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Sporting Gijón
Real Sporting de Gijon.svg
Full name Real Sporting de Gijón, S.A.D.
Nickname(s) Rojiblancos (Red-and-Whites)
Short name RSG, Sporting
Founded 1 July 1905; 118 years ago (1905-07-01) (as Sporting Gijonés)
Ground El Molinón-Enrique Castro "Quini"
Ground Capacity 30,000
Owner Grupo Orlegi
President Alejandro Irarragorri
Head coach Abelardo
League Segunda División
2021–22 Segunda División, 17th of 22
Third colours

Real Sporting de Gijón, S.A.D. (Spanish pronunciation: [reˈal esˈpoɾtin de xiˈxon]), commonly known as Real Sporting, Sporting Gijón, or simply Sporting (although in an international context this can lead to confusion with Sporting Clube de Portugal) is a Spanish football club from Gijón, Principality of Asturias. Founded on 1 July 1905, it plays in La Liga Santander. Known as Los Rojiblancos because of their red and white striped jerseys, their home ground is El Molinón stadium, the oldest professional football ground in Spain, in use since at least 1908. Traditionally their red and white shirts are accompanied by blue shorts with the socks recently also being blue. Its Asturian name is Real Sporting de Xixón.

The most important milestones of the club were in the 1970s and 1980s, when it finished as runner-up of the 1978–79 La Liga and played two finals of the Copa del Rey in 1981 and 1982.

Real Sporting is also one of only nine Spanish teams that have never played below the second division. Its local rivals are Real Oviedo from the neighbouring city slightly inland.


1905–1940: First years

The club was established in 1905 with the name Sporting Gijonés, Anselmo López being the first club president. The first game of the club is dated on 18 August 1907, against Sport Ovetense. The decline of other local clubs like Gijón Sport Club (founded in 1903) and Sportiva Gijonesa allowed Sporting Gijonés to become the main team in the city. In 1912, King Alfonso XIII accepted the Royal patronage of the club for the Spanish Crown, introducing the term "Real" (Spanish for Royal) to its name, becoming Real Sporting Club Gijonés.

In 1914, Sporting Gijón won its first Regional Championship of Asturias, success repeated two years later when the club started the first steps to buy El Molinón, where Sporting started to play its games in 1915. On 2 April 1916, a new change took place to adopt today's denomination, Real Sporting de Gijón. Thank to the win at the Regional Championship, on 24 April 1917 the club made its debut in the Copa del Rey, but was eliminated in the first round by Arenas Club de Getxo. Sporting lost both games by 0–1 in Gijón and 0–7 at the Basque Country.

On 9 October 1921, Manolo Meana became the first Sporting Gijón player to be called up with the Spanish national team, for a friendly game against Belgium. In 1929, Sporting Gijón joined Segunda División. In its first season, the club finished in the fourth position.

Real Gijón
Logo during Real Gijón era.

1940–1970: Real Gijón era

From 1940 until 1970, due to a temporary law forbidding the use of foreign words in football club names, the team's official denomination was Real Gijón.

In 1944, the club was promoted to La Liga for the first time as champion of the 1943–44 Segunda División. The first game in the top tier was played on 24 September 1944, against Español at Sarriá. The game finished without goals. The first goal was scored in the next game against Deportivo de La Coruña, by Gundemaro, but the first win did not arrive until the week 6, when the team beat Atlético Aviación by 2–0. Sporting Still is in remaining in La Liga Right now.

Until the 1970s, Sporting alternated both divisions, spending all the decade of the 1960s in Segunda División. At the end of the 1960–61 Segunda División the club was relegated to Tercera División after losing the relegation playoffs against Burgos, but the resignation of Condal to continue playing in the second tier allows Sporting to play a repechage playoff against Sevilla Atlético and Castellón. In the first match, Sporting tied 3–3 against Castellón. The winner of the match would be decided by a coin toss. After winning the two previous coin tosses during the match, choosing tails in both, captain Pepe Ortiz decided to choose again tails, and Sporting became the winner of the game. In the final for remaining in the category, Sporting defeated Sevilla Atlético by 2–1.

1970–1992: The golden years and EuroSporting

Quini 1983
Quini, Sporting's all-time top scorer, was one of the club's best players during their golden years.

