from the first to the 90th
Operation “Remontada” is in full swing, with Madrid releasing this video of the players telling all the fans “you are our strength” and asking for their support on Tuesday. I’m 110 percent behind my team, ready to cheer my little white madridista heart out on Tuesday, how about you?
(This comment left by a user made me laugh: “Spends millions on players. Can’t get an HD camera.”)
HASTA EL FINAL, VAMOS REAL. Other versions of the video can be found here.
In addition to this video, Madrid is asking fans to wear white to the game, much like it did last season. Meanwhile, the fans are promoting some of the same initiatives, and some placed flyers around the Bernabéu asking the fans who will attend the game to wear white, to bring a bufanda to the game to wave, to be ready to support and encourage the team during 90 minutes while pressuring the rival whenever it has the ball. They add that “the most important thing is to leave your soul out there during this game” and “to remind the world who they’re going up against.” It finishes with “we are the kings of Europe, we will show what Real Madrid is made out of.”
It’s no surprise that Santillana is the most popular man around these days, and EFE also interviewed him, and once again, he had some important things to say, as well as advice.
Between 1975 and 1985, you were part of four great remontadas…
(Interrupts the question) Yes, they were electric games, with a lot of emotion. I remember the Bernabéu cheering on the team to the death from the first minute to the 90th. It was a personal satisfaction for me to give back to the public, especially in the European Cup, which was more important. I was lucky enough to have lived these games. There was a very close union between the public and the players.
How did you all plan those games?
Once the game that we lost ended, right there, in the locker room, we all got together and convinced each other that we could do it in the Bernabéu, with our fans, in front of 100,000 people supporting us to the death. We had to pressure the rival, to fight for each ball as if it were the last thing we did in our lives. We had to be active, as football can be won in many ways. Now we have players who take free kicks well, not just Cristiano. We have to take advantage of that, of fouls at the edge of the area. We have to be sly. Football isn’t only won with quality, which we have, but it is also won with a bit of craftiness and activeness in certain moments. We have to fight for each ball to the death. All of this makes a team great.
Is it just as important to create this atmosphere outside of the locker room?
The players have to convince each other that it can be done. We have to play with honor and dedication, but with a cool head. We have to be attentive as well, they have good players and a goal would be a disaster. We have to play with cool heads and hot hearts. Mourinho has experience and knows how to plan for these types of games.
Are remontadas achieved more with passion than with the chalkboard?
No, a combination. You need to have passion, dedication, heart, and the quality of the players, which equal success. There are many circumstances in a game and you can lose, but if you have all of these, there are more possibilities of success.
What is your favorite memory of those games?
The Derby County and Borussia Mönchengladbach games were the two where the Bernabéu was the most electrifying. For Madrid fans, the games marked an era. I scored the decisive goal in the 100th minute against Derby… if you had lit a match in the Bernabéu, it would have caught on fire. But the goal against Borussia, in the 90th minute, really, it was the public who scored it. It was a goal from the heart.
AS also ran an interview with Ewald Lienen, who was part of the Borussia Mönchengladbach team that fell to the mighty Real Madrid.
Tell us about the second leg game.
I still don’t know why that Madrid played so well at home. I was angry as soon as I got there. The atmosphere was strange. I don’t think all of my teammates knew what was waiting for us. We got there and we took a walk near the hotel. There was a ton of people and they frightened us: “4-0, 5-0!” they shouted while glaring at us and making gestures of the results with their hands.
Did the fans in the Bernabéu play that game?
It was surreal. We couldn’t even see the last part of the stands. I don’t know how many people fit there.
Which Madrid player was the most dangerous?
Valdano overran Krisp in the first part, but all of them. In reality, we were already frightened before the game. Gordillo had been sent off in Dusseldorf in the last moments for spitting. That’s when things started heating up in the locker room: “we’re going to crush you! “This has not ended!”
And in the Bernabéu?
I remember someone behind the grille that separated the two teams in the tunnel, shouting at us and showing us his teeth.
Who was it?
I don’t want to say.
Was Juanito very active?
He wanted to scare us. He was from Andalucía and he had character. I recently went up against Míchel in Greece, when I was coaching AEK and he was at Olimpiacos, and we talked about those games. And I told him, “I hope you don’t score four on me again.” And they only scored three on us.
And to end, here’s the capi being “captainy” from the bench against Borussia Dortmund, whether it was suffering on the penalty against Madrid, telling the players on the field to salute the fans who had made the trip to Germany, or offering his teammates encouragement after the game.