Cristiano Ronaldo salutes the Miami crowd after scoring against Chelsea

“Madridista right to the core”

Real Madrid CF
Valeria Paz

After so many years watching Real Madrid on TV from home in Guatemala, the chance to see her heroes in the flesh meant everything to Valeria Paz, even if it was just a pre-season friendly

When I saw the players walking out of the dressing rooms, I couldn’t stop the tears. This story is about a 15-year-old girl fulfilling a dream. A dream that she saw as very far away, but then life brings surprises and football too. There she was in person, supporting her dream team, Real Madrid, at the final match of the 2013 International Champions Cup against Chelsea in Miami. The match wasn’t of much importance to most people; I mean, it’s pre-season we’re talking about. But to the girl who had watched that team on TV every weekend, who celebrated the goals of the B-B-C, Iker's incredible saves, Ramos's attitude, the silly dances of Marcelo and Cristiano, it meant everything.

I must mention that this passion was born in a small apartment in Guatemala, from watching with my father. The less I see of him today, the bigger is my love for the club. Football can unite, right? No matter how bad a moment can be, Real Madrid brings enjoyment, it permits you to walk with your head held high. This is what the white jersey represents: strength, courage, pride.

Madrid won comfortably, 3-1, in a game without any intensity. Madrid dominated from minute one, leaving an unhappy Mourinho, and on the other side a calm Ancelotti. For him just one more day at the office, but for me, the most passionate day of my life. The day that I could be in the same place as my first soccer idol, Iker Casillas, my eternal captain. The day that my teenage self, felt a thirst for her future profession in the sports industry. And as former Madrid forward Juanito used to say, the day I felt Madridista right to the core.

Our Champions Journalist winner:
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: Champions Journalist is an annual competition that gives fans a chance to write about their club for Champions Journal.
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.