In 1970, with the name of "Sporting" recovered, the club would start its consolidation in La Liga despite a relegation to Segunda División in 1975. This year would mean the start of the golden era of the club.

Just after promoting in 1976, Sporting Gijón started the 1977–78 season by accumulating eight matches without losses. Finally, the Rojiblancos finished in the fifth position qualifying for the first time to the UEFA Cup.

Players like Quini, Cundi, Enzo Ferrero or Antonio Maceda and others would make history in the 1978–79 club's season, considered the best one in the history of the club. The season started with the first round of the UEFA Cup, where on 13 September 1978, Sporting beat Torino 3–0 at El Molinón. In the second round, Sporting was eliminated by Red Star Belgrade. The club finished the first half of La Liga leading the table, tied in points with Real Madrid, but a 0–1 loss to the Merengues completely ruined their title hopes.

In 1981, the club played for the first time the Cup Final. In the game played at Estadio Vicente Calderón on 18 June 1981, Sporting was defeated 1–3 by Barcelona. Former Sporting Gijón player Quini, considered as the most important player in the club's history, scored two goals for the blaugranas. Sporting repeated success in 1982, but this time Real Madrid beat the rojiblancos 1–2. During the 1980s Sporting accumulated four more participations at UEFA Cup, but always was eliminated in the first round. On 16 September 1987, Sporting won the first leg game against Arrigo Sacchi's AC Milan, but a 0–3 defeat in Italy cut off Sporting's possibilities. In the previous 1986–87 season, Sporting beat Barcelona at Camp Nou by 0–4, the biggest win away in the club's history in La Liga. One year before, Manuel Vega-Arango, president since 1977, left office.

The last UEFA Cup participation was during the 1991–92 season. Sporting Gijón eliminated Partizan after a penalty shootout, but failed to defeat Steaua București in the second round.

On 6 October 1992, Sporting Gijón played its 1,000th game in La Liga.

1992–2008: Decline of the club

In 1992, following the law, Real Sporting de Gijón became a Sociedad Anónima Deportiva. Its official name since that moment is Real Sporting de Gijón, S.A.D. The internal financial crisis and the departure of important players triggers the decline of the club, pushing it to the lower positions in La Liga. In the 1994–95 season, Sporting remained in La Liga thanks to winning the relegation playoffs against Lleida, but three years later, following a disastrous 1997–98 campaign where Sporting only earned 13 points (two wins and seven draws in 38 games), the club was relegated to Second Division, finishing its 21-year continuous stretch in La Liga.

Due to the financial crisis during the 2000s, the club was menaced by its possible dissolution and was forced to sell the Escuela de Fútbol de Mareo to the Municipal Town Hall for €12m in August 2001. The 2003–04 season started with several doubts after the transfer of David Villa to Zaragoza and the election of Marcelino García Toral as head coach, who previously relegated the reserve team to Tercera División. However, the club was close to promotion to La Liga, but failed to accomplish the goal, finishing in the fifth position. After accumulating €51m of debts in its worst years, Real Sporting was close to being administratively relegated at the end of the 2004–05 season.

2008–2012: Return to La Liga with Manuel Preciado

Sporting xixon
Football players celebrate with their fans the club's return to top-flight, 15 June 2008

With Manuel Preciado at the helm of the team since 2006, the 2007–08 season started with the club unbeaten during the first nine games. Finally, on 15 June 2008, the club secured promotion back to La Liga after beating 2–0 Eibar in the last round.

In its first season after the return, the 2008–09, Sporting conceded 20 goals in its first five games, but achieved important wins like the one at Mestalla against Valencia by 3–2 or the 1–0 win against Sevilla. In a season where the team broke La Liga record of 29 consecutive games without any draw (a 1–1 finish with Athletic Bilbao on 3 May 2009), Sporting avoided relegation in the last round after a win by 2–1 against last qualified Recreativo de Huelva.

On 2 April 2011, they beat Real Madrid 1–0 at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium to end Real manager José Mourinho's nine-year home league unbeaten run. This was the best season of the club since the last promotion, as it finished in the 10th position.

