Ruben de la Red scored a late winner for Real Madrid legends as Los Blancos secured the MU Foundation Cup by beating the Manchester United legends 2-1 at Old Trafford.
Leading 3-2 from the two sides’ encounter at the Bernabeu last year, Madrid’s superior fitness eventually told as they ran out 5-3 victors overall.
The game at Old Trafford, attended by a crowd of 60,000 spectators, was aimed at raising money for two charities – the MU Foundation and Unicef.
Madrid included a number of stars in their side including Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo, both of whom haven’t lost their incredible first touch and wonderful close control despite their advancing years.
United included 2008 Champions League hero Edwin Van de Saar in goal, and the deadly strike force of Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke. Recently retired Paul Scholes also started for the Reds.
The first half was a fairly quiet affair on the whole, although Madrid should have had a penalty when Ronny Johnsen kicked Michel Salgado in the area. Van de Saar was the busier of the two goalkeepers and made a number of fine saves including from Zidane and Ruud Van Nistlerooy.
Fernando Morientes eventually made the breakthrough though just before the interval firing low into the bottom left corner of the goal from the edge of the area.
Van Nistlerooy switched sides at the break and wore the red of United in the second half, while Steve McManaman was introduced for Los Blancos, and in true pantomime style was jeered every time he touched the ball.
Fifteen minutes into the second half Van Nistlerooy drew United level. A nice pass from Andy Cole set the Dutch striker free from the Madrid back line and he raced into the area and finished with aplomb in front of the Stretford End.
The game looked to be heading for a draw until de la Red settled affairs. Madrid launched a counter attack and the 27-year-old midfielder, who had to retire from the game because of a heart condition, placed a wonderful chip over the advancing keeper and into the back of the net.
After the game, former United full back Dennis Irwin said he admired the way Madrid played.
Speaking to MUTV, he stated: “The quality that they had was unbelievable with players like Zidane, Figo and Hierro, some of whom haven’t been out of the game for too long. It was fantastic and keeping the ball is second nature to them, but it was a great game to play in.”