The day Santana conquered Wimbledon with the Madrid shield

On a day like today, July 1, 1966, one of the great myths of Spanish sport such as Manolo Santana (82 years old) managed to conquer the Wimbledon tournament on the sacred grass of the All England Club, perhaps the most prestigious in the world. “It is the tournament that everyone wants to win. When I did, I felt totally fulfilled,” says an excited Santana every time they ask him about that final in which he defeated the American giant Dennis Ralston, who curiously had won the Spanish one week before at Queen's. Santana had given up participating in Roland Garros that year to spend several weeks training on the grass of London and preparing thoroughly. His constancy was rewarded. In addition, he won the affection of the European tennis players since it had been twelve years since any European player had been successful in Wimbledon.

Shield / Flag Real Madrid

But there is a detail that the great Madrid teacher always boasts of. He conquered Wimbledon proudly wearing a Real Madrid shield on his pristine white polo shirt. That shield was personally brought to the English capital by Don Raimundo Saporta, the historic vice president of Real Madrid and right-hand man from Santiago Bernabéu. Saporta knew of Santana's madridista passion, so he took a flight to London and took the shield to the hotel where he was concentrated before the final. Santana asked a hotel employee to sew it to the polo with which he was going to play the game for the title: “I knew he was playing for me because at the All England Club they are very strict with protocol and could have penalized me for wearing it, but they must have liked how I played and they didn't tell me anything, “said Santana proudly and with a diaphanous smile. Let's not forget that Manolo Santana is an Honorary Member of Real Madrid (such as Pedro Ferrándiz, Rafa Nadal, Del Bosque, Fernando Alonso or Sergio García, among others) and who holds the club's gold and brilliant insignia.. What is certain is that on July 1, 1966 Santana touched the top of world tennis with his Madrid shield on his chest. Curiously, just a month and a half before, Miguel Muñoz's Madrid won the sixth European Cup in Brussels against Partizán (2-1, Amancio and Serena) playing with eleven Spaniards on the pitch …