Sport Soccer

Saturday 17 March 2018

Real disaster for Albanian PR as Galacticos left in dark

ALBANIA may not be renowned as a hotbed of European football but Real Madrid's stars certainly won't forget their brief midweek visit to the Balkan state.

Madrid were in Tirana to play a friendly against newly promoted Gramozi, with the Spanish giants receiving €2m, courtesy of the Albanian club's mega-bucks owner.

However, the much-hyped occasion (in Albania anyway) turned into a PR disaster when the stadium was plunged into darkness after the start of the second half due to a power cut.

Both teams were forced to wait 90 minutes until an emergency generator restored power. Considering Madrid had started all their big names, the power cut was extremely embarrassing for Gramozi, who had brought in players from other clubs to maximise their chances of causing an upset.

The Albanians actually took a shock lead in the second minute before Kaka and Benzema hit back for the visitors. The Spanish giants clearly didn't think too much of the occasion, though, as only captain Raul waited for the cup presentation.

Proceeds went to victims of a recent flooding incident in the country but it was the floodlight failure which made headlines, with the opposition party claiming: "Albania has been made a laughing stock."

However, one man who won't be seeing the funny side is the stadium manager, who was promptly sacked.

Irish Independent

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