CA Osasuna vs Real Madrid: The fixture with the loudest crowd in LaLiga Santander history

Matchday 22 of the 2022/23 LaLiga Santander season will bring up one of the most passionate fixtures in Spanish football: CA Osasuna vs Real Madrid. It was in this matchup that the record for the loudest stadium in Spain was set, back on the final day of the 2008/09 season. 

That day, May 31st 2009, CA Osasuna took on Real Madrid at El Sadar needing a win and results elsewhere to go their way in order to secure an unlikely stay in LaLiga Santander. They entered the 38th and final matchday inside the relegation zone in 18th place, but within touching distance of Real Sporting, Real Betis, Getafe CF and Real Valladolid.

A dramatic 2-1 victory over Real Madrid that day, combined with Getafe CF drawing and Real Betis and Real Valladolid drawing with each other, meant that CA Osasuna leapfrogged all three to finish the season in 15th place, sending Real Betis down instead.

Following first-half strikes from Gonzalo Higuaín and Jaroslav Plašil and with results elsewhere not going in CA Osasuna’s favour, the Pamplona side looked to be on their way down to LaLiga SmartBank. But, as the hour-mark approached, up stepped Juanfran Torres – who would go on to play for Atlético de Madrid for many years – to slam a frankly outrageous volley from outside the area past Iker Casillas. After the match, he told reporters: “There’s no better stadium than this to celebrate a goal like that.”

He was right. The 19,239 crowd went wild, screaming so loud in their euphoria that the roar was measured at 115.17 decibels, a noise level similar to the sound made by a jet engine. That remains the loudest sound ever recorded at a LaLiga stadium to this day. The previous record of 112 decibels, registered during an ElClasico clash between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid in 2000, was set on the day Luis Figo returned to the Camp Nou for the first time after his controversial world-record move earlier that summer.

The 2021 World Stadium of the Year

Even though the registered attendance at El Sadar that day in 2009 was under 20,000, the importance of the situation, the brilliance of the goal and the architecture of the stadium helped to produce this record roar. Even today, the stadium continues to produce plenty of noise and the club recently carried out a major redevelopment combined with an extension.

Through an open and inclusive referendum process, CA Osasuna fans and members were able to vote on the plans to redevelop El Sadar and opted for the “Red Wall” option, which increased capacity, improved views of the pitch and further enhanced acoustics.

Following this redevelopment process, El Sadar was named as the “World Stadium of the Year 2021” by Stadium Database, a leading publication covering stadiums and sporting infrastructure on an international level. That website praised the creation of what is a modern and striking arena for more than 23,500 fans, the signature of which is the omnipresent red. Therefore, the future at El Sadar is bright, and loud.  And who knows? Los Rojillos might even break another decibel record, perhaps if they defeat Real Madrid this Saturday night.

MG Team

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