Undying support

Bernabéu buzzing

Real Madrid CF
Valeria Paz

Valeria Paz, our Real Madrid fan reporter, soaked up the atmosphere in the stadium as her side took on Manchester City

The Santiago Bernabéu was bursting with excitement and anticipation as Real Madrid took on Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final. As always, the atmosphere in the stadium was sensational, with thousands of Madridistas cheering on the team.

As one of those Madridistas, my experience was nothing short of amazing. There is simply no better feeling than being in the stadium, surrounded by fellow fans, and watching the players and Carlo Ancelotti working their magic in person. I even had a fun experience with the couple sitting beside me. While they were devout Real Madrid fans, their little kid was a huge Manchester City supporter, and he couldn’t stop cheering for Jack Grealish for the entirety of the game.

Valeria immersed in the occasion

But despite the excitement, there was also a sense of disappointment as Manchester City seemed to have a better game. Throughout the match, the whole crowd – myself included – was visibly angry at the referee. We felt like countless decisions went against us, which was very annoying. The frustration was palpable, and the fans were particularly loud in shouting at City’s captain İlkay Gündoğan.

Despite the challenges we faced, the most positive takeaway was that Erling Haaland's threat was kept under control. Antonio Rüdiger did such an amazing job to keep him at bay. I was pleasantly surprised; given Haaland’s form, I expected him to score at least once.  

As we made our way out after the game, there was a sense of unease in the air. Unlike other matches where we usually celebrate, this time there remains a feeling of uncertainty. Everything is still to play for in the second leg in Manchester.

Despite the disappointment of not winning, it was still a wonderful experience to watch the best players in the world perform on this beautiful pitch. The passion and energy of the fans was unmatched, and it was clear that everyone in the stadium was united.

Our Champions Journalist fan reporter:
Valeria Paz
Valeria first remembers cheering for Real Madrid as an eight-year-old and was soon sharing her dad’s passion for the club. Her top player is Iker Casillas, who she says, “was, is and will always be my favourite athlete. He taught me that success is not only about effort, but also about patience, passion and about staying true to yourself and your instincts. He’s a living legend.” So far, nothing tops Real Madrid’s 2014 Champions League win against Atlético. “I couldn’t hold back my tears when Ramos scored that 90th minute goal,” she says. “Celebrating with my best friends was unforgettable.”
About Champions Journalist fan reporters: These blogs have been written by winners of our annual Champions Journalist competition as well as a selection of editors from various fan page accounts. Together they offer their unique insights from the group stages all the way to the final.
Champions Journalist
With thanks to our Champions Journalist winner
Valeria Paz
Champions Journalist is an annual competition that gives fans a chance to write about their club for Champions Journal.