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Another way to live a classic: you would work with niqab, a tour of the kitchen and a tribute to Benzema

Another way to live a classic: you would work with niqab, a tour of the kitchen and a tribute to Benzema

Barcelona 2 – Real Madrid 3

The duel in Riyadh, cold on the outskirts, leads to a duel of fans with a Saudi heart. There were women in the stands and at the control of the King Fahd stadium.

Piqu and Benzema, during the match.AP
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A child happily sings, in his own way, with the Arabic lyrics that he has decided, the anthem of Barcelona. Except for the tone, no one would have guessed. That and the strident megaphone from the sumptuous King Fahd Stadium, which spits out classics from the 90s as soon as a hit from MalumaThey break an almost ceremonial silence on their way to their corner of the stands. It took 57 minutes for the 30,000 tickets to sell out, but there is not the slightest trace of the hubbub that would have erupted around any stage in Spain. The Saudi fans reserve their energy for inside the walls. Logically, the absence of alcohol, prohibited in the country, has a lot to do with these tasks. And also, of course, the distance with which this competition is perceived, which has become the attraction of the week in Riyadh, for those who know of its existence.

And that there are fans. Very fanatic. Most say they are from Real Madrid. Or at least they proudly wear their shirts. Clothes from different eras and, for the most part, far, far away from resembling the originals. Find Madrid!, reads the sign held by three young boys, while they wait for the security check. There, by the way, are four women wearing a niqab and wielding the metal detector. All with their pink overalls, just like inside the stadium. The majority of Madrid fans will let their hair down minutes before kick-off, seeing their idols jump onto the pitch. And, above all, when the video scoreboard showed the face and bust of Benzema, revered, among other reasons, for his pilgrimage to Mecca in 2016.

A woman, with a Real Madrid scarf.EFE

There are also those from Barcelona. One walks around a turquoise t-shirt from that Dream Team that Cruyff raised in the 90s. Some even dare to wear a Spanish flag around their waist with the Barcelona shield in the center. Everything, yes, I brought from home because in the outskirts there is no merchandising what to buy. None of those classic stalls of scarves and other props. The juiciest business, in the access of the most noisy followers, are some stands of tea, popcorn already uncorked and local breads. It smells like another football and doesn’t smell like food at all.

a resale of children

Do you want tickets? asks a boy of no more than 14 years old, in the company of two more friends. They want to do business with tickets for which they did not pay more than 10 euros on Monday. Because resale is not just a thing in Spain.

Reaching the destination, for those who visit the stadium for the first time, for those who make their debut in the country, is another odyssey. Because one just as well ends up in the seat that corresponds to him than walking next to the kitchens or crossing any area reserved for the sheikhs. Also among a handful of rugs intended for worship, which one can step on if one does not sharpen one’s eyes. Even in front of specific rooms for prayer, where the door that women have to go through is quite clear.

But there was football, yes. There was a classic ambush after the fireworks. A fierce duel seen through alien eyes. It was the one on the night Fernando Torres, unpublished since October, and for which Bara will pay 55 million euros, debut without too much brilliance with the Barcelona shirt. It was also that of the umpteenth triumphal connection between Benzema Y Vinicius, which led to the Brazilian’s 15th goal of the season. That is why the stands bellowed without blushing something like: Vi-ni-cios! Vi-ni-cios!. For this reason, perhaps because it had to be worn as it was, a fan raised the white T-shirt of Christian.

Prostrate to Benzema

And although they seemed few and sleepy, the singular hobby which suddenly woke up with the intriguing claw of Luuk de Jong, which was the tie. The roar of the stands, where it was difficult to distinguish any woman, but there were some intermingled, changed into azulgrana. Especially when Pedri, missing since September, returned to the scene as if nothing had happened. Following its long-awaited wake, the Bara woke up and its people went into a trance, desperate to chant whatever name it was at a clean decibel. the of Pedri it wasn’t very complicated.

Pedri faces Courtois.AP

the of Ansu Fati, perhaps simpler, was not difficult either. His both, after the madness with that of Benzema, later MVP, who would have been shouldered if they could, led to an extension that was appreciated more by the public than by the players. Extra time moved into Thursday. there he put Valverde upside down to the stadium, while from one of the funds, a man at the control of his megaphone, prolonged the party. The one from the desert classic.

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Reference from elmundo