Real Madrid will face Eibar with Keylor Navas on goal, as Carlo Ancelotti has already announced. That’s why Iker Casillas won’t be able to repeat the experience of 2004, when he featured in the only match ever played by the Basques at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The game took place on January 12 that year, in the second leg of the last-16 round of the Copa del Rey. Eibar was playing in the second division back then and could have never imagined they would ever get promoted. Thus, their first visit to the Santiago Bernabeu was a historic moment for them.
The Azulgranas didn’t lack insolence and spirit of sacrifice. Los Blancos can vouch for this, as they suffered in that tie. In the first leg, Eibar earned a meritable 1-1 draw, a result that could have been worse for Real hadn’t Casillas put in a superb performance.
The Basques’ great performance caused that Carlos Queiroz, the Los Blancos manager back then, decided to line-up all the Galacticos in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu. One of them was Casillas, who was also crucial to obtain the victory, since he denied Gaizka Saizar’s big chance when the game was 0-0.
In the end, Real Madrid knocked Eibar out after beating them 2-0 with more problems than expected. At that time Gaizka Garitano, who is now Eibar’s manager, was part of the squad as a player, although he didn’t feature in the Madrid game. However, he did earn points at the Santiago Bernabeu as a player. It was in the 2005-06 season, when he helped Real Sociedad earn a 1-1 draw at Los Blancos stadium. Will he be able to repeat that?