Real Madrid Four different experiences of it
Playing competitive football behind closed doors will be a new experience for most in LaLiga Santander, but Real Madrid could be at an advantage thanks to first team delegate Chendo.
The former full-back played two games in his career in exactly that environment.
In his first he was just 19 years old, while playing with Castilla, before his second came years later as a seasoned professional who had World Cup experience behind him when Real Madrid welcomed Diego Maradona’s Napoli to a silent Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
That first experience came in England, away to West Ham United.
The hosts were being punished for hooliganism in the first leg of the European Cup Winners’ Cup tie, after Castilla had reached the previous year’s final, meaning the return fixture in London was played at a deserted Upton Park.
Chendo played the entirety of the game as Castilla fell 5-1 against the English side.
“The environment didn’t affect me at all,” he said upon his return to Spain.
In 1987 it was Real Madrid who were being punished by UEFA after Juanito lost his cool and stamped on Lothar Matthaus, forcing them to play two games behind closed doors and hitting the player with his own ban.
Los Blancos were then thrown up against Napoli and Maradona, the world’s best player.
Real Madrid won 2-0, and Chendo did a fine job on Maradona and his teammates.
The second leg ended 1-1 in Italy, sending the Spaniards through.
The penultimate time Real Madrid played behind closed doors came in Rome, when Chendo was delegate of the first team, just as he is now.
On that occasion, Roma were being punished for an object being thrown at an official and Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo were both on target in a 3-0 win.
The latest came at Legia Warsaw in 2016 and Real Madrid drew 3-3.