The scoreline 7-3 has a very special and significant place in Real Madrid history. It is the result by which they won the legendary 1960 European Cup Final over Eintracht Frankfurt at Hampden Park, Glasgow, when Alfredo di Stefano scored three times and Ferenc Puskas four!
But incredibly, last night at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, they were on the wrong end of the same scoreline at the hands of cross-town rivals, Atletico.
Sure ‘it was only a friendly’ but you can be certain it was one neither of these clubs wanted to lose, let alone be humiliated in.
It was, simply put, the most staggering result in the spate of normally boring and meaningless International Champions Cup matches that fans are nowadays forced to endure at this time of year.
That most irritable and abrasive of strikers, Diego Costa scored four times before being ejected from the action along with Dani Carvajal.
Los Colchoneres were six goals in front before Real replied and led 5-0 at half-time.
Atleti coach Diego Someone spoke after the game.
“We prepared the game knowing it was a derby. We played well and I told the lads. The players are very excited. The goal is to arrive at the first LaLiga match in the best possible shape.”
Both sides used all their top players, but there was the usual rash of substitutions that always devalue such meetings.
Real coach Zidane said he was ‘hurt, not concerned’.
“What happened is, we started the game very poorly. In a top-level match such as this, we had a very bad start. We were 2-0 inside eight minutes and didn’t show signs of changing anything at all. It was a very tough first half, we never got into the game. We just really lacked the intensity you need at this level.
“We know they scored seven goals and we can’t allow that to happen. The players are well aware and they’re disappointed. We don’t need to dwell on it, this is a pre-season game. They were better in every respect and that’s all there is to it”.
“We’ll be motivated, I have no doubt about it. I’m convinced we’re going to have a good season. We can’t be pleased with today’s defeat, that much is clear. But I’m convinced I’ve got a team here that is going to compete at the top level. We need to rest up a bit and start thinking about the 17th of August”.
“It’s just the way it is at this stage. This won’t change what we’re looking to achieve this season. We’re motivated and hungry to keep going. It was a friendly, but it wasn’t a friendly to Atlético. I’m sure this team will go on to achieve big things this year and we’ll see that very soon”.
“The players are not letting me down, we’re just preparing for the new season and we have to remain calm. We have to be ready for when LaLiga comes around”.
Sergio Ramos had several remarks for the press after the rout.
“I have immense confidence in this team and in Madridismo”, stated the Real captain.
“We’re obviously not feeling great right now. This has only just begun, they’re preparation games to get us up to the top level. There are many ways in which to lose, but we can’t be doing it like we did today.
That’s the difference in football. We played a friendly match and they went at it as if it were a final. We have to bring that intensity to every game. They got the better of us in terms of intensity, second balls, pressing, and they were sharp in front of goal today too.
“Ultimately, they are still our direct city rivals and Madridismo will be frustrated like we are because you can’t go home happy after a loss. We’re getting in shape to try and reach our best and we’ll draw conclusions once LaLiga has started and we’ve started to play competitive games.”
This defeat concluded Real’s International Champions Cup program. They leave North America without having won any of their three matches in regulation time, with only a penalty-shoot out win over Arsenal to show for their endeavours.