The importance of winning in Pamplona

The importance of winning in Pamplona


After closing the Champions League group stage with a victory over Copenhagen, Real Madrid returns to La Liga action. But their next clash is not going to be precisely an easy one, since they’ll have to pay a visit to El Sadar.

Osasuna’s stadium has traditionally been one of the most difficult trips for Real Madrid, despite the hosts being regularly placed in the bottom part of the table.

Jose Mourinho could warn Carlo Ancelotti about the danger of not giving 100 per cent at Osasuna’s ground. In two of his three seasons at Real, the Portuguese’s men spoiled their chances of winning La Liga after dropping points at El Sadar.

In the 2010-2011 season, Los Blancos lost 1-0 in January, reaching a seven point deficit with the league’s leaders Barcelona. That difference would be impossible to reduce and the Catalans won the title that season.

That same situation took place last year. Los Merengues closed a terrible first half of La Liga dropping two valuable points in a goalless draw in Pamplona. That result left them with no chances of winning the title, sitting 18 points behind Barca. The Azulgranas would go on to easily win the championship.

Curiously enough, the only time Mourinho was able to win at El Sadar, he conquered his only league with Los Merengues. It was in 2012, when Real emphatically beat Osasuna 1-5. In fact, in the last six seasons, Los Blancos have only earned two victories in Pamplona, and both times they ended up as La Liga winners.

Thus, Ancelotti must have already been warned about the importance of the game against the Rojillos.