Real Madrid, the club of dreams. The club which has seen dramatic highs, lows and unparalleled success in the entire footballing world.
I became a Real Madrid fan in 2008, I think. I was young and introduced to a club of such glorious legacy which is second to none. Ever since then, I’ve been fascinated with this club and followed it and its philosophy.
Sure, there will always be people who will refer to me as a glory hunter or call me a Ronaldo fanboy but well, opinions are like buttholes and everybody has one.
So without further ado, here are my top 7 Real Madrid moments that I’ve witnessed or experienced during my time as a devoted fan (from #7 to #1, with #1 being the most heart-felt moment according to me) :
#7. The Retirement Of Iker Casillas a.k.a “Saint Iker” :
Iker Casillas was as acclimatized to Real Madrid as a fish is to water. The captain of the club since 2010 and a player of the club for 16 long years, nobody expected Casillas to leave the club and the entire community believed that he would be one of the select few to retire at Real Madrid. But well, time bows to no man as in July 2015, “San Iker” (Spanish for Saint Iker) announced that he was leaving the club.
Media blamed the club president Florentino Perez for his approach to the issue and an emotional Casillas was teary-eyed at the announcement, himself. It was the end of an era and a truly sad moment for all the Madridistas all over the world.
#6. Formation Of The BBC Trio (Bale, Benzema, Cristiano) :
Few would argue that Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema aren’t the outright best trio in the world but yes, they’re definitely one of the best in the modern game. Their formation came to prominence in a match which Real Madrid won 7-3 against Sevilla and they haven’t stopped since. Ronaldo is the outright goal-machine in the trio whereas Bale and Benzema have always played their part brilliantly when being called upon during times of need.
They collectively racked up over 150 goals in just 2 seasons and the trend shows no signs of stopping. Although Gareth Bale is currently injured, there’s no doubt that he’ll be back among the goals on his return, soon.
#5. The Last Goal By The Legendary Raul Gonzalez :
La Romareda was the stadium in which Raul made his debut for Real Madrid and coincidentally, it was the same stadium where Raul scored his last goal for the club against Real Zaragoza.
For the club’s leader and their player since 19 years, it was an emotional goal as that proved to be his final season at Real Madrid and his mantle and jersey #7 was passed to arguably the greatest Galactico in the world, Cristiano Roanldo. Raul left Real Madrid after a long and successful career but his memories and records are surely here to stay in the hearts and minds of the fans.
#4. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Hat-Trick vs Wolfsburg In The UEFA Champions League Quarter Finals :
2-0 defeat against Wolfsburg in the 1st leg of the 2015-16 UEFA Champions League. The 2nd leg to be played in Real Madrid’s home stadium, the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid needed a miracle to pull them away from the abyss and drag them to the next stage. And you know what they say. Cometh the hour, cometh the man.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a superb hat-trick including a lovely free-kick being the winning goal to put Real Madrid ahead by 3-0 and take them to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League which they ultimately won. Who said games can’t be decided on individual talent?
#3. Gareth Bale’s 60 Yard Run And Goal Against Barcelona In The Copa Del Rey (King’s Cup) Final :
100 million Euros. Gareth Bale’s transfer cost from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid.
He scored a goal which was worth the 100 million right in his debut season as he outpaced Marc Bartra for almost 60 yards after being pushed out from the field of play and coming back to his feet. Then, he slotted the ball into the net between the keeper’s legs and made the score 2-1 in Madrid’s favor. Another classic comeback and a goal for the ages!
#2. Sergio Ramos’s Equalizer Goal vs Atletico Madrid In The UEFA Champions League Final :
Real Madrid are famous for their “ramontada” mentality, which is Spanish for “comeback”. Arguably the greatest comeback in their recent history was the final match of the 2014 UEFA Champions League where Real were chasing “La Decima”, their 10th Champions League title after a wait of 12 years.
Real were trailing 1-0 until 90 minutes and in the 4 minutes of stoppage time, Real equalized to make it 1-1 as Sergio Ramos scored a brilliant header and sent the fans into a frenzy. The match went into extra time as Real scored 3 more goals to win the game by 4-1 and win their 10th title, capping a fantastic season.
#1. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Goal vs Barcelona In The Camp Nou And His “Calma Calma” Celebration :
OOOOOOHHHHHHH! How could we forget this moment when one galactic superstar from Portugal silenced an audience of 99,234 in a stadium?
It was 21st April, 2012.
Real hadn’t won against Barcelona in the Camp Nou in their last 6 outings and had to snap that streak. The match was at 1-1 and Real needed to win the game in order to maintain a grip on the La Liga title. 73 minutes played and Ronaldo did the unthinkable.
He ran onto a stunning pass from Mesut Ozil and took the ball in his stride and hit a chip shot over Victor Valdes to score a fantastic goal and make the score 2-1.
His celebration that followed was even more trademark Ronaldo. He ran towards the crowd, gestured using his hand and told them to calm down by repeatedly saying, “Calma Calma” as he shocked the entire Camp Nou stadium and single-handedly took them to victory and got them another La Liga title that season.
Classic Ronaldo. Classic Real Madrid.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.