The 2011–12 season started without wins in the first eight games and the team remained in the relegation positions almost all the season. On 31 January 2012, after a 5–1 loss against Real Sociedad, Manolo Preciado was sacked. The Cantabrian coach ended his era after nearly six years in the club and being very appreciated by all the club supporters. Javier Clemente was hired for avoiding the relegation, but despite keeping the possibilities until the last round, failed and the club was condemned to a new relegation, that carried a new financial crisis in the club.

2014–2022: Los guajes and a new decline

On 4 May 2014, Abelardo Fernández was appointed as head coach after José Ramón Sandoval was sacked. In his first season at the first squad, Abelardo could not achieve the promotion to La Liga after being eliminated in the semifinals of the play-offs by Las Palmas.

However, the manager extended his contract for two years. Sporting was not allowed to sign any player out from the reserve team during 2014–15 season due to the non-payments, but despite this disadvantage, Sporting once again returned to La Liga with a squad where 17 players played before in the reserve team or any of the youth teams of the club. After only two losses in all the season, Sporting promoted in the last round by beating 3–0 Real Betis at Benito Villamarín stadium and a late equaliser conceded by rival Girona in their separate match against CD Lugo, when Sporting's game just finished.

During its comeback season, Sporting had the same sanction due to a delay in payments to the players during the previous season. The club was only allowed to sign, by loan, three new under-23 players without experience in La Liga (Antonio Sanabria from Roma, Alen Halilović from Barcelona and Omar Mascarell from Real Madrid).

The season started with a 0–0 draw against Real Madrid, managed by Rafa Benítez, at El Molinón. Despite an irregular path, Sporting obtained very important wins like a 1–0 at Mestalla, a 2–1 against Atlético Madrid or a 5–1 against Real Sociedad. After earning a 1–1 draw at Getafe, the club finally avoided relegation in the last round after beating Villarreal by 2–0 and taking advantage of the win of Real Betis against Getafe. The era of Abelardo ended in January 2017, when he left the club after earning only five points in 15 matches and, despite changing the manager, the club was finally relegated again to Segunda División.

In the successive years, Sporting remained in Segunda División, only playing the promotion play-offs in 2018. The club continued a decline until 2022, where it narrowly avoided relegation to the third division. Abelardo came back to ensure the place in Segunda in the latest four rounds.

2022–present: Grupo Orlegi as new owners

On 28 June 2022, majority shareholder Javier Fernández sold the club to Mexican group Orlegi Sports by €43m, thus becoming the second highest sale of a club in Spain. Alejandro Irarragorri the first foreign President of the club.

Club colours and crest

Flag of Gijón
Flag of Gijón.
Bandera sporting
Club's flag.

Real Sporting de Gijón have worn red and white striped jerseys since their inception, being the first Spanish team to wear red and white, as both Athletic Bilbao and Atlético Madrid wore blue and white until 1909. The colors are those of the official flag of Gijón, which itself is based on the flag of the maritime province of Gijón, established in 1845. The color of the shorts alternated between blue and white, as in the first years there was not any officiality for its colors. In the 1910s, finally, the color blue was established as the color of the shorts of the first kit.

Currently, Sporting wears both blue shorts and socks but until the 1980s they were black. In the 1990s, Sporting wore white shorts and socks, until the supporters voted to come back to the traditional blue.

Like most old football clubs, Real Sporting de Gijón did not initially have any badge displayed on their shirts. Their first official badge was introduced in the 1920s. It consisted of a traditionally shaped shield split into three sections, representing the club and the city.

From 1931 to 1936, during the Spanish Second Republic, the badge consisted of a circular shield and had the royal crown in the top replaced by a mural crown.

The club's badge is a triangle with red and white vertical stripes with 'S' (for Sporting) and 'G' (for Gijón) intertwined, in gold, across them. A crown in the top symbolizes the royal patronage.


The club's official flag consists of nine equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white in a rectangular field in a 2:3 ratio. The club logo is displayed in the centre.


El Molinón, with a capacity for 29,029 spectators, holds the games of Sporting de Gijón.

Despite existing since at least 1908, Sporting did not start to use it until 1915. Before this year, the club played its games in different zones of the city. Firstly at San Lorenzo beach and later in the pitches of Prau Redondu (near El Humedal), La Matona in Somió, that was rented by the club for three months by paying 100 pesetas, and La Flor de Valencia in La Guía.

