Real Madrid: 'Informe Robinson' pays homage to memorable side

'Informe Robinson', a Spanish sports documentary series hosted by TV pundit Michael Robinson, is always excellent. But I have found his recent look back on Real Madrid's 'Quinta del Buitre' particularly good. It remembers a time when Madrid's fans delighted in a group of local lads - Butragueño, Míchel, Pardeza, Sanchís, Vázquez - who played an effective, attacking brand of football. I was just old enough to catch the Madrid of Di Stéfano, Puskas and Gento and, having also followed the generations that came next, right up to the 'Galácticos' and Cristiano Ronaldo and Co, I have to say I have never seen a side generate the same enthusiasm in the Bernabéu crowd as the team of the second half of the 80s.

It came at a good time for the capital. The transition to democracy in Spain had taken place, establishing a nation that embraced its various regional identities through its newly-created autonomous communities. It was a strange experience for those of us from Madrid; it felt like it was all happening elsewhere. There was something almost token about the creation of our own autonomous community, with its made-up flag and anthem that none of us knew the words to. But we found our niche thanks to our mayor, Enrique Tierno Galván, the young musicians grouped together in the Movida Madrileña movement, our bullfighting festival, and that iconic Real Madrid team starring middle-class lads from the city.

Left to right: Emilio Butragueño, Miguel Pardeza, Míchel, Manolo Sanchís and Rafael Martín Vázquez.

Sense of what might have been surrounds 'Quinta del Buitre'

Each with very different personalities, they all appear in 'Informe Robinson', recounting their experiences alongside images of their football. The result is a portrait of a period that is receding into the past, but is never forgotten. When the 'Quinta' came to an end, there was a real feeling of what might have been. Sure, they had won five straight league titles; but there was no European Cup to go with them. The gods of the game turned their backs on Madrid that night in Eindhoven, and that disappointment was followed by the emergence of a tremendous AC Milan team. Only Sanchís would got his hands on the trophy, lifting it on behalf of the others in 1998. Together, though, they wrote an unforgettable chapter in Real Madrid's history books, one that this documentary pays wonderful homage to.