Only 20 Euros to see the World Cup holders versus the Azzuri months before the World Cup with players ensuring they are on the plane to Brazil, surely this would turn out to be a bargain?
The game was at the ʺother Madridʺ teams stadium. Athletico Madrid, currently second in the league and ahead in the Champions league tie with AC Milan! A small discrepancy on the pitch, but Athletico's Calderon stadium felt like the poor cousin of the Bernabeu.
Luis Aragones, the former Spanish and Athletic Madrid manager as well as a successful Athletico player died in February. There were fitting tributes around the stadium and from the team wearing black.
Surprisingly, Diego Costa lines up to play against Italy his 2nd debut within a year. Yes you did rad that correctly. 12 months ago he played for Brazil but today for Spain?!?! I expect to see him line up against Italy in the World Cup for Costa Rica, Uruguay or England!
Again the main snack was sunflower seeds. Again I tried but after each one I seemed to be spitting out the nut and stuck with salty shell between my teeth or in my gums. Shenai was already half way through the packet and firing shells out with sniper accuracy. Unfortunately the players weren't as accurate and we trudged to a half-time 0-0.
The second half livened up with Manolo, the drum beating, ever green Spanish fan making his way around the stadium, beating a few rounds of ʺEs Spa Na!ʺ and ʺOle, Ole, Oleʺ. Musically safe territory matched with by a safe Italian defence. Until Da Silva is brought on and he starts a move which sees Pedro squeeze the ball under a flaying Buffon. ʺOle, Ole, Oleʺ is back on the menu!
Inestia is taken off and recieves huge applause. Even more huge as he is a Barca player in front of a predominantly Madrid crowd.
A 1-0 win for Spain worthy of 20 euros. Italy look difficult to break down and direct on the attack. I hope England will not get too excited with possession and over commit in attack against Italy.
Furthermore I hope Diego Costa doesn't have any English grandparents - he was awful!