In 2018, the stadium was renamed as El Molinón-Enrique Castro "Quini" after the death of the club's all-time top scorer Quini.


Escuela de Mareo 01
The club headquarters, in Mareo

The Escuela de Fútbol de Mareo is the training ground and academy base of Sporting de Gijón. It was opened on 28 March 1978 and it also has the club headquarters in it.

Located just 7 km away from the city center and covering 112,000 m2, it is used for training and youth teams matches. At present, facilities include inter alia, eight pitches, one service building (including team catering areas), a gymnasium, and a medical centre. The main pitch, where Sporting de Gijón B plays its games, is called Campo Pepe Ortiz and has a capacity for 3,000 people.

Mareo is a very prolific cantera, where several international football players grown being widely famous like Eloy, Ablanedo, Luis Enrique, Abelardo, Manjarín, Juanele or David Villa, World Champion in 2010 with the Spain national team.

In addition to Mareo, Sporting Gijón has a second academy located in Logroño, also called Mareo.


Sporting at Castellón
La Mareona, at Castalia in May 2008.

Sporting de Gijón supporters commonly call themselves Sportinguistas in order to show their dedication to the club. Sportinguistas are widely regarded as one of the most loyal, traveler, and cheerful supporter groups in La Liga, providing one of the best atmospheres in the competition. When following their team in large groups through the country, they are referred to as La Mareona, Spanish for The Big Tide, composed mainly by 240 groups of supporters or peñas.

About 300,000 fans showed up when Sporting's promotion was celebrated in June 2008.

Sporting finished the 2015–16 season with 23,400 season tickets; this record would be beaten in August 2016, when the club reached the 24,078 tickets sold, and again in the 2017–18 season, with 24,402 season tickets despite suffering a relegation in the previous season.


The team's historic rival is Real Oviedo. They compete in the Asturian derby.


National titles

  • La Liga: runners-up, 1978–79
  • Copa del Rey: runners-up, 1981, 1982
  • Segunda División: winners, 1943–44, 1950–51, 1956–57, 1969–70, 1976–77; runners-up 1929–30, 2014–15

Individual honours

Pichichi Trophy

Zamora Trophy


Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1929 2 4th Round of 32
1929–30 2 2nd Round of 32
1930–31 2 4th Round of 16
1931–32 2 3rd Quarter-finals
1932–33 2 6th Round of 16
1933–34 2 6th Round of 16
1934–35 2 3rd Round of 16
1935–36 2 3rd Third round
1939–40 2 3rd Round of 16
1940–41 2 3rd Third round
1941–42 2 1st Round of 32
1942–43 2 1st Round of 32
1943–44 2 1st Round of 32
1944–45 1 7th Round of 16
1945–46 1 9th Round of 16
1946–47 1 10th First round
1947–48 1 14th Sixth round
1948–49 2 6th Fifth round
1949–50 2 3rd Second round
1950–51 2 1st Quarter-finals
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1951–52 1 13th
1952–53 1 7th Round of 16
1953–54 1 16th
1954–55 2 4th
1955–56 2 7th
1956–57 2 1st
1957–58 1 12th Round of 16
1958–59 1 15th Round of 16
1959–60 2 5th Quarter-finals
1960–61 2 13th Round of 32
1961–62 2 13th First round
1962–63 2 5th Round of 32
1963–64 2 2nd First round
1964–65 2 3rd Quarter-finals
1965–66 2 3rd Round of 32
1966–67 2 2nd First round
1967–68 2 5th Round of 32
1968–69 2 5th
1969–70 2 1st Fourth round
1970–71 1 12th Round of 32
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1971–72 1 11th Round of 16
1972–73 1 14th Semi-finals
1973–74 1 13th Fifth round
1974–75 1 14th Fourth round
1975–76 1 18th Round of 16
1976–77 2 1st Third round
1977–78 1 5th Semi-finals
1978–79 1 2nd Third round
1979–80 1 3rd Semi-finals
1980–81 1 7th Runners-up
1981–82 1 14th Runners-up
1982–83 1 8th Semi-finals
1983–84 1 13th Quarter-finals
1984–85 1 4th Quarter-finals
1985–86 1 6th Third round
1986–87 1 4th Second round
1987–88 1 9th Round of 16
1988–89 1 13th Round of 16
1989–90 1 13th Quarter-finals
1990–91 1 5th Semi-finals
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1991–92 1 8th Semi-finals
1992–93 1 12th Round of 16
1993–94 1 14th Round of 16
1994–95 1 18th Semi-finals
1995–96 1 18th Round of 16
1996–97 1 15th Third round
1997–98 1 20th Second round
1998–99 2 9th Fourth round
1999–2000 2 9th First round
2000–01 2 7th Round of 64
2001–02 2 6th Round of 16
2002–03 2 10th Round of 64
2003–04 2 5th Round of 64
2004–05 2 11th Round of 64
2005–06 2 9th First round
2006–07 2 13th Second round
2007–08 2 3rd Second round
2008–09 1 14th Quarter-finals
2009–10 1 15th Round of 32
2010–11 1 10th Round of 32
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
2011–12 1 19th Round of 32
2012–13 2 10th Round of 32
2013–14 2 5th Second round
2014–15 2 2nd Second round
2015–16 1 17th Round of 32
2016–17 1 18th Round of 32
2017–18 2 4th Third round
2018–19 2 9th Round of 16
2019–20 2 13th First round
2020–21 2 7th Round of 32
2021–22 2 17th Round of 16
2022–23 2

