Real Madrid finally leave Pamplona after snow disruption

Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid’s players were finally able to leave Pamplona on Monday after being stuck in the Spanish city for three nights due to the heavy snowstorm that hit the country over the weekend. 

The team flew straight to Malaga, without returning to their homes in Madrid, to get ready for Thursday’s Spanish Super Cup semi-final against Athletic Bilbao. 

Madrid’s players arrived in Pamplona on Friday for their La Liga game against Osasuna on Saturday, which finished 0-0. 

But the dreadful weather conditions meant travel links were disrupted and they were unable to return to the capital either after the game or on Sunday. 

Real Madrid departed on Monday morning and landed in Malaga, where they will have a light training session on Monday night, the first of three sessions before the game on Thursday. 

But the preparation is far from ideal for Zinedine Zidane’s side, whose draw against Osasuna meant they missed the chance to overtake Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga. 

Zidane complained about the state of the pitch at the El Sadar stadium, where a light dusting of snow made playing conditions difficult. 

“For me this was not a football match,” said Zidane, who was convinced the fixture should have been called off. 

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois criticised La Liga for allowing the game to go ahead. “They need to realise that footballers are human beings,” said Courtois. “We travelled to the stadium with the motorway deep in snow. You have to think about people’s safety. All of us have families who worry about us.” 

Schools were closed throughout Madrid on Monday, where between 20 and 30 centimetres of snow fell on Saturday, the heaviest snowfall in the city since 1971. 

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