On May 31, 1982 Real Madrid and Barcelona contested the only Clásico to date to take place on non-Spanish soil. The match was staged in Venezuela in front of just 700 spectators, among them Alfredo di Stéfano, a contest that few remember – even those that were on the pitch.
“I don’t remember much about it,” Vicente del Bosque told AS. “I know that I scored the goal because you [the press] reminded me, but I’ve no idea how it went in…” The few reports that exist of the match say that the former Real striker and Spain coach scored with a header from a corner. “Maybe,” Del Bosque chuckles.
"Barça were busy signing Maradona..."
The Venezuela match, an improvised affair, has been lost in the annals of the Clásicos down the years but was notable for the presence of the Real Madrid great in the stands. “Alfredo was there to watch because the following season he took over as manager, but we didn’t have any of our international players there and Barcelona were busy signing Maradona so… it was another era.”
While the 2017 Miami Clásico will be played as part of a pre-season show lasting four days – and is expected to generate in the region of $1 billion with a global audience in the tens of millions – the Venezuela edition was organized almost as an ad hoc kickabout. The four-way tournament between the two Spanish giants also featured Inter and Porto, who both won their games to go through to the final. A third-place playoff was hastily arranged between Real and Barça.
“I can’t even remember if I played,” admits former Real full back Isidoro San José. “You have to understand that in those days the derby against Atlético was more important to us.
One of Barça’s side that day, Lobo Carrasco, remembers the game, but only because of the weather. “Between the heat and the humidity there, we had to go back to the hotel every hour and half to have a shower to cool down.”
The "lost" Clásico
Although the game was recorded, there no longer exists any footage or images of the Clásico. “Canal 8, the Venezuelan state broadcaster, taped it but when I went recently to the archives to ask about the footage they said the film was damaged,” says Venezuelan journalist Eliezer Sebastián. “The odd thing is there were only 700 spectators. If they had played it in Caracas maybe it would be have been different…”