Tomorrow, Real Madrid will make their fifth visit to Girona's Montilivi stadium but this will be the first time the two teams have met in official competition. Madrid's four previous visist were all as guests in the first editions of the Trofeo Inmortal summer tournament.
20-08-1977. Girona 0-0 Real Madrid
Antonio Ruiz stood in for Miljanic in Madrid's first visit
There was huge expectation on the streets of Girona for Madrid's first visit on 20 August 1977. Madrid were the first side to be invited to take part in the I Trofeo Inmortal Ciudad de Girona. Los Blancos, who had not long ended a season to forget (they ended the 1976-77 campaign in ninth), still had great pulling power during the pre-season - this was their fifth outing of the summer and such was the interest that Montilivi registered its first sell-out in history.
Coach Miljan Miljanic named a 15-man squad for the game and everyone was given minutes with four players coming on at half-time. The Madrid expedition flew to Barcelona and were driven to Girona by coach. But it was assistant coach Antonio Ruiz who was on the bench for the game; Miljanic's father had fallen seriously ill and he flew out to Belgrade to be by his side. This first meeting ended without goals and was resolved from the penalty spot. Mariano García Remón saved three of the hosts' spot-kicks while Guerini, Rubiñán and Escribano converted to hand the visitors the trophy as the shoot-out ended 1-3.
23-08-79. Girona 0-4 Real Madrid
Girona's cheque bounces
Two years later Madrid were back in Girona, and extended their stay as Barcelona had invited the players to watch the Trofeo Gamper final between Cologne at Camp Nou the following day. Santillana opened the scoring on 10 minutes and grabbed another just minutes into the second half. Miguel Ángel Portugal and Juanito added to the scorecard as it ended 0-4.
Madrid earned almost 4 millones pesetas for their participation in the friendly but the hosts were unable to pay them due to their financial problems... Girona paid almost a million pesetas in cash and wrote a cheque for the remaining 2,710,000 pesetas. But when Madrid went to cash the cheque, it bounced. The problem was sorted out a few months later in January 1980.
21-08-80. Girona 1-4 Real Madrid
Girona finally get to see Laurie Cunningham
The chief protagonist in Madrid's third visit was Laurie Cunningham. The spotlight was on English forward the previous year but an ankle injury which he picked up against Real Sociedad meant he couldn't play. This time, to the delight of the watching public, he came on as a second half sub... and lasted just 21 minutes! he limped off rubbing his sore ankle on 77 minutes to be replaced by Poli Rincón. Madrid also helped out the Catalan club that summer when their Trofeo Costa Brava failed to live up to expectations. Girona had invited Real Sociedad but the event was a flop financially. Madrid's presence ensured gate receipts were almost six million pesetas, making up for the losses incurred a couple of weeks earlier.
20-08-81. Girona 0 - Real Madrid 3.
Juanito given a standing ovation
Madrid's fourth visit, for the V Trofeo Inmortal Ciudad de Girona came about because of the signing of Francesc Xavier Julià, a hard-working winger who had impressed the madridistas in the previous summer's meeting. He joined from Girona but his career never really took off at Real Madrid and he left to join Oviedo, where he spent most of the 1980s. The star performers in this final fruiendly were Juanito, who was treated to an ovacion after scoring two goals in five minutes, and Andrés Alonso García Ito, whose trickery with the ball enchanted spectators. It was Ito's first appearance as a madridista signing his transfer from Salamanca and even though he didn't get among the goals that night, he wowed the public with his skills and forays down the wing.