini cannot count for the match, which is played at the Schützenwiese stadium, with Calderón and Dani Martín, as well as internationals Guido Rodríguez, Guardado, Lainez, William Carvalho and Rui Silva, who are still on vacation. Fekir, Joaquín and Camarasa, who have had physical problems in recent days, are doubtful. The game is with fans in the stands, but those who attend must bring a vaccination certificate, proof of having passed the disease or a negative test (PCR, antigens) in the last hours.

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