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Wednesday, February 22, 2006 (read 744 times)
A Real Madrid Football Match in Spainby Bas
Saturday the 4th of Febuary the day had finally arrived. It was a wish to be fulfilled. My first visit to Real Madrid. Because I have been a fan of Real Madid for years now, this was a true highlight for me. At 1:30 pm the bus should have left to Madrid, but a used to with Spaniards the bus was not leaving till 2:15 pm, but no one seemd bothered by it. The only disadvantage was the long journey by bus, but it was worth it. At first I was the only Dutch person of the don Quijotte group who was going to the game, although I knew there were two Dutch persons already in Madrid waiting for us to arrive. The journey up there was spend by looking out the window, sleaping or watching the very entertaining Spanish movie "Dias de Fútbol". In total the journey took about three hours, but Madrid is rather far away from Salamanca. In advance we were told that driving through Madrid should take about an hour, but eventually it took less than expected. And it is no punishment driving through fabulous Madrid.
You can see pictures of the match in this photo album.
We arrived at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu at about a quarter past five. The stadium is an impressive building in the middle of Madrid's main business centre, forming a beautiful view together with Madrid's skyscrapers. At seven we had to meet at Torre B, but as we arrived at a quarter past five, we still had 1 hour and 45 minutes left to wander around. Outside of the stadium there were a lot of market stalls where all kinds of thing were sold with a Real Madrid logo on it. From lighters till jersey's, from scarfs till flags. They also have a official fanshop that's inside the stadium. From there you could have a quick look into the stadium.
At seven we met at the Torre B, one of the four towers at the corners of the stadium. Here we received the entradas (tickets) so we could go in the stadium. In the bus towards Madrid we were warned that at the stadium they are very strict concerning hard objects. The Dutch persons already in Madrid had a sportsbag with them. Normally in Holland it would not be a problem to bring it into the stadium as long as it doesn't have weapons inside. In Spain it is a problem. The sportsbag could go inside but the hard objects could not. So one of the Dutch persons had to throw away his Hugo Boss bottle worth 80€ and a jar of wax. This way a match is becoming very expensive. But we went to the game after all. Our seats were on the third layer, way up high. From up there you get a real inpression of how big the stadium is. I have visited many stadiums in my live but this one is the most impressive. Although way up high we could se everything clearly. Our seats were directly behind the goal so we had a clear view over the pitch. The seats are rather small, because of that you were sitting against your neighbours. Very odd in comparison with Holland is that the stadium fills up rather late. Ten minutes before the match the stadium wasn't even half full but 15 minutes later the stadium was nearly packed. Over 72,000 visited the match providing Real Madrid with over 519,000 Euros of match receipts, according to the scoreboard.
Before the start of the game it was clear that Ronaldo was back in the first team again, also that Raúl would not play because of an injury and that Sergio Ramos was supended. The first 15 minutes of the game were not that good. The game was going up and down and Real wasn't playing well untill the first goal. Guti scored out of a brilliant cross from David Beckham. After the first goal Real was playing with his opponent leaving Espanyol no chance at all. Ronaldo and Zidane were playing amazingly, but surprisingliy enough Real yet decided the match near the end of the first half. In the 43th minute Zidane's shot from 10 meters mend 2-0, and two minutes later Ronaldo headed in the 3-0. At half time everyone was hoping for a big score bute the second half only brought us one goal more, while it could have been 8-0 easily. Zidane's strike from 20 meters brought the 4-0 on the scoreboard. After that Real got loads of chances to send Espanyol back to Barcelona with a giant hangover. Ronaldo, Zidane, Robinho, Beckham and Baptista all got big chances to make the score even worse for Espanyol, but sometimes miraculously the ball didn't go in to the back of the net. The match reminded me of the great matches they played some two years ago. The second half Pablo Garcia (Thomas Gravesen), Antonio Cassano (Gúti) and Julio Baptista (David Beckham) entered the field, but the score didn't increase. So the whole journey back to Salmanca we had the 4-0 in the back of our heads.
We arrived back in Salmanca at 1:30 am. It was an incredible day with good football, and a dream come true.
Keywords: real madrid,football,spain