In keeping with the current rapprochement between Cuba and Spain, promoted by the governments of both countries, the Real Madrid football team plans to land in Havana in 2019 for an exhibition match.
A source from the Merengue Club who asked not to be identified told OnCuba that everything was “practically ready” and the only thing missing were “small details” to be specified with the Cuban Football Federation.
The meet, which would commemorate the five centuries of the founding of Havana, would be played during the 2019-2020 preseason, at the beginning of August, although the source acknowledged that “Cuba’s high summer temperatures” could be “a small problem to be taken into account.”
As plan B, the FIFA date of November is being assessed, presumably less hot on the island and, more importantly, at the moment of Havana’s birthday. This variant would also have in its favor that the game could be held during the King and Queen of Spain’s visit to Havana, who in that case would attend the historic game.
Instead, it would have the disadvantage that some Real Madrid players may not travel to Cuba given that they could be summoned by their respective countries, although “it can be coordinated with their national federations,” the source said.
The Madrid team will face the Cuban team, grouped under the symbolic name of FC Habana. The Real Madrid directors have expressed their wish that by then the island’s team could have players in their ranks who are active abroad in order to “offer the best spectacle.”
However, the source passed on a reassuring message to the Cuban fans in case the latter does not happen. “Our boys will go to play football, not to embarrass anyone,” he said.
He also commented on the club’s willingness to send a group of specialists to the island “with sufficient time” to work on the preparation of the Pedro Marrero Stadium, home of the Cuban team, where the match will take place.
And as icing on the cake, the source announced that Real Madrid will hold a clinic with Cuban soccer players in the days leading up to the match, as well as a “talent scouting” on the island that could send Cuban players to the training programs of their academy in the Spanish capital.
“Maybe we’ll discover the next Ronaldo, who knows,” he joked.
On behalf of the players, the Real Madrid captain, Sergio Ramos, said that “we are very excited with the idea” of playing in Cuba and he recalled his trip to Havana in 2015 as UNICEF Ambassador.
Meanwhile, Brazilian goalkeeper Marcelo said they are thinking of inviting several stars of the club from previous periods to watch the game. He mentioned Roberto Carlos, Raúl – who already played in Cuba with the New York Cosmos -, Beckham, Suker and Zidane, if Florentino Pérez is not against it.
“It’s going to be a bombshell,” he said.
Consulted by OnCuba, the Cuban Football Federation preferred not to comment on the matter. However, it warned of the fact that the news leaked precisely on the day of the Feast of the Holy Innocents.
If you believed all of the above, let it be known that it is really a joke, innocent and in good faith, like the one that every December 28 many people in Latin America play on their friends and close friends, and like the one that many media outlets also dedicate on this day to their readers.
OnCuba clarifies that it feels deep respect for Real Madrid, the Cuban Football Federation; and it avails itself of this opportunity to invite its readers to enjoy this universal sport that today has so many followers on the island. Who knows if sooner or later we could have the Merengue Club playing in Havana, can you imagine?