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Barcelona hope prolonged rest during break keeps Real Sociedad curse at bay

Post-international break and Anoeta. Two concepts that in recent years have scared the life out of Barcelona. If players didn't fall victim to the "FIFA virus" while playing for their country then they would return jet-lagged from trips to all four corners of the world.

Real Sociedad's stadium, meanwhile, had not been a happy hunting ground for Barca in La Liga. Between 2011 and 2017, they didn't win at Anoeta in the league, losing five games and drawing two. A trip to San Sebastian after an international...

 By Chris Wright

Real Sociedad honour Xabi Prieto by stitching face onto club badge

Real Sociedad have announced that they will be paying a very special tribute to their longest-serving player ahead of his impending retirement.

Xabi Prieto is hanging up his boots at the end of the season after spending his entire professional career at the club.

So, as a mark of gratitude for 14 years of loyal service, Sociedad will take to the pitch in their final home game with Prieto's face stitched onto their shirts, replacing their club crest.

"Xabi has always carried the coat of arms of La...

Real Sociedad aim to write Inigo Martinez out of history with shirt exchange

Inigo Martinez once pledged that he would never leave Real Sociedad for Athletic Bilbao.

Real Sociedad have moved on following the departure of their leading player and captain, Inigo Martinez, to bitter Basque rivals Athletic Bilbao this week and are asking their fans to do the same.

Athletic paid Martinez's €32 million release clause, a club record, and half of what they received from Aymeric Laporte's departure to Manchester City this week as well as offering the player double the wages earned at La Real.

La Real then spent €6m on Martinez's replacement, Roma defender...

 By Tom Marshall

Carlos Vela bids farewell to Real Sociedad and Europe after frustrating stint

Carlos Vela has achieved what very few Mexican players in history have accomplished in Europe: the 28-year-old established himself and earned respect in a six-year cycle at Real Sociedad, which places him second as the foreign player with the most games for the club.

The reaction to Vela calling time on his career in Europe to move to new MLS franchise Los Angeles FC has ranged from low key to lament outside the United States.

In the Spanish sports newspapers on Thursday, Vela's farewell for Real...

Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad ready to renew a special Basque derby rivalry

Real Sociedad are above Athletic Bilbao in La Liga but have only won one of the teams' last seven derbies.

It will all start around 11 o'clock on Saturday morning -- derby day -- at one of the most emblematic locations in central Bilbao. Athletic fans in red-and-white-striped shirts will confront Real Sociedad fans in blue and white and try to wind them up, get the better of them, by going through a catalogue of carefully-crafted put-downs of their rivals and eulogies of their own cause. When they've had a go, la Real's fans will have a go back. And so it will go, round and round, every line more pointed...

Xabi Prieto as happy as ever as Real Sociedad's long-serving heart and soul

Xabi Prieto continues to be the spiritual heart and soul of Real Sociedad amid a 14-year career.

"When I was little, if I was playing up the best way my parents had of stopping me, of getting me to behave was to say: 'Xabi, carry on like that and you won't be going to Atoxa on Sunday.' And I'd be like: 'Oh.' I'd soon stop. Because, bloody hell, going to see la Real was what made me happiest; that was the best moment of the week for me, it was what I most liked doing."

It's been 29 years since Xabi Prieto became a season ticket holder at Real Sociedad. He was five. He's 34 now and is their...