Sporting de Gijón in European football

Sporting de Gijón played six editions of the UEFA Cup, but only in two of them it passed the first round.

Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Agg.
1978–79 UEFA Cup R64 Italy Torino 3–0 0–1 3–1
R32 Yugoslavia Red Star Belgrade 0–1 1–1 1–2
1979–80 R64 Netherlands PSV Eindhoven 0–0 0–1 0–1
1980–81 R64 Czechoslovakia Bohemians 2–1 1–3 3–4
1985–86 R64 Germany Köln 1–2 0–0 1–2
1987–88 R64 Italy Milan 1–0 0–3 1–3
1991–92 R64 Yugoslavia Partizan 2–0 0–2 2–2
R32 Romania Steaua București 2–2 0–1 2–3


Current squad


No. Position Player
1 Spain GK Iván Cuéllar
2 Spain DF Guille Rosas
3 Spain DF Cote
4 Spain DF Pablo Insua
5 Spain DF Bruno González
6 Spain MF José Gragera
7 Spain FW Aitor García
8 Spain MF Pedro Díaz
9 Spain FW Jony (on loan from Lazio)
10 Spain MF Nacho Méndez
11 Spain FW Víctor Campuzano
No. Position Player
12 Spain FW Cristo González (on loan from Udinese)
13 Spain GK Diego Mariño (captain)
15 Côte d'Ivoire DF Axel Bamba
17 Spain MF Christian Rivera
18 Uruguay MF Giovanni Zarfino
19 Colombia FW Juan Otero (on loan from América)
20 Mexico MF Jordan Carrillo (on loan from Santos)
21 Serbia FW Uroš Milovanović
22 Spain DF Pol Valentín
23 Montenegro FW Uroš Đurđević
24 Argentina DF Carlos Izquierdoz

Reserve team

No. Position Player
26 France GK Florentin Bloch
27 Spain DF David Argüelles
29 Spain DF Jordi Pola
30 Spain FW Dani Queipo
31 Spain FW Álex Oyón
No. Position Player
32 Spain DF Diego Sánchez
33 Spain MF Nacho Martín
34 Spain MF Lucas Suárez
35 Spain DF Juan Aspra
36 Spain MF Marcos Trabanco

Out on loan

No. Position Player
Spain GK Joel Jiménez (at Real Unión until 30 June 2023)
Cuba GK Christian Joel (at Celta B until 30 June 2023)
Spain DF Pablo García (at Alcorcón until 30 June 2023)
No. Position Player
Spain DF Enol Coto (at Racing Ferrol until 30 June 2023)
Spain MF Fran Villalba (at Málaga until 30 June 2023)
Spain MF Gaspar Campos (at Burgos until 30 June 2023)


