Real Madrid will look for something next weekend that it has never achieved in history: to be champion after reaching the last day of the League behind the leader. It is the Spanish club with the most titles in the regularity tournament (34), but it has always achieved them by sentencing the championship first or facing the decisive duel depending on itself. As soon as he has had to wait for the puncture of others, and that has happened ten times, he has ended up frustrated. This time he will have to beat Villarreal at home and hope that Atlético does not do it in Zorrilla. On Saturday, a little before 8:00 p.m., it will be known if the tradition continues or if the whites inaugurate a new way to lift the trophy.
On the contrary, however, the same standard has not been met for meringues. In four remembered, the two consecutive from Tenerife (91/92 and 92/93). They asked Zinedine Zidane about those episodes this Sunday, in case fate owed one to his people for those who were tragically left at the Heliodoro Rodríguez López, and the French coach, laughing almost with a laugh, said that they did not lose the hope of a rebound and that they were going to “get every last drop out of his body.”
Of the ten times that Madridistas have waited in vain for a carom, only once have they come across Atlético. It happened in 65/66 and the success of the rojiblancos was largely due to Barcelona. Atlético reached the end one point ahead (42-41) thanks to the fact that the Catalans, in the penultimate date of the tournament, had come back in the second half to Real Madrid (2-1) and they had beaten Las Palmas (2 -0). On the final day, the intrigue was scarce. Two goals before the break of Ufarte and Griffa in Sarriá (0-2) canceled the white win against Mallorca (5-1).
In this chapter of history, one year breaks through all of them. Perhaps because of the relative closeness in time and the memory of its images. It was in the 80/81. Its protagonists: Jesús Mari Zamora and Real Sociedad, and Juanito and Real Madrid. The Donostiarras landed in Gijón with a point advantage over the Madridistas (44-43), so it was enough for them not to lose (the victory was worth two points). By the seventh minute, they were already winning with a penalty converted by Kortabarria. But Sporting, which was no comparsa, turned the score around and the txuri-urdin they headed for a dramatic ending… with a happy ending (2-2). At the last minute, Zamora turned all of San Sebastián upside down. His photo uploaded to the El Molinón fence to celebrate it with the crowd displaced there is one of the League’s postcards.
Meanwhile, in Valladolid, Madrid had won 1-3 and, due to things in those analog times, without the Internet and with transistors full of interference, Juanito began to celebrate it ahead of time. He said that if they won the title, he would go to the locker room on his knees. And that began to do believing that everything was settled, until someone spoke to him for his misfortune of Zamora.
Much less exciting have been the last two occasions (09/10 and 15/16). In both, Barcelona arrived with a point of advantage over Real Madrid and the plot was quickly resolved. In the first, Guardiola’s team cleared Valladolid (4-0) without problems and, in addition, Pellegrini’s Madrid and their “score” did not go beyond the draw in Malaga (1-1). 99-96 was the result of that edition, the beginning of a stratospheric era, with champions at 100 points. In the second, with Zidane on the bench, the Catalans gave no options by sweeping Granada (0-3) and invalidating the Whites’ 0-2 in Riazor.
The other times that Madrid came to the last match from behind in the table and could not come back were 33/34 (won by Athletic), 34/35 (Betis), 35/36 (Athletic), 52 / 53 (Barcelona), 59/60 (Barcelona) and 83/84 (Athletic). Next Saturday, the whites face Villarreal, Atlético and a story that never smiled at them in this situation. The club that always appeals to comebacks does not have any of these characteristics in the league.
33/34. Madrid reached a point from Athletic, but tied against Spanish (2-2) and the rojiblancos beat Racing (3-1).
34/35. Betis made good their advantage of one point. The two won. The Verdiblanos to Racing (0-5) and the Whites to Arenas de Guecho (6-1).
35/36. Athletic surpassed them by one point and, on the last day, Madrid drew at Betis (1-1) and the Basques defeated Osasuna (2-0).
52/53. Barça overtook him by one point and then Madrid lost in Vigo (2-1) and the Catalans beat Atlético (3-2).
59/60. Equalized on points with Barcelona, who beat Zaragoza (5-0). The whites won in Las Palmas (0-1).
65/66. A point ahead of Atlético. The two win in the last day. The rojiblancos to Spanish (0-2) and Madrid to Mallorca (5-1).
80/81. Real advantage of one point, which tied in Gijón (2-2) and annulled Madrid’s victory in Valladolid (1-3).
83/84. Tied on points with Athletic. They both win. Bilbao to Real (2-1) and Madrid to Spanish (1-2).
09/10. One point behind Barça, who beat Valladolid (4-0). Madrid tie in Malaga (1-1).
15/16. One point behind Barça. The culés beat Granada (0-3) and the whites, Dépor (0-2).