An American at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu

My wife and I were recently in Spain and had the opportunity to attend a Real Madrid match at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. For the uninitiated, Real Madrid is one of the premier soccer clubs in Spain, Europe, and pretty much the world. Their stadium, the Bernabeu, which holds 85,000 spectators, is one of the shrines of soccer stadiums. So obviously this was a once in a lifetime opportunity we couldn’t pass up.

Real Madrid was playing Getafe, a club from a suburb of Madrid, so the crowd was large and engaged with the game. The Real Madrid supporters led the crowd in one chant after another, the beat of their drums giving the stadium a pulse. Getafe struck first, scoring while Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid’s best player, was complaining to the ref about a missed call. This set back hushed the crowd for a few minutes, but as Real Madrid began to regain control of the match, the crowd grew feverish, willing their team forward, and it wasn’t long before Real Madrid drew the match level. After that, it was all Real Madrid. Their fans cheered and chanted and sang and whistled, and Madrid netted one goal after another. When the final whistle blew, Real Madrid had firmly asserted themselves, winning the match 4-1.

The match was an amazing spectacle of sport. A cultural experience. And a hell of a way to wrap up our trip to Spain. Here’s a few photos from the game, enjoy:

Phil at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid.

Phil at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo...adjusting himself.

Cristiano Ronaldo…adjusting himself.

Early action between Getafe and Real Madrid.

Early action between Getafe and Real Madrid.

Real Madrid pressing the attack.

Real Madrid pressing the attack.

Saying goodbye to the Bernabeu.

Saying goodbye to the Bernabeu.

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