Real Mallorca recorded a historic victory over Real Madrid last Saturday 19th October in front of 20,275 fans in the Son Moix Stadium in Palma. The only goal came in the sixth minute when former Madrid player Febas played in Lago Junior on the left wing. The Ivorian cut in and curled a measured shot leaving Courtois the 6’ 7”-tall keeper sprawling on the floor. Lago has been heavily criticised in recent weeks by the local press but head coach Vicente Moreno has stuck by his player and Lago raced to the touchline to celebrate with his coach. On 20 minutes striker Ante Budimir rifled home a shot which the fans thought had doubled the lead but it was disallowed, correctly, for offside.
Mallorca were quicker to the ball throughout and Madrid only threatened once when Benzema hit the bar but they didn’t deserve anything from the encounter. The only player who lived up to his reputation was left winger Vinicius Junior and in the first half he ghosted past the islanders right back Joan Sastre at will. Sastre was booked and Moreno switched his flank players with Fran Gamez moving over to mark Vinicius. The contrast between the two teams budgets can be measured by the fact that Vinicius cost €45m and Gamez €30,000. Gamez had played most of his career in the Spanish third division with Saguntino where he supplemented his part time contract by driving a van. Mallorca signed him in the winter of last year and he has not looked back. Lumor replaced Sastre at half time and he performed much better than on his previous outings. Every single Mallorca player played to the maximum of their ability with Baba and Salva Sevilla snapping into tackles in midfield. Japanese sensation Kubo was left on the bench again by Moreno and he appeared on 57 minutes but for the first time made little impact against his parent club. That wasn’t a surprise as he had just travelled 20,000 miles to join up with his national team but only came on for the final 4 minutes of their second game.
Lago ran Odriozola ragged and on the 73rd minute the fullback was sent off for a horrible lunge on his opponent to earn a second yellow card. There were wild celebrations on and off the pitch at the final whistle. The esteemed head coach of Madrid Zinedine Zidane cut a different figure and in the post match news conference he was tight lipped and couldn’t get out of the press room quickly enough. Moreno in contrast was relaxed and smiling and praised his players lavishly.
Los Blancos and their full backroom staff arrived by private jet into Palma airport on Saturday morning and ushered through a side door into their luxurious team coach. The fully liveried coach had been brought from the capital via a ferry to transport the party to and from the ground via a luxury hotel for a rest.
Some of the figures reveal the vast difference in assets between the two clubs. Madrid’s annual salary budget is €600m compared to the €25m that the islanders pay. However when the players cross the white line onto the pitch it is eleven versus eleven and when one side are totally committed and pull together 100%, money counts for nothing. Two years ago Mallorca were in the Spanish third division and six of the players from that campaign started against Madrid and no less than ten of last season’s squad started against the team from the capital.
The victory moved Mallorca away from the relegation zone and they are now away at bottom club Leganes this weekend with a real chance of moving into mid table.