On the evening of August 22, 2013, Scott and Beverly attended a football (soccer) game between Real Madrid and Al-Sadd (of Qatar). It fulfilled one of our mission "bucket list" items, to attend a Real Madrid game.
When we got off the subway near the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, we found lots of booths selling paraphernalia of Real Madrid and their opponent. We bought a Real Madrid banner. Scott wanted to buy a Real Madrid jersey but they were too expensive (He bought one a day later from a street salesman at a much better price):
The people poured into the streets from all parts of Madrid and the surrounding areas:
Scott took this picture of Beverly about 30 minutes before the game started. (The game started at 10:30 pm!). The rabid fans, in their Real Madrid jerseys, were already filling the stadium, which holds 100,000 people:
During the opening festivities in the stadium, we enjoyed a full-moon rising in the sky above us:
Here we are with our Real Madrid banner.
The huge stadium filled quickly:
This was a special night. The pregame festivities honored one of the most famous Spanish football players of all time and top all-time scorer for Real Madrid, Raúl (Raúl González Blanco). Raúl retired from Real Madrid in 2010 and he now plays for Al-Sadd. So this was his return to Madrid:
Amazingly, Al-Sadd let Raúl play the first half for Real Madrid. This is a picture of Raúl, in Real Madrid uniform, running onto the field (Al-Sadd is in black and Real Madrid is in white) to the applause of the players and fans:
The start of the game:
The celebration after Raúl scored the first point of the night, for Real Madrid:
Real Madrid won the game 5-0.
It was a great cultural experience for us to attend a game of one of the most respected and successful professional soccer teams in the world, Real Madrid.