Real Madrid fans recall the Champions League final: “I’ve never felt such insecurity and danger.”

L’Equipe met with Real Madrid fans who attended the Champions League final between Liverpool and Los Merengues held at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, on May 28 last year. Despite the win that gave the Carlo Ancelotti-led side their 14th Champions League title, Real Madrid socios are still scarred from the events of that night. Liverpool and Real Madrid fans alike were subjected to tear-gassing from the French police as well as muggings before and after the game. “Since 1980, I’ve barely missed a Real game in the European Cup, and that was the worst away game I’ve been to“, claimed 63-year-old Gerardo. “It was an organisational disaster from start to finish.” The Gran Familia peña president lamented the lack of police presence that day and the fact they were quickly overwhelmed in the chaos surrounding the Stade de France.

It was the fifth Champions League final I’ve been to and I’ve never felt such insecurity and danger“, said Borja. The 43-year-old Real Madrid fan’s car was broken into and he had to return to the Spanish capital with a broken window. Many Real Madrid socios regret they were unable to celebrate their side’s historic win. “I’ve been to eight Champions League finals. Here, it was complete improvisation”, lamented David. “It has left a bitter taste in the mouth and spoiled the title for us. We had one thing in mind: get out of here as fast as possible.” The vice-president of the Paris 2000 peña said there was no chance he’d return to a final held in France, let alone with children. Most of the Real Madrid fans quoted in L’Equipe’s piece want to move on and erase the final from their memories. “Tonight at Anfield, if Liverpool fans shows a banner that reads ‘Shame for Saint-Denis’, every Real Madrid fan will applaud it. Because we felt the same fear and disgust as they did.

GFFN | Bastien Cheval

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