“Stage fright” is a concept that originated in the eighties, when Madrid disgracefully lost as a guest and, having digested the corresponding crisis, went through the qualifiers with an incredible performance in the midst of a furious Bernabeu. Thus, they won two consecutive UEFA. In those distant eighties there were cities that brought their capacity to 100,000 towns. As those games began in which a return seemed impossible, the 100,000 were joined by another 20,000 who slipped inside. Since there were no turnstiles, a few bouncers were distracted enough to let their entire neighborhood in. The truth is that the Bernabéu seemed to tear at the seams, and when he was in a trance because the targets started coming, it was a crazy place, represented by eleven other crazy people who were running in search of the impossible.
one circle is missing
Stage fright has made a fortune, but the definition is not true. It does not cover all “returns”, a word that “Madrid” has also appropriated. The “stage” thing is a fair tribute to the fans who, when they turn on, create the emotional conditions for the match to change course and become an adventure; that is, it goes where the wind takes it. Almost always great. And “fear” speaks of the separation of opponents when rage and confusion take over the game. He is seized by bewilderment and, in some cases, unworthy of such a level of competitive cowardice. But the definition is missing a fundamental element, the effect that the electricity of the environment has on the Madrid players, who suddenly feel stronger, faster and with their instinct free from all tactical connections. When a team goes into this trance, they ignore order and just want to win: some people talk about luck, but with some of the best players in the world, it’s easier to be lucky.
However, what I experienced against PSG, Chelsea and City I have never seen before. Looking for reasons, the first thing that comes to mind is that we came from a pandemic and since we were released, people wanted to live all the way. They go to the Bernabéu with passion and faith always, but with a belated hunger that makes everything even more epic. The social media phenomenon fuels the atmosphere of yesteryear, starting with the call to receive the team upon arrival at the stadium, with more and more people, with more noise, as if breaking a new record was a matter of honor to add to the obligation to win. On the other hand, as the unbelievable became legend, the Madridists became believers and felt part of the miracle. No matter how responsible they are, they compete with the same faith as the players. So the virtuous circle of madness became a habit. But, as in any show, the task of each game is the most difficult.
The last contenders were teams with more or less history, but with the economic power associated with large fortunes, which gives them an undeniable competitive advantage. Madrid, on the other hand, survives among the greats with its old model, showing an example of good management (new final, Bernabéu refurbishment, Mbappe on the doorstep…). This challenge to the new rich speaks to the seriousness of the club and its ability to always be the protagonist. Every shout from the stands carries the pride of an incomparable history and a job well done.
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