Following the Copa del Rey final, and that Messi exhibition, the Vicente Calderón threw a definitive farewell party with a beautiful show of nostalgia, a final stamp for their collection. One that sums them up perfectly. There are still two concerts to be played in the stadium, but this is something else, another world. Those who went to the stadium holding the hand of their father, went to see the football. The concert goers are a different breed, although with some overlap, but they're not at that age when a father's hand, and word, is everything. The pickaxe will bring down this stadium. It is up to everyone else to transfer those feelings to the new one.
Vicente Calderón dies a spectacular death
It will be better, but not the same. It doesn't frighten me. I got to know the Metropolitan and I never went to the Manzanares holding my father's hand, instead I went as a teenager, rebellious and, to some degree, independent. But I look on with enormous respect at the pain of those who watch the fall of their cathedral of dreams. I can only give them the consolation that they had so many great final European nights during this last spell, an amazing time to be Atlético; that second goal from Torres against Athletic; the brilliance of Messi in the Copa final; and yesterday's fantastic ceremony, a parade of memories. Not many stadiums have died like this.
La Cultural promoted to La Segunda
Far from there, in León, I had some very different sensations. La Cultural returned to the Segunda after 42 years, after beating Barça B. Friends from here along with a recent reading of an article by Blas López-Angulo, 'La España ausente', about the forgotten aspects of Spain including football, brought me here. An excited city, packed stadium, facing up against the Barça colours, the prestige of La Masia. In the end, victory, promotion, a lap of honour, partytime... Here too there were many who had been brought by the hand of their parents to see Cultu into the Segunda, some who even remember their season in the Primera, and it evoked the memories. Football is like a store of collective feelings, in Madrid, in León, anywhere.