Monday 11 December 2017

Success is a way of life for Real

Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid
Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid

John Mullane

TWO years ago, I visited the Bernabeu to see Real Madrid draw 1-1 with Malaga.

It was a dream come true for me to watch Los Blancos in the flesh and you really have to go there to gain some sort of understanding of what the club is all about.

It's a dynasty and when you visit the trophy room, tradition and glory drip from the walls.

It was clear to see why this is the biggest club in the world and why winning that 10th European Cup – La Decima – meant so much.

I thought it was gone before the equaliser from Sergio Ramos.

Atletico Madrid are so well-drilled for a 90-minute game, as Barcelona found out on the final day of the domestic league season, but their legs were gone for extra-time in Lisbon on Saturday evening.

Growing up, I remember that nearly every young lad had a favourite English team or a team on the continent.

For me, it was Real in the 1980s when Hugo Sanchez and Emilio Butragueno were in their pomp.

I love those white jerseys and for the supporters of Real Madrid who attend the games on a regular basis, this is a way of life.

Season tickets are passed down from generation to generation, almost like a rite of passage, and young kids grow into the club.

I believe the Madrid players flew back to the city from Lisbon on Saturday night into Sunday morning and a bus parade at 6.0am was greeted by thousands of fans still out partying.

I wonder if we'll see another La Decima this year, with Henry Shefflin looking for that 10th All-Ireland medal? Time will tell on that one but for now, Real Madrid are kings of Europe once again and I, for one, am pleased about that.

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