Real Madrid's six previous visits to New York
Real Madrid have made six visits to New York from the first in the summer of 1927 to the most recent in 2012.
It's almost 6,000 kilometres (as the crow flies) away, over the world's second largest ocean, but New York is a city which Real Madrid are very familiar with. Los Blancos have made six visits to New York since Luis Urquijo, club president for the latter part of of the 1920s, decided to take the team to the city to conclude the 1927 pre-season tour of South America. A 'Real Madrid' side (which featured a handful of players from other clubs such as Athletic Club and Osasuna) played their first ever game in New York at Hawthorne Field on 24 September 1927, drawing 1-1 with ASL outfit Galicia SC (later known as Brookhatten).
They wouldn't return to North America for over 30 years - again at the tail end of a mini-tour of South America. A Real Madrid side which included Alfredo Di Stéfano, Paco Gento and Ferenc Puskás played two games on Ebbets Field - former home of Brooklyn Dodgers. In the first game on 15 July 1959, Madrid thrashed Austria's Grazer AK 6-2 in front of 15,000 spectators. A second game was played four days later at the same venue against a combined side comprising players from Grazer and local outfit, New York Hungarians; they too took a hiding - Madrid striding to an 8-0 win with Puskás claiming a hat trick.
Six years on and Real Madrid were back with the 'Ye-Yé' team who were held to a 1-1 draw by Argentineans Independiente de Avellaneda at Downing Stadium on 27 August 1965 - just missing the Beatles historic, record-breaking concert down the road at Shea Stadium by a few days.
Fast forward three years and Madrid were back. This time mythtical ballpark Yankee Stadium hosted a friendly against Miguel Muñoz's Madrid side and NPSL side New York Generals. 17,000 fans watched Madrid take a three-goal lead within the hour. It ended 4-1 with AS reporting in their 23rd August edition two days later that Miguel Pérez, who bagged a brace, was the man of the match.
Prior to the current visit, the Big Apple welcomed two Real Madrid sides since the new Millennium. In August 2002, Madrid met Roma in a match that promised much on paper but turned out to be a solemn affair. The two teams had met the previous season on 11 September - their Champions League went ahead even after the events which had taken place that day in New York. Del Bosque field his strongest XI for the 2002 friendly at Giants Stadium - only Raúl, suffering "twinges" and Guti failed to make the trip. On the opposing side a knee injury forced Totti to miss the game but a certain Pep Guardiola was making one of his first appearances for Fabio Capello's side but in spite of all of the big names on the pitch and media fanfare, it ended 0-0 with Zidane and Casillas the best of an insipid game, the former, according to AS' match report treating spectators to a "first-rate recital of football" with one-twos, delightfully-measured passes and "luxurious" backheels.
A decade later Madrid paid their second visit to the Bronx; a capacity crowd packed Yankee Stadium to see AC Milan served a 5-1 thumping - Di María, Cristiano Ronaldo (2), Sergio Ramos and José Callejón got on the scoresheet for Madrid while Robinho pulled one back against his old employers.
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