This is how the Metropolitan sounded again: surprising ovation to Pepe, anger to Cristiano Ronaldo and a message to Morata

The Portuguese center-back went to the bench amid applause, with almost the same decibels with which Koke was received. The striker won the whistles of his hobby for a final error. “His last action is to get up and clap,” said Luis Enrique

Morata greets Cristiano during the match.SERGIO PREZREUTERS

As expected, the Metropolitan’s first row in 454 days was Cristiano Ronaldo. It was the first of a few. In the warm-up, when his name was mentioned over the megaphone to announce the line-ups and a good handful when the ball approached his boots. But he was not the only one. It also rained on Luis Enrique from the stands when the speaker, the same one that entertains the matches of Atltico de Madrid, mentioned his name after the initial line-up of Spain. Come on, the typical thing that happens until the pandemic put football and much of the planet into mute mode. I don’t care if they whistle at me. He even puts me in tune, the Asturian technician would later say, to wish those who whistled him a happy weekend.

The official number of spectators was 14.743. Just a pinch less than the 15,000 seats that were available for the duel because of the capacity limits. But the Wanda was back to football, which is what really matters. All seated and at a distance. And, of course, nothing to eat or drink on the seat so that the mask does not move from its natural place even one millimeter.

In the north end, next to the scoreboard, a handful of Portuguese fans were noted. They even came to celebrate a goal, from the central Source, which was annulled for getting on the back of Pau Torres. Since there wasn’t much rhythm on the lawn, anything was going to spice things up. Including the Oops! when Unai Simn cleared with his feet a ball destined for his hands, which ended up crashing against Cristiano’s body, to the delirium of a good part of the stands. By the way, the best control of the game was the work of Luis Enrique, who has touch and plant to continue playing.

In the box, despite the almost 30 degrees of Madrid, no one loosened his tie or took off the commemorative scarf of the match. The number 100 between both selections. From time to time the King Felipe VI he cleared a play with Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the president of Portugal, whom he had by his side. Y Pedro Sanchez, the President of the Government, did the same with Luis Rubiales, the highest representative of the Spanish Football Federation. The mayor of the capital was also in that noble area, Jos Luis Martnez-Almeida, who had been there for the delivery ceremony of the League to his Atltico barely two weeks ago.

The box of authorities of the Metropolitan.
The box of authorities of the Metropolitan.Manu FernandezAP

The Iberian candidacy to jointly organize the 2030 World Cup had been made official minutes before the start of the match, in the anteroom of the stadium authorities. King Felipe VI and Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of Portugal, symbolically exchanged shirts from both countries with their names on the back. Hours before, they had met privately to eat on a terrace in Madrid’s Plaza de Oriente. Also present were the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and Antonio Costa, the Portuguese Prime Minister. Luis Rubiales, president of the RFEF, and Fernando Soares Gomes, top president of the Portuguese federation, signed the official document.

Let koke come out

Some amazing things happened. For example Pepe, the central defender who continues to lead Portugal’s defense at 38 years old, received a standing ovation, without division of opinion when Fernando Santos, the Portuguese coach, around the time of the game, decided that it was his turn to return to the bench. The former Madridista, naturally, returned the gesture, probably hallucinating, with another applause to the fans. It was the first time he had stepped on the Metropolitan.

Without Sergio Ramos, the bracelet from Spain wore it, as planned, Sergio Busquets, the new captain. But in his absence, without Jordi Alba ni Boil, the captain went to Morata, who was playing his 40th game with the Spain jersey. By the way, the rojiblanco midfielder, whom the fans claimed from their seats while warming up on the band, ended up taking the other ovation of the afternoon. From Pepe to Koke. Curious.

The audience was left with the desire to see some goal. And that they were already singing, with time expired, when Morata, who scored half of his 22 goals as a rojiblanco in that same stadium, left alone towards the Portuguese goalkeeper. His shot crashed into the crossbar and the stands dedicated a: How bad you are !. Luis Enrique’s response to the public’s reaction: I don’t care. Morata’s last action is to get up, clap her hands and leave her muons there. At least next Tuesday, he will have a chance to make it up. Be in Legans, opposite Lithuania.

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