I’m so not ready. How about you? Lots of stuff to look at today, so I’ll spread it between 2 posts. First up, training!
I’ve been so up to my neck in work all day, it’s not even funny. At least it’s keeping me from totally freaking out about tomorrow’s match.
(All additional photos in this post courtesy of GFSports. Click on first picture in gallery and scroll through to see them full size).
Pepe and Cristiano returned to training with the group. Arbeloa & Marcelo trained in the gym but are still on the injury list. Going into this match Essien has 2 yellow cards and Sergio has four. The following players were called up:
AS had an article today saying that Raul is trying to get tomorrow off from Al Sadd so that he can come and cheer the boys on. That would be amazing!
The mothership gifted us with another inspirational tale of a historic comeback today.
The team from Belgrade visited the Santiago Bernabeu with a 4-2 lead, but goals from Butragueño and Sanchis turned the tie around
In the quarter-finals of the 1986/87 European Cup Real Madrid made another historic comeback. The Whites won 2-0 in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, turning around Red Star Belgrade’s 4-2 first leg lead.
Red Star Belgrade – Real Madrid. European Cup Quarter-final (1986/1987)
After knocking out Juventus in the Round of 16, Real Madrid came up against a great Red Star Belgrade side in the next round. In the first leg, played on 4th March 1987 in the Little Maracana in front of one hundred thousand spectators, the home team won 4-2. Two goals from Hugo Sanchez in the second half would ultimately be decisive in the tie.
4- Estrella Roja: Stojanovic, Radovanovic, Elsner, Krivokapic, Bracun, Djurovski, Jankovic, Djurovic, Cvetkovic, Stojkovic, Mrkela (Pavlovic, 70′).
2- Real Madrid: Buyo, Chendo, Salguero, Sanchís, Camacho, Michel (Martín Vázquez, 89′), Gallego, Solana (Juanito, 58′), Gordillo, Hugo Sánchez, Valdano.
1-0 (min. 6): Djurovski.
2-0 (min. 11): Djurovic.
3-0 (min. 38): Cvetkovic.
3-1 (min. 65): Hugo Sánchez.
4-1 (min. 82): Jankovic.
4-2 (min. 87): Hugo Sánchez.
The packed to capacity Santiago Bernabeu hosted the team from Belgrade in the second leg match on 18th March 1987. A goal from Butragueño in the 5th minute and another from Sanchis in the second half gave the Whites the hard-fought victory that earned them a semi-final berth after making another historic comeback.
2- Real Madrid: Buyo, Chendo, Camacho, Juanito (Solana, 66′), Sanchís, Gordillo, Butragueño (Martín Vázquez, 86′), Michel, Hugo, Gallego, Santillana.
0- Estrella Roja: Stojanovic, Milojevic, Krivocapic, Bracun, Elsner, Jankovic, Djurovic, Djurovski, Cvetkovic, Stojkovic, Mrkela (Nikolic, 46′).
1-0 (min. 5): Butragueño.
2-0 (min. 60): Sanchís.
So get excited! IT’S REMONTADA TIME, Y’ALL!
Over 200 fans waited in the pouring rain (and never stopped singing) to greet Real Madrid as they headed off in the Evil Bunny Bus to concentracion! Isn’t that amazing? The players threw them shirts and thanked them for their support. I love Madridistas. I’m sure the boys really appreciated the support. (Additional crowd pictures from the Twitter feed of RMTV’s Rhiannon Jones)
On an unrelated footy note, but very important, I’d just like to say mazel tov and well done to Jason Collins for becoming the first out active player in a major American sport. I applaud and admire him for his courage and hope that his announcement will lead to other athletes feeling comfortable to come out and live their lives freely. This sort of change is long past due. The initial reaction to Jason’s announcement seems resoundingly positive. I hope that encourages others and gives a beacon of hope. You can read his thoughtful, intelligent statement over on SI.com. Lest we forget, not everyone had this experience. Jennifer Doyle of the amazing blog From A Left Wing did a great post contrasting Jason’s coming out and that of UK footy player Justin Fashanau in 1990 (a truly painful story – you can also read about the work of The Justin Campaign here). I highly recommend Doyle’s intelligent writing on footy encompassing the women’s game, homophobia, gender, politics and more. Another excellent read is Leander Schaerlaeckens’ outstanding profile of David Testo over on SBNation. Additionally, Robbie Rogers tweeted that ABC Nightline will be airing his interview (rescheduled from an April 15, due to the bombings in Boston) about coming out tonight. (Americans, check your local listings).