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Madrid embraces eternal Real

AS AS 26/05/2014 Alfredo Relaño

The Décima, the tenth European Cup, the perfect number, brought people en masse out onto the streets. The citizens of Madrid, that old Manchegan town that Azaña dreamt of turning into a cosmopolitan city. Madrid is the capital of Spain, but it’s fallen behind Barcelona in lots of ways, from culture to airport traffic. The Catalan capital was even dominating the football! Hence the efforts to win the Olympic Games. Without them Madrid needed something, and the city now has it, thanks to Real Madrid, the club that wears the city’s name and is its standard bearer and also, once again, the standard bearer for world football.

Madrid were desperate to win this European Cup and they put a huge amount into getting it, but the city is thankful and it’s good that’s so clear. Those first five European Cups ‘del Real’ as they’re known abroad, raised the pride of a city and a country on their knees. They raised the profile of the city in a way that hadn’t been seen since, a long time past, it was finally no longer the head of a rusty old empire. Real Madrid were one of the promoters of the European Cup, they won the first five, leaving an artistic, battling image for all time, as well as being an example of fair play.

The Décima itself isn’t ten cups, just one, but the perfection of the number multiplied the satisfaction, the pride and echo around the world. That’s why the it had such an impact yesterday, and why everyone wanted to be involved. What a shame that the images will only have reminded Atlético of the institutional deafness to their league triumph. That day Botella, Madrid mayor, and González, president of the Madrid region, were at the final of the basketball. There is only one Real Madrid, but Atlético has the tremendous merit of having survived a century in the same city as the best team in the world. And this year they’ve gone toe to toe with them, as well as beating Barça out of the League and the Champions League. They deserved more.

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