Eurotrip. Madrid. Ins and outs of Estadio Santiago Bernabéu

While I was in Madrid, I had a chance to visit one of the most popular touristic spots in the town – Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, home of Real Madrid CF. I not only visited the stadium, but attended one of La Liga matches of Real Madrid vs. Getafe. I booked the ticket way ahead of the match (using viagogo) so that I could be sure that I can get a ticket at good spot (and I got it). It was the last match of 2014-2015 La Liga season, and I was initially afraid that due to unimportance of this match from final scoreboard perspective it could be boring. However, my such concern turned out to be groundless after I finished watching the match. For such superclubs as Real Madrid an unimportant match should not exist, and visitors could see all the strongest players in the pitch.

Here is how the stadium looks from outside:

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And there is a metro station with the same name near the stadium:

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I arrived at the stadium way earlier than the start of the match. Unlike me, some people got their tickets on the day of the match:DSC01328

As I had abundant free time, I looked around and found Real Madrid’s official store attached to the stadium:

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You can find T-shirts of any Real Madrid player. I could not resist the temptation of buying one 🙂

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The store has large posters depicting the greatest moments in Real Madrid’s history. And here is the famous one. If you don’t know in which match this Zidane’s incredible shoot happened, then there is nothing I can talk with you about football:

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At some point when I was seeing around the store, the store officers told us that it is closing now and will reopen after 15 minutes. I was wondering what was the matter. It turns out that at that moment the bus with players were supposed to pass nearby the store to enter the stadium. And all security measures were taken to make that step safe for players. They blocked the roads for around 30 minutes until the bus passed. The security measures taken there was similar to the ones when the president of the state passes some streets. The players indeed have so much popularity that they need to be protected like presidents:

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At last the blockade was released, and I went to some shop to buy water. There was still some time left until the start, and why not take a selfie in the meantime:

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I bought a 1L plastic bottle of water and while entering the stadium, I found that the security officers were checking bags of visitors whether there was a bottle with a liquid. For bottles up to 0.5L they take it, open the cap, throw the cap to trash and give the bottle back. That was interesting observation, I was wondering why they do that. Then I guessed that as the visitors sit very near to the pitch, some inadequate fans may throw bottle with liquid to some player. Taking the cap away dramatically reduces the probability of harming players, as you cannot throw bottle without cap to long distance.

Unfortunately they did not do that procedure in my case, but they just throw the whole bottle to trash, as it turns out that the allowed max capacity of bottles is 0.5L.

The view of the stadium was gorgeous, it was a huge stadium with three stacks, one above another. What’s good about such stacking is that the visitors in the top stack can still have very good view. Another thing that I experienced there was that this was the first time I visited a stadium that is purely designed for football. By this I mean that it is not like Olympic stadium with running lanes (like Luzhniki in Moscow or Olympicstadium in Berlin), where there will be more distance from visitor to players. Here is the panoramic view:

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And I asked one guy to take a picture of me with the background of the stadium. You can notice that it is still early, as the most spots are vacant:

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First, goalkeepers came to pitch for warming up. Here you can see Casillas:

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And he continues training making the audience applaud when he saves even though this is just training:

Players are warming up before the match. This guy in the front will be main hero in this match 🙂

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Match is about to begin:

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James starting the attack:

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Pass by Marcelo:

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Promising attack in action:

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The famous pose of famous player before shooting the free kick:

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Accelerate:

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And shoot:

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And the rest is history, you know what could happen after that:

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Now penalty kick, again Ronaldo preparing for it:

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And here is the video of what happened after that moment:

Stadium is nearly full, you can see here stewards sitting with their back to the pitch. Their task is to make sure fans do not run to the pitch or throw something to the pitch. You can see that there is no fence that could limit visitors to enter the pitch, therefore stewards do the job of fencing. It should be quite hard job, because they come to the stadium and do not see the match 🙂

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Another prospective attack:

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Ronaldo and Varane doing same gesture at the same time, what could it mean? 🙂

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First half is finished with the score 3-3:

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The things that you don’t see when watching football matches on TV – people cleaning up the pitches, flattening the surface in the break time:

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Hat-trick author was left the pitch under applause and very young promising player from Norway, Odegaard replaced him:

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In the second half, Real Madrid could score four goals while not letting Getafe score any goal.

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Marcelo and James are looking at the electronic table and maybe they already got confused how many goals their team scored:

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Well, not everything is ideal here, people left sunflower seeds remainings and some left plastic bottle. Lots of work for the people who cleans up these places for the next match:

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Huge crowd leaving the stadium:

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And the outside view of Santiago Bernabeu at night is beautiful:

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