We are going to see a strange game tonight in Warsaw. Real Madrid will play behind close doors in the Polish Army Stadium in the capital. Legia Warsaw were banned after the incidentes against Borussia Dortmund in the first game of the Champions League group stage.
The Legia Warsaw supporters held a banner where we could read: “Guess who is back”. When the game was about to start, dozens of flares were lighten up. Then, some supporters attacked the police and the stewards at the stadium, giving a very poor show in the Champions League. This is the fourth time in the last years than the Polish team has to play without their supporters.
We are going to listen all the instructions and the players conversations. It will be strange for the footballers because they might think that they are training or playing a friendly game, but it’s a Champions League clash. For all Real Madrid players it will be their first time competing without public, but this is not the first time for the club.
The last time was in 2004. Real Madrid played at the Olímpico in Rome. In the previous game, the Swedish referee Anders Frisk was hit by a coin or a lighter in the game against Dynamo Kiev at the half time in September 2004. UEFA decided to suspend the match, giving the victory to the Ukrainian game, and the closure of the stadium. Real Madrid were the next team to visit the Olímpico and Los Blancos won 0-3 without supporters. Figo -twice- and Ronaldo scored the goals. In the team was also Zinedine Zidane.
Several years before, in the season 1987-1988, Real Madrid had to play at Santiago Bernabéu stadium behind closed doors against Italian champions Napoli, with Maradona in the pitch. The Argentinian was received at the airport for thousand of supporters but he had to play without public. Real Madrid won that night 2-0 and earned the ticket to the next round in the European Cup.
Actually, Real Madrid had to play also another game in a different stadium for the bad behaviour of their supporters. This time they faced European champions Porto in Valencia with public. This time Real Madrid also won 2-1 against the Portuguese side.
Recently, we saw Real Madrid playing another game far from home. It was in 1998, after Los Blancos conquered the 7th Champions League in their history. In the first leg of the semifinals against Borussia Dortmund, Ultras Sur -Real Madrid hooligans- knock down a goal minutes before the kick off. The game was delayed several minutes and UEFA banned Real Madrid. Los Blancos had to play against Inter Milan the first game outside Madrid and they decided to travel to Sánchez Pizjuán in Seville. Real Madrid also won that game (2-0) with Fernando Hierro and Seedorf scoring the goals.