Di Stéfano has been in recent years a stadium that has generated more attention by the figures that have appeared in it than by the results of Castilla. Raúl, Vinicius, Rodrygo or Reinier have drawn the spotlight to the feud where the first team will debut in the official game on Sunday. On Saturday, December 18, 2015, it was Zidane who, perhaps against his will, became the protagonist. That pre-Christmas afternoon (the game was played at 16:00) before the Christmas break, the expectation was focused on the future of the French coach. The results of Madrid had placed Rafa Benítez in the pillory (a month earlier he had lost 0-4 in the Clásico against Barcelona at the Bernabéu) and during the week Zizou's name had appeared as a substitute.
Castilla, second-placed, pursued the leadership of group II of Segunda B that, by three points of advantage, held the Barakaldo. And he received a Talavera who presented himself with the aim of not dismissing the year in decline. The talabricenses went ahead in the middle of the second half with a goal from Agudo and Marcos Llorente rescued a point equaling that contest with a shoe from outside the area. 1-1. The midfielder, who scored three goals that season, returned to target against the Blue and Whites in the second round.
Of the protagonists of that party, This Sunday they can repeat two pupils of Zidane that day. One on each side. Mariano his orders and Tejero to Mendilibar's. The side of the gunsmith team was a starter (Zizou made his debut in First in 2017) and the Spanish-Dominican forward jumped from the bench at game time. The stands, which he had dazzled with 11 goals (two hat-tricks at Di Stéfano) in 14 games, he had been in the game for a good part of the game demanding his presence.
Zidane arranged to start Carlos Abad (now in the Greek Xanthi); Dani Fernández (Fuenlabrada), Lienhart (Freiburg), José León (Fuenlabrada), the cited Tejero; Marcos Llorente (Athletic); Alvaro (Albacete), Odegaard (Real society), Enzo Zidane (Almería), Cedar (Las Palmas); and Borja Mayoral (I raised). From the bench they jumped Mariano (the only one who continues under Zidane's orders), Javi Muñoz (Tenerife) and Febas (Majorca).
“They had a very good litter that year,” says Fran Alcoy, then coach of Talavera. The coach remembers for AS how that game was played and developed: “We wanted to take the ball from them and make them run. The more we had the ball, the better, because if they had it you were lost, somebody was going to roll it for you. We got it, we mounted Three centrals and we surprised them. We managed to keep them from having the ball so much, survive better there and we held the match well. Agudo scored and in the end they started to press, Mariano came out, they started to put us behind and they tied us justly “.
After the meeting, Zizou wanted to be oblivious to what was happening, with no birds on his head: “I am aware of what is happening, I am calm. At the moment I am thinking only of Castilla. The important thing is that I am focused on that.” The media attention overwhelmed by the future of the Real Madrid player came to Alcoy in the 'third half': “Two or three media in France called me asking for my opinion. I felt that I was capable of what I was going to take. I think he has demonstrated this with more than authenticity.”
The Valencian coach, who is waiting for the team after closing a six-season cycle at Talavera, shared luck at that time with his rivals. In the typical handshake in which luck is wished to the colleague, the good wishes of Alcoy in that meeting and the following were fulfilled not in the match, but in the short and medium term. On his return from the holidays he shook hands with an Imanol Sheriff who now polishes in the Royal Society a raw pearl of that Castile as Odegaard is. “They are coaches who have shown a lot of ability,” he says. The coach fondly remembers the photo of the greeting he had with Zidane before the game.
On the following day, while Alcoy and Imanol looked at each other, Zidane was saying goodbye to his pupils in the white branch, reaping another tie (2-2, goals from José León and Mariano for Castilla) in La Roda. It was a January 3, 2016. The next day he took the reins of the first team to start a triennium of glory with three European Cups and a League, among other titles. Zizou now returns to the Di Stéfano bench, where it all started.
Castilla 1 – Talavera 1 | The match sheet
CASTILE: Carlos Abad; Dani Fernández, Lienhart, José León, Tejero; Marcos Llorente; Álvaro (Javi Muñoz, 81 '), Odegaard, Enzo Zidane (Febas, 87'), Cedrés (Mariano, 62 '); and Borja Mayoral.
TALAVERA: Barnabas; Óscar Prats, Durán, Gonzalo, Gustavo, Héctor Camps; Rubén Rivera (Pedro, 68 '), Vicente, José Sánchez, Agudo (Dani Navarro, 76'); and Perales (Gilardoni, 88 ').
GOALS. 0-1 (67 '): Acute. 1-1 (85 '): Marcos Llorente.
REFEREE. Martinez Santos, Galician. He admonished the local Mariano and visitors Acute and Barnabas.
STADIUM. Alfredo Di Stéfano. 1,775 spectators. Match of the 18th round of Group II of Segunda B played on December 20, 2015.