For decades, the members of Ultras Sur have boisterously cheered on Real Madrid. The group came into existence in 1980 and became a force to reckon with among the Madrid fan base. They were born from the Pena Las Banderas.
Just like many other ultras across Europe, Real Madrid’s Ultras Sur specialise in huge and colourful demonstrations of choreographed support. They come out with booming chants, blazing red flares, and colourful banners. They have a deep love for their club and fly Spanish flags to showcase their extreme right-wing ideologies of nationalism and fascism.
Ultras Sur main symbol in a medieval axe and they are well-known hooligans. They remain a cult-like supporters group, united by their questionable values and ideologies.
With a membership of more than 1,000 individuals, the group is considered one of the most powerful in the Spanish League. Ultras Sur views their late fascist leader General Franco as their ideology trailblazer. The ultras are extremely loyal to Real Madrid.
The Ultras Sur describe themselves as group comrades who have known each other for a long time. They have gone through different types of circumstances, both adverse and benevolent. That’s why they have a motto, ‘always faithful’.
The group has close ties with the club administration and even though they’ve had a few run-ins, they are still part of the club. Coming out of a 7-1 win over Osasuna, club coach at that time Jose Mourinho stood with the Ultras Sur. He said that if it was not for their support, the stadium would feel empty.
Before 2013, the group occupied the South Stand of the Bernabeu. This is where they obtained their name Ultras Sur (The South Ultras).
Rift with the Club President
Real Madrid Club President had a run-in with the ultras after he banned the group from attending games in 2014. The move negatively impacted the fan environment at the Bernabeu. After this, the Ultras Sur declared war with the club president.
Florentino Perez thought he had won the war against Ultras Sur after he expelled them from their location in the stadium. However, he continues to lose the war with the group. They returned to the stadium and are remain an integral part of the Bernabéu atmosphere.
Perez had initially wanted to replace them with a new group, the Grada Joven. However, they did not live up to the expectation and the Bernabeu atmosphere.
After the ban, the ultras became more resolute. They reinforced themselves by attending the Castilla matches while also buying tickets online and locating themselves at different areas in the stadium. The ultras have now returned to the Southern area and are very vocal.
Alliances and Rivalries
The Ultras Sur have alliances with other far right-wing ultras across Europe. They have closes ties to S.S. Lazio’s Irriducibili. Additionally, they are friendly with the Bad Gones (Olympique Lyonnais), Ultras of LKS Lodz (Poland), and with ultras from Hellas Verona.
Ultras Sur is rivals with Barcelona and its fans. This rivalry is not your average competition. The rivalry reflects the political, cultural, and territorial tensions that are felt between the Castilians and the Catalans.
Additionally, they are fierce rivals with Atletico Madrid supporters who are just nearby neighbours. With the rapid rise of Atletico in recent years, the rivalry has also grown exponentially.
Immortal Like Time, Unmatched Like History
Even though they may demand too much from their players, the Ultras Sur don’t often clash with their players. They have one player that they hold dearly top their hearts; Juanito Gomez. He played for Real Madrid for ten years but tragically died in a road accident.
In the 7th minute of every game at the Santiago Bernabeu, you can hear his name “Illa Illa Illa Juanito Maravilla” being chanted. He remains an integral part of the Ultras Sur because he supported them when he was still there.
No Place for Racism! No Place for Ultras Sur?
There is no place for racism or any other type of discrimination in football. Most football federations, players, and club officials are with that. However, there are still terraces littered with racism and fascist ideologies.
In light of the fact that the beautiful game is becoming more inclusive and open to people of all creeds, it is hard to envision that goups like the Ultras Sur will be able to retain their positions in stadia across the globe.
Fascist supporters groups will eventually be pushed out of the stadiums because, frankly, no one wants them there.