José María Olazábal takes the honorary kick-off at Real Sociedad on ThursdayJosé María Olazábal will never forget 2012. His captaincy of the European Ryder Cup team that pulled off the miracle at Medinah will be the highlight - but only just.

Olazábal in his Real Sociedad jersey. Picture via OpenGolf.esThe Basque is a huge fan of Real Socieded and before Thursday night’s 2-1 La Liga win over Sevilla he was presented with the club’s gold and diamond studded insignia, its highest honour, for his “exemplary sporting trajectory as well as his condition as a lifelong fan of La Real.”

José María Olazábal is presented with his insignia by Real Socieded President, Jokin Aperribay. Picture via“It’s a special day,” Olazábal said at Anoeta. “I’ve always said that when they pay homage to you at home in your own land, it touches you a little closer to your heart. In this case it’s La Real, the team I’ve supported my whole life. The fans were very warm in their applause and you could feel that.”

Olazábal is not the only Spanish golfer to be honoured by a La Liga club. Seve Ballesteros, received the gold and diamond insignia from FC Barcelona and Racing Santander in his day and also hit balls from the Avenida de la Castellana into Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

An emotional Seve was presented with a Racing Santander jersey in August 2009, less than two years before his death.