In 1982 the Brazilians put on a master class of skill and ingenuity in Seville

The Scots were swept aside 4-1 with the goals from Zico and Eder – two of the best goals the FIFA World Cup has ever seen.

It was also where David Narey performed his highland fling after putting the Scots ahead.

The Estadio Benito Villamarin is the home ground of Spanish club Real Betis Balompié. 

A stadium resplendent in green and white, these are the colors of the current flag of Andalusia.

Real Betis were the product of a merger.

The name Betis is a pointer to the Romans who invaded this area of Spain during the 2nd century BC. 

Baetis had been the Roman name for the Guadalquivir River when the settlement was known as Hispalis rather than the Seville we know today.

The Benito Villamarin Stadium was originally known as El Estadio de Heliopolis

Over the years it has been through several name changes from Estadio de la Exposicion to Estadio de Heliopolis and also the Estadio Manuel Ruiz de Lopera. In its earliest form it was an 18,000 capacity venue inaugurated before an international challenge match for Spain against Portugal in 1929.

In 1935 Betis won the championship title under ‘Don Patricio‘ the then manager Patrick O’Connell.

Between 1931 and 1935 O’Connell managed Real Betis, at the time known as Betis Balompie.   After leading them to the Segunda División title in 1932 he then guided Betis to their one and only La Liga title during season 1934-35. 

A street in the center of Seville is named after the club’s legendary manager and since 2017 a bust of the manager has existed within the stadium. 

A decline then ensued and things never really got better until the 1950’s.

The resurrection of Real Betis came thanks to President Benito Villamarin who reigned from 1957-1965.

He masterminded the purchase of the Heliopolis ground in 1961.    The 1970’s saw great success with Second Division titles and a Copa Del Rey win in 1977 over Bilbao.

Several refurbishments of the ground have subsequently occurred.

One came thanks to Spain being chosen as the host nation for the 1982 edition of the WC tournament by a FIFA committee in London, England.

Subsequently in 1982 two Group 6 world cup matches were hosted at the refurbished Betis stadium. 

After Spain 1982 the Estadio Benito Villamarin remained largely unchanged until Real Betis decided in 1998 to completely rebuild.  New stands were added on the north and eastern sides of the stadium which complemented the already three-tiered West Stand.

The stadium was then renamed the Estadio Manuel Ruiz de Lopera, after the then-owner of the club.

When President Ruiz de Lopera left the club in 2010, fans voted to reinstall the old Estadio Benito Villamarin title.

In 2015, a decision was made to tear down the single-tiered South Stand and replace it with a new three-tiered stand. This plan would bring the ground into line with the rest of the stadium.  Work started during the summer of 2016 and were fully completed in the summer of 2017.  

This raised the capacity to just over 60,000 seats.

Today the Benito Villarmarin is a vibrant place with Andalusian identity and color come match-day. 

Pointers to the city’s historic past and previous incarnations of the ground still remain.  Moreover the route to the stadium sees evidence of the Iberian-American exhibition of the 1930’s.

The Estadio Benito Villamarin is located in the south of the city of Seville, about 3 kilometers from the historic center. 

The stadium lies on the Avenida la Palmera, a large avenue which connects the stadium in one straight line with the central historic zone.

Facing the main stand across the car park on Calle Doctor Fleming are rows of typically Sevillian villas.

Outside the stadium meanwhile are monuments that make reference to some of the club’s greatest achievements including that 1935 title win to this day still the club’s greatest ever triumph.