The Champions League final takes place on Saturday. Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the headquarters had to be changed. Previously, it was at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg. The European Football Association decided at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis. When the decision was made, PSG, with Neymar, Mbappe and Messi, were still in contention and dreamed of qualifying for the final on their home soil. But the dream did not come true. Real Madrid and Liverpool will fight for the title. The two teams had 20,000 tickets each, and another 12,000 were submitted through the UEFA website.
In addition, 10,000 tickets were distributed free of charge to fans to reward their support in games during the pandemic. Ticket prices ranged between €70 and €690, which is equivalent to R$360 and R$3,500. Depending on the category, sales end on April 28, and only 52,000 of the 75,000 seats at St-Denis have been made available.
Due to the lack of tickets and the price of airline tickets, the value of which also increased due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, many Spaniards decided to watch the final on their own land.
It’s Sunday in Madrid, Spain. Miguel Morales, a meringue fan since he was young, says his passion for the club was inherited from his mother, Elisa Garcia, who died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis exactly two weeks ago.
Elisa learned from her father her love for the white and blue shirt of the royal club, Real Madrid. Miguel remembers that in the last years of his life, the only thing that made his mother shake with joy was seeing his favorite team on the field, and he was particularly fascinated by seeing Benzema play.
The 37-year-old regrets that his mother is not among them to enjoy the long-awaited Champions League title that Miguel hopes to win next Saturday at the Stade de France. However, everything has already been agreed, and in the form of a tribute, his father Hu will gather to cheer on Real Madrid in the 90 minutes they will have to beat Liverpool.
As he recounts his memories, Miguel leads a report stadium To a very traditional place in Madrid for those who take their first steps on the ‘going way’ of football love: the El Rastro fair. There, every Sunday, parents take their kids to exchange stickers to complete their football albums.
The name of the fair has a very exotic origin, on the streets today gather sellers of all kinds of handicrafts and antique products. In the past there were leather factories near slaughterhouses. It is said that during the animals’ journey to the factories, they left a streak of blood that was named after the place.
A few meters away, on the Plaza del Campillo del Nuevo Mundo, just behind the Puerta de Toledo, you can find collectors of all kinds, trading, selling and selling figurines, which the Spaniards call posters. There the report found that Alvaro, along with his brother Diego, were wearing the shirt that Cristiano Ronaldo wore when he defended the club’s colors. The stamped number 7 is the exact age of the boys. Their father, Manuel Sampes, took the two children to the venue to exchange posters. They don’t hesitate for a moment to answer that Real Madrid will be champions.
Asked if they would go to Paris to participate in the final, Manuel replied in the negative, “It is very difficult to go to the match, there are no tickets and it is very expensive,” as he assesses. “It can be seen by RTVE,” warns young Alvaro on the other side. He risks being a win by more than two goals, and says he doesn’t know who will score the other, but one, for sure, will be Benzema. Manoel, a more experienced fan, believes the game will be highly competitive. “I think they will draw and go to penalties and Real Madrid will win because Courtois is the best goalkeeper in the world,” he said.
From another family who arrived early to try to find the missing names in their group is 14-year-old Jose. Wearing the blue version of the Real Madrid shirt, he said he would give Real Madrid “3-1, two from Benzema and one from Vinicius Junior,” he said.
It looks like the duo lined up. Striker Karim Benzema said, last week, that Brazilian Vinicius Junior should be among the best players in the world for everything he did this season with Real Madrid. “Vinicius does not ask me for advice, I ask him to remain focused. He is young, but not on the field. He has already played more than 100 matches. They talk about the best in the world and do not include Vinicius, who scores and assists “, the Frenchman announced at the Real Players Media Day Madrid.
The Italian Carlo Ancelotti, who previously played for the Spanish national team, has now returned with a desire to lead Real Madrid to the top of Spanish and international football. “He’s a good coach,” Jose told me yes, giving his opinion on the person responsible for the team’s most recent Spanish title. “For me, they won 1-0. That’s enough for me,” said the boy’s father, who assured that this match would be great to watch with the family.
At the end of the tour in Rastro, a shop with traditional banners embroidered with the insignia of European football teams and various phrases catches the eye. The young man separates one of them, in fuchsia, and says: “Thank you, Mom, for making me beautiful, smart and … the madridista,” he intended to introduce me to the Madrid fans, but his subconscious, probably, is an intention to promote that love for the team is something that is transmitted from mother to the daughter.