Current technical staff

Role Name
Head Coach Spain Abelardo
Assistant Coaches Spain Tomás Hervás
Technical assistant Spain Borja de Matías
Analysts Spain Caco Morán
Spain Carlos Hernández
Delegate Spain Mario Cotelo
Goalkeeping Coach Spain Juan Pablo
Fitness Coaches Spain Eduardo Domínguez
Spain Roberto Montes
Chief Doctor Spain Antonio Maestro
Club Doctors Spain Gonzalo Revuelta
Spain Juan Cachero
Physiotherapists Spain César Castaño
Spain Pablo del Fueyo
Spain Pelayo Merediz
Masseur Spain Diego Lobelle
Nutritionist Spain Beatriz Manchón
Podologist Spain Benjamín Arnáiz
Kit men Spain Jorge Luis García
Spain Pablo Caso

Direction and finances

Board of directors

Role Name
Owner Spain Javier Fernández
President Spain Javier Fernández
Vice-president Spain Javier Martínez
Counselors Spain Fernando Losada
Spain Ramón de Santiago
Executive Director Spain Carlos Barcia
Financial Director Spain Guillermo Sampredro
Press & Communication Director Spain José Luis Rubiera
Director of Football Spain Javi Rico
Youth Academy Director Spain Manolo Sánchez
Club Ambassador Spain Joaquín Alonso

Club budgets

Season Division Budget (€)
2013–14 Segunda 14,099,300.00
2014–15 Segunda 11,884,180.00
2015–16 La Liga 31,278,634.45
2016–17 La Liga 43,785,450.00
2017–18 Segunda 23,286,465.00
2018–19 Segunda 24,138,980.00
2019–20 Segunda 23,772,801.00
2020–21 Segunda 20,851,230.00


Until 1992

  • Anselmo López Sánchez (1905–1915)
  • Fernando Fernández Quirós Suárez (1905–1917)
  • Manuel Ignacio González Rivera (1917–1919)
  • Enrique Martínez (1919–1921)
  • Ismael Figaredo Herrero (1921–1928)
  • Roberto González de Anda(1928–1930)
  • Pedro Portillo (1930–1934)
  • Emilio García (1934–1935)
  • Félix García (1935–1938)
  • Pedro González del Río (1938–1940)
  • Secundino Fernández (1940–1945)
  • Juan Velasco (1945–1946)
  • Jesús Fernández Hernández (1946–1947)
  • José María Fernández Álvarez (1946–1947)
  • Secundino Fernández (2) (1948–1949)
  • Paulino Palacios (1949–1954)
  • Joaquín Alonso Díaz (1954–1955)
  • Eustaquio González (1955–1957)
  • Alejandro Vidal (1957–1959)
  • Ramón Gómez Lozano (1959–1960)
  • Aurelio Menéndez González (1960–1961)
  • Francisco Quirós Rodríguez (1961)
  • Víctor Manuel Suarez Díaz (1967–1968)
  • Antonio Ruiz (1967–1968)
  • Carlos Méndez Cuevas (1968–1973)
  • Ángel Vallejo (1973–1977)
  • Manuel Vega-Arango Alvaré (1977–1986)
  • Ramón Muñoz Fernández (1986–1989)
  • Plácido Rodríguez Guerrero (1989–1992)

Since the conversion into SAD in 1992

With Fernández family as owners
  • Eloy Calvo Capellín (1992–1994)
  • Manuel Calvo Pumpido (1994)
  • José Fernández Álvarez (1994–1997)
  • Ángel García Flórez (1997–1998)
  • Germán Ojeda Gutiérrez (1998–1999)
  • Juan Manuel Pérez Arango (1999–2002)
  • Manuel Vega-Arango Alvaré (2) (2002–2013)
  • Antonio Veiga Suárez (2013–2016)
  • Javier Fernández Rodríguez (2016–2022)
With Orlegi Sports as owners
  • Alejandro Carlos Irarragorri Gutiérrez (2022–present)

Women's team

The women's team of Sporting Gijón was founded in 1995 as EF Mareo and declared officially as a section of the club in 2016. It currently plays in Segunda División.


In other time, Sporting Gijón had sections of athletics, handball and rugby union.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Real Sporting de Gijón para niños

  • Sporting de Gijón B – Sporting de Gijón's farm team.
  • Trofeo Villa de Gijón
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