As these things go, this post was actually supposed to go up last Thursday to celebrate the World Cup kicking off. Because what better way to celebrate football than well, football? (Answer: there is no better way.) But then I got distracted by football and you’re getting this post a week after the event and several days after this absolutely crazy World Cup we’re having so far (Netherlands – Spain anyone? Or how about that utter dismantling of Portugal that Germany cooly handed out? That last minute goal by Switzerland kept my pretty much dismantled bracket from becoming a complete train wreck, so that was a bonus). It’s also a little bittersweet for me because this is/was the last time I’ll be watching a match in the Bernabéu, at least for the foreseeable future. It seemed kind of fitting that my last visit would be to watch the Corazon Classic and having a chance to see some of the greatest players, not just of Real Madrid, but of football, in general, take the pitch.
If you’re not really sure who you’re supposed to be looking at in those pictures, hint: not the security guards. If, after that, you’re still not 100% who you’re looking at, I completely understand because, even though we had front row seats (yes, that might be slight bragging right there), my lazy self didn’t want to haul my 70-200mm around Madrid afterwards and just brought my wide lens. Because wide pictures are better than no pictures. I think? Anyways, in the first two photos you have yourself some Zinedine Zidane who is known for, among other things: helping France win the 1998 World Cup where this infamous head butt happened, won the 2000 Euros, won the famous Novena with Real Madrid (his forth CL trophy) with this strike and also dresses like a boss. Next is Javier Zanetti who was playing for the Inter Forever side, but was doing a fabulous job of posing along the sidelines. Also the guy doesn’t age. Picture four is Fernando Hierro who spent 14 years at Real Madrid and won five La Liga trophies and three Champions League trophies. Guys. THAT’S KIND OF A BIG DEAL, OKAY?! And, the last picture is of Guti. Oh Guti. A result of Real Madrid’s youth system, he played for 24 years with the club, was the vice-captain and helped the club to 15 trophies, sharing the five Ligas and three CL trophies with Hierro. He also attempted to pull this off. He did mildly better here.
Other crazy amazing players that showed up were: Salgado, Figo and Butragueño. That is solid Real Madrid history all together on a pitch. Which is kind of wicked awesome. There’s something about getting to see players that you’ve read and talked about, that have helped build the club, a club, your club to the place it is today. And even if some of them haven’t run around a pitch in awhile, they still got it. And what they have, is magic. So, my last hurrah at the Bernabéu had me sitting in the front row along the sidelines, watching some of Real Madrid’s finest through the ages do what they do best and being so very, very thankful for every time I got to sit in a seat over this last year. Here’s to the next time! Hopefully it won’t be too far off.
Things I’m Loving:
+ This interactive guide – (Which I’d love to go through while wearing this.)
+ If you’re still not sure, John Oliver explains some FIFA to you – (“Football is a religion.” Amen.)
+ Why Brazil, the country in love with football, is not a place for female footballers – (Naturally.)
+ Predicting the World Cup – (Because this is gold.)