Rogelio celebrates one goal.

HISTORY / Real Betis and The Three Wise Men parade

The Green and Whites won the last two times they played on the 5th of January and in 1975, Rogelio scored the only hat trick in his career

By Manolo Rodríguez

Once Real Betis begins to play the game at Huesca tonight the first match of 2019, the streets of Seville will be flooded by The Three Wise Men parade. This is the closing event for Christmas in Spain, as the presents are brought to families on the 6th of January by these biblical characters.

However, back in time, things not were this way. Real Betis has always tried to avoid playing at the same time as the parade. It has not happened much, though, as the Green and Whites have barely played, away and home, on said date. All the contrary if we look at the 6th, Three Wise Men Day, in which the team has played several times. The most recent event on that day was the great victory 3-5 in the derby last year. An unforgettable present.

In modern times, there are only two matches that were played at the same time as the parade. The most recent, in 1986. That 5th of January, the 19 Matchday in LaLiga was being played. The team hosted Celta de Vigo and the time chosen for the kick off was Noon, in order to not disturb the parade that marched in the evening.


That afternoon, Real Betis won 3-2. A hard-worked victory after the Galicians got the lead twice. Romo, Hadzibegic and Vado scored the goals. The Bosnian Faruk Hadzibegic was the best on the pitch (he was starting to outstand in his first season at the Club), and the last goal came in the 87th minute to make the stands burst into joy.


These were the line-ups:


Real Betis: Cervantes, Diego, Alex, Hadzibegic, Calleja, Ortega, Parra, Romo, Ito (Valdo, m.80), Gabino, Calderón.


RC Celta: Pereira, Lemos, Maraver, Javi, Mercader; Atilano, Lema, Arteaga, Marián (Cortés, m.75), Baltazar (Contreras, m.49), Lucas.


Betis was then managed by Luis Carriega in his second spell, and Celta were coached by José Luis García Tarid, who had formerly coached Betis for six months.


The Schedule for the second event that happened on that date were much tighter. To be more precise, on Sunday 5th of January of 1975, when there were two games left to finish the first leg of a happy season for the Béticos. That year, Real Betis was the only team in the city playing in the top division.


The squad was managed by Ferenc Szusza and were in seventh position in the table that day but with the same amount of points the firth placed had. The team had already beaten FC Barcelona at home and even beaten the mighty Athletic de Bilbao at San Mamés. People were happy.


On Three Wise Men Day eve, Hercules of Alicante arrived to Heliópolis. The parade was scheduled to start at six, so the game kicked off at 3.45 p.m. to try to avoid problems.


The stadium was completely full for the match. It was a sunny and nice afternoon and Betis gave away free tickets for children under 12. Candy and sweets were also handed out before the game and during half time. It was a festive day, specially for the youngest.


On the pitch, the spotlight was entirely for Rogelio Sosa. The great Rogelio, who scored that day the only hat trick in his career. Three goals to taker the ball home (his own little present) and make a 3-0. Two penalties (the first and the third goals) and a powerful header.


That 1974-1975 season was Rogelio's bets in his career. He played more than ever (30 league and 4 cup games) and scored 8 goals. A magnificent record for this legend who had made his debut in 1962 and was 31 at this time. The undisputable captain who leaded the squad that won the Copa del Rey in 1077.


These were the line-ups that day:



Real Betis: Esnaola, Bizcocho, Biosca, Sabaté, Cobo, López, Alabanda, Cardeñosa, Benítez (Del Pozo, m.70), Rogelio (Blanco, m.82), Anzarda.


Hércules: Humberto, Juan Antonio, Giuliano, Rivera, Quique, Andréu (Pachón, m.26), Baena, Juan Carlos, Pepín, Arieta, Carcelén (Illán, m.66).


As it has been said, twice has Real Betis played on the 5th of January and they won both of them, without prejudice to The Three Wise Men parade. In Huesca, they will happen at the same time, but let's hope is with a positive score as well.