SD Huesca captain’s armbands: A way of celebrating the culture and identity of each opponent

The captain’s armbands worn in Spanish football are very colourful and very varied. There’s no homogeneous league-branded armband that all captains must wear. Instead, each club captain can don one that means something special, perhaps with a design based on the club colours or the regional flag. SD Huesca, however, have done something very unique this season, as they’ve decided to create a different armband for captain Jorge Pulido for each of their 21 away trips in LaLiga SmartBank, Spain’s second tier.

In collaboration with a Huesca-based graphic design agency, the club have created armbands which reflect the culture and identity of every one of the clubs they’ve been taking on during the 2019/20 season.

For example, Pulido’s armband for Huesca’s visit to Cádiz CF featured a Spanish guitar in reference to the Chirigota – a kind of choir-based folklore – culture of that province. For the match away at Girona, the armband referenced the Costa Brava. They even designed a special one for the visit to Real Zaragoza, their local rivals from the region of Aragon, with the flag of the autonomous community featured and with wind effects added as a nod to the fact that Zaragoza is known as ‘the windy city.’

Even on the rare occasions when Pulido hasn’t been able to play, this initiative has kept going. His vice-captain Mikel Rico wore an armband with a tribute to the city of Ponferrada’s railways for the fixture at SD Ponferradina, as well as one celebrating the fountains of Fuenlabrada when he led the team out for the match there.

“We may be rivals on the pitch, but there’s also a need to establish links between cities,” SD Huesca’s communications director Jara Echeverría explained to Spanish newspaper El País. “Football is the best way to promote the beauty of our regions.”

With Spain made up of 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities, it is a diverse country with many different cultures and traditions and this initiative from SD Huesca has been a unique and fun way to celebrate this. The directors at the other 21 clubs of LaLiga SmartBank have loved this unique project too and SD Huesca have made a second copy of each captain’s armband to present as a gift during each away trip.

At home, they have been wearing an armband focussed on their own traditions and cultures, but for the first match back at the El Alcoraz stadium after the coronavirus-enforced pause in the season there was another special design. As a way of expressing gratitude to all the key workers who helped make a return to the new normality possible, SD Huesca ensured they featured on the armband.

Huesca were confirmed LaLiga SmartBank champions on the last day of the regular season… who knows if this tradition brought them good luck in such a unique season!