The Real Madrid Foundation played host to another Luis de Carlos Forum session at the Santiago Bernabéu presidential box. Entitled Grandes remontadas (Great comebacks) and moderated by journalist, Julio César Iglesias, the discussion panel was presided by Enrique Sánchez, the Foundation’s executive vice-president, whilst the following four club legends took centre stage alongside him: Amancio, Camacho, Butragueño and Roberto Carlos.
Emilio Butragueño commented on one of the keys elements of Real Madrid’s DNA: “There’s something in the make-up of Real Madrid that never goes away and that’s that we never give up. I learned about it from Camacho and it’s true. It doesn’t matter how the game is going results-wise, we don’t give in. It’s something we’ve witnessed in the last two Champions League finals. It’s a legacy and it’s our duty to maintain it”.
“The European Cup draws were usually made at midday. Back in our playing days, we were more interested in the order of the matches than the opposition. We always wanted to be drawn away for the first leg because we knew that we’d win the return leg back at the Bernabéu”.
Camacho: “The atmosphere was incredible”
“The stadium was a cauldron of noise. We didn’t want to go out to warm up and see the opposition because they came out and were really up for it. The crowd behind the goals and the people on their feet were impressive. The atmosphere outside the ground before and after the game was incredible and the more heavily we were trailing, the earlier the tickets sold out”.
“I had the good or bad habit of not talking to any opponent out on the pitch. I had the odd clash with Maradona, but he later even invited me to his wedding”.
Roberto Carlos: “The opposition are always made to really suffer at the Bernabéu”
“Before the comeback games what we really needed was rest, before going out and giving our all in those matches. It was all about being better than the opposition and enjoying ourselves. We needed to stage a comeback and we knew that it was very tough to beat us at the Bernabéu. Right since I joined the club in 1996 through until 2007 we lost very few home games. The opposition were made to really suffer here”.
Amancio: “Nobody gave us a hope in the sixth European Cup”
“Nobody gave us a hope of winning the sixth European Cup. We even called it a homemade team because 50% of the side came up from the academy and they were nearly all Spaniards. In the semi-finals everyone had their money on Helenio Herrera’s Inter Milan side. We managed to claim a 1-0 win here and they were waiting for us back at their place in the second leg”.
“I remember it as being a tough game and it was a was a major surprise to reach the final, in which we faced Partizan. We didn’t know anything about them. Nowadays football is global, but back then we didn’t have access to so much information”.