The seats from the Bernabéu find a home in a bull-ring

Over 2,000 seats from Real Madrid's stadium are now in the bull-ring at Villa del Prado. They were in the Bernabéu until 2003.

The seats from the Bernabéu find a home in a bull-ring
Emilio Cobos

The Plaza de Toros, the bull-ring, in Villa del Prado, a small town 65 kilometres south-east of Madrid, founded in 2003, is about as Madridista as it gets. Let me explain myself. The original home of the 2,465 blue seats the bull-fighting fans sit on was the Bernabéu, Real Madrid's stadium, with the seats being brought to Villa del Prado from the home of the Galácticos (Beckham, Zidane, Roberto Carlos...) in 2003.

The President of the local Real Madrid supporters club, Martín Recio, tells us proudly: "Back then I was second deputy mayor and as they were changing the seats in the Bernabéu we decided to ask the club if we could have them. Florentino [Pérez] agreed straight away".

From Galacticos to Matadors.

But the move wasn't entirely straight-forward. The company that was upgrading the seats in the Bernabéu asked people from Villa del Prado to take two trailers with the 2,465 seats. "I'm a fireman and I was on duty that night, so I asked counciller Luis Benito, who's a massive Atleti fan, to stand in for me. For the good of the town he agreed to do it. They ended up making so much noise that at three in the morning one of the locals ended up coming down in his pyjamas with a shot-gun. He told Luis he'd shoot him if he carried on moving the seats. And Luis found himself saying "But I'm an Atleti fan, you can't kill me over something from the Bernabéu!"

The seats ended up being installed without shots being fired and their origin is a source of pride for the the town, above all the Real Madrid supporting half. "Now we just need to win the Undécima [the eleventh European Cup]", says Martín Recío, "For the locals who support Atleti it'll be a terrible goring." 

Tomás Roncero in the bull-ring