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The Santiago Bernabéu stadium, home to major events in the history of football, will receive for the first time a match for a continental title
Amazing, unprecedented. For the first time in the history of club football, an event from one continent will dispute its title match on another continent. Is it good or bad? It will depend on the side you look at. We may never see a European title in America, but we will surely see an American team raising the Copa Libertadores on European ground. The causes of how we got to this point have been repeated ad nauseam. Of what perhaps has not been much talked about, is the impact of this event.
Soccer has globalized, is a reality and is unstoppable. For years now, the main European clubs have more foreign than native players on their starting payroll. France won the 2018 World Cup with players of African descent in its vast majority, the United States receive friendly matches from European and South American teams, and also the prestigious International Champions Cup preseason and, if that were not enough, the Spanish League will make a game per year of its official calendar in the United States. Starting from that point, that the final of the Libertadores is played in Madrid would not have anything strange, but ...
For the ordinary, low income fan, watching the continental final of his club so many miles away will distort the tournament (especially since this is not the Club World Cup). It is turning an emotion cold, it is making a strange population something that is not its own. A European can never feel a Copa Libertadores final in the same way as a Latin American, with the exception of Argentines residing in Madrid, who according to reports are quite a bit.
For those who are not fans, these aspects that I mention may not be as important, but they have to be placed on the table to include the whole environment. The final, that much awaited and commented by the Argentines and Latin Americans, will no longer be the same. Now it is seen as something alien, against the will. The important thing is to do mea culpa and learn from this error so that it does not happen again, but I see it difficult.
Madrid is ranked as the tenth safest city in the world. Therefore, the final will have a fan zone for both teams separated by a security area that will prevent contact between both fans. Will they succeed? That will be the challenge. A point that may be favorable is that, by nature, Argentine fans living in Spain for many years no longer live the game with the same debauchery, as their daily reality is far from that of Buenos Aires.
Both fans would be separated from their arrival at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport and from there, they’ll be transported in buses to areas already delimited. In the same way, these fans will have to exchange the receipts to have acquired the tickets directly in the points enabled by Real Madrid in their stadium. The entry will be an hour and a half before the commitment, so that the fans are as little as possible in the stadium and thus avoid confrontations, or at least reduce them.
Our conclusion is that beyond the guarantees that Madrid is supposed to provide this transcendental party, the change of environment, however curious and incredible it may seem, helps to lower the levels of euphoria. A River-Boca in Buenos Aires is not the same as, in Madrid, or anywhere else outside Argentina’s borders. You do not live the same, not everyone will be able to travel as is logical on the other side of the pond, and that is certainly from our perspective a fact that provides guarantees.
It's not just any event, it's a Copa Libertadores final, with two teams with very special fans, from a country for which soccer is a religion, and in which Alejandro Domínguez, president of Conmebol, as well as the presiding organization, 'millionaires' and 'xeneizes', and even Florentino Perez and Real Madrid, I would dare to say that the world of football, its prestige in the world of sport. May God allow us to see a worthy spectacle and remember for the good and not for the bad, as it has been up to now.
LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano
Translated from "La final de la Libertadores se jugará en España, te mostramos los pros y contras"