Madrid in the Sunshine
Monday 4th June 2018
So, is this classed as the final game of last season or the first of next? Surely with a 6 week break to Borehamwood away it must be the former. But we wore our new home kit for the first time. That throws a bit of a spanner in the works!
All this admittedly sounds mighty irrelevant but believe me it was discussed, at length, by those who decided to join 70 odd thousand others on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the Bernabeu Stadium. It’s what many of us do you see. Discussing matters like this and thinking long and hard about other facts, statistics and history in a quiz like fashion form good conversation and banter, be it whilst sat in a bar enjoying a few beers or trying to make the long journeys to away games go a bit quicker!
Going all the way to Madrid for a Legends game could be described as a bit mad. Stupid, pointless, irrelevant in fact. And I get that point of view. But cheap return flights, the promise of beautiful weather, an afternoon in one of the great sporting arenas and the magnificent sights, sounds, food and weekend nightlife served up by one of our continent’s very best cities proved too big a temptation to turn down when the match was announced a few months back. And please tell me which bit of that lot doesn’t sound attractive.
City wise, our host didn’t disappoint, the dozens of uber cool streets serving up exquisite tapas, fine beer and wine all making up a thoroughly relaxing few days. And meeting up with the usual travelling suspects added to that.
Outside the stadium come Sunday evening, the glorious weather, Real’s recent Champions League success and the prospect of the locals getting to witness some of their club’s past heroes in the flesh meant there was a proper party atmosphere and sense of occasion.
Last time we visited it was one of ‘those’ nights. Memorable beyond belief I can still see Thierry waltzing through the Real defence to slot home and clinch an historic victory. There were Gooners all over the stadium that night but the vast majority of us were in our usual allocated position in Spain of way up in the Gods (tier 5 in fact).
Sunday we didn’t need to do that of course so taking our position along the side next to the press box we really got to take a good look at the stadium on matchday.
If I’m honest, in the warm up and in the first 15 minutes or so I genuinely thought those representing the red and white could be on the end of a hammering. Not only did our hosts have almost twice as many players in their ‘squad’ as we did, the vast majority looked slim and fit enough to have retired the day before! Many of our lot (and I apologise now for my lack of respect) on the other hand looked……well…….like they were enjoying their retirement!
But d’you know what, in an entertaining encounter, they very much held their own and in the latter stages, arguably when fitness could have told (especially as Real brought on about 7 fresh pairs of legs!) they can count themselves a little unlucky not to have come away with a result from the game. Still, at least we got the away goal! 😉
A thoroughly enjoyable day in and equally enjoyable weekend and I think it’s finally time for a football break. At least as far as actually attending matches is concerned that is. What with the World Cup being on the telly and all that.
Enjoy the Summer Gooners.
Borehamwood is just 6 weeks away!