Santillana: “After eliminating City, I see Real Madrid as European champions”


The former Real Madrid footballer Carlos Alonso González ‘Santillana’ considered this Thursday “incredible” the achievements that the white team is having in Europe, turning around qualifying matches that “they had lost” and warned that after eliminating Manchester City on penalties he sees them “European champion.”

“In recent years it is incredible what is happening with our team, that in qualifying matches that we had lost, with PSG, with Manchester City, with the match on Wednesday, because we are capable of recovering from complicated and difficult situations and moving forward. “After what happened on Wednesday, I see Real Madrid as European champions,” Santillana commented this Thursday at an event organized by ‘Nacex’ on the occasion of the Clásico against FC Barcelona this coming Sunday.

The former white striker commented that Vujadin Boskov – coach of Real Madrid when he played in the late 80s – told them that “football is football” and that “a goal is a goal” so “you can play football very well but if “You don’t score the goal, you don’t win.” “If the rival team plays terribly and at the last moment scores a goal, they have already silenced you, and Real Madrid fulfilled that to the letter,” he added.

Regarding the development of the match, the Madrid legend explained that by scoring a goal “early” the team assimilated that they had to “fight and fight until the end”, something that “no team other than Real Madrid knows how to do.” “In this team everyone firmly believes, I don’t know what happens in the European Cup, but that always comes a little bit in the genes of this club,” he said.

“It was not the football that Real Madrid usually plays, but they did it perfectly and in the end we were fortunate to win the tie. The team’s defense was spartan, everyone adapted to that system, to defend the result. It was a match heart attack, watching City play I thought that sooner or later they were going to score the second goal and they were going to beat us,” Santillana added about the development of the match.

Regarding the extra time and penalties experienced at the Etihad, the Cantabrian stated that in extra time and penalties “there is always a lot of tension” and it can be “normal” for “any player” to fail. “What I didn’t see so clearly is that Bernardo (Silva) missed it the way he and Kovacic missed it, they threw it fairly badly,” he said.

Santillana was clear that, after the Croatian’s ruling, he thought that the classification was “practically” finalized. “Then Lunin also had a good performance throughout the game and also on penalties, although they are a lottery. The greatness of soccer is that a team puts everything on the field to win and loses or that a team that puts less or puts a lot to defend in the end he wins,” he pointed out.


The former forward did not understand Erling Haaland’s “game situation very well,” wanting to play “always with his back turned.” “When you play with your back to protect the ball with that physique that he has, the defender always plays from the front, plays from the face, and the defenders always have more possibilities of being able to remove the ball or reject it,” he noted.

“Haaland is more dangerous when he looks for the diagonals, when De Bruyne can get him balls diagonally, that with that power in the run, he can reach balls that other forwards cannot reach. But playing in that way, with that man-to-man confrontation and personal struggle against Rüdiger, he has not been able to,” Santillana explained.

The former Real Madrid forward confessed that his opinion regarding Haaland “has changed” because he thought he was a player “with great power in attack” who could come “very well” to Real Madrid. “I really think that, at this moment, it is better for Mbappé to come than for Haaland to come,” he admitted.

Finally, the double UEFA Cup champion with Real Madrid praised Antonio Rüdiger’s tie. “He has become a genius of this crossing because he has had to fight with a two-meter ‘billet’ and with tremendous physical strength, but Rüdiger has earned it, he has eaten it,” he concluded. .