Tonight’s match between Real Madrid and Juventus is one of the classics of European football. Los Blancos have good memories of their clashes against the Italians, since they won the long-awaited seventh Champions League in Amsterdam by beating the Vecchia Signora.
However, very few remember that Juve was the first European giant to succumb to the likes of the famous Quinta del Buitre. Formed by Emilio Butragueno, Miguel Pardeza, Manolo Sanchis, Michel and Rafael Martin Vazquez, the Buitre’s Cohort is considered one of the best generations of Real Madrid home-grown players in the history of the club.
They broke their way into the first team in the 80s and they dominated the Spanish league with dictatorial power, winning five straight titles. Their first appearance against a big European club was in the 1986-87 season, when they first played the European Cup, which back them was a playoff since the beginning.
The Quinta arrived on the biggest stage with a great curriculum, after having won the UEFA Cup in 1985 and 1986. Their first serious test was in the last 16 round, where they met Michel Platini’s and Michael Laudrup’s Juventus after knocking out Swiss side Young Boys in the previous round.
In the first leg, Los Blancos won 1-0 with a strike by Butragueno in the 20th minute. The second leg, on the other hand, turned out to be an acid test for Madrid. Cabrini scored in the eighth minute for Juve, and everything indicated a disaster for Los Merengues.
However, the score wouldn’t change, and Real Madrid qualified for the quarter-finals after winning 1-3 in the penalty shoot out. Thus, Juventus became the first European giant to fall at the hands of the Quinta del Buitre. Yet, Bayern Munich put an end to their European dream beating Real in the semifinals.