Real Madrid’s 3-1 win tonight against Real Mallorca was a fairy tale ending to David Beckham’s career for the Spanish giants tonight. In what must be described as a simply spectacular match, Real yet again came back from one goal behind to sneak the win. They’ve been doing it all season, but this night meant more than any other.
While Beckham played his part in the match for the first 60 minutes, it was the player who was substituted for him that took the glory and headlines: Jose Antonio Reyes, the Arsenal player, scored two brilliant goals to ignite the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and to bring the La Liga trophy back home to the team in white.
At times, the passion seemed a bit too much for GolTV co-commentator Ray Hudson who was running out of his gems. Hudson poured just as much energy into this match as I’ve ever heard a commentator do (well, especially an English one). His passion was excessive a couple of times tonight (that was the first time I’ve heard a commentator talking about knickers in a football match), but it was excellent entertainment and Hudson was the perfect man for the perfect occasion alongside the on-form Phil Schoen who was the rock that steadied the boat.
It was yet another brilliant advertisement for Spain’s Primera Liga. A battle that went literally down to the wire with Barcelona knocking on the door after their 5-1 win against Gimnastic. It wasn’t to be Frank Rijkaard’s night, or season, and undoubtedly the exit door beckons for the Dutchman as Barcelona plans on overhauling its squad this summer.
Spare a thought, too, for the three clubs relegated from La Liga: Celta, Real Sociedad and Nastic. Real Sociedad, only a few seasons ago, finished in second place in La Liga and made the last 16 of the Champions League.
What the season proves, especially the finale, is that it is undoubtedly far superior than the Premier League in terms of competitiveness and more importantly talent on the pitch. Whether that remains the same next season will depend greatly on the transfer market this summer and whether the stars move to Spain or England. Until then, congratulations Real Madrid.
For photographs and multimedia of Real Madrid’s successful season, be sure to check out the following page from Marca: http://www.marca.com/futbol/2007/campeon/resumen.html