February 7, 2015 is already a long way off the calendar. At that time, the coronavirus was hardly in any conversation and omicron was just one letter of the Greek alphabet. On the sporting level, there was a Madrid derby in the league, one of the last in the legendary Vicente Calderón stadium. At that time, Zinedine Zidane was running Real Madrid Castilla and the debate was about his title as coach. Meanwhile, Ancelotti enjoyed his record of wins in a row with the whites.
Closer to the Manzanares River, Atlético de Madrid organized a new assault on the Champions League after the disappointment of the Lisbon final, taking advantage of the enormous prestige they had gained with Cholo Simeone at the helm. Far from there, taking the airlift, Luis Enrique’s Barcelona began to fuel up with one of the most fearsome strikers in history with Neymar, Leo Messi and Luis Suárez. The world has changed a lot, finding only a link with the past in Ancelotti’s return to the Bernabéu and in his clash with Simeone in the league more than six years later.
A mythical afternoon in the Calderón
Atlético de Madrid signed one of their best games against Real Madrid on that day in February. Simeone’s men were superior rivals to their rivals from beginning to end of the match, winning by a resounding 4-0 and unloading their frustrations after the Lisbon final.
Among all the goals of the win, the first two stood out above the rest. Tiago, one of the brains of the team, opened the can with a shot from outside the area that left Casillas in evidence, despite the fact that he claimed after the game that it was not his fault. Next, Saúl Ñíguez finished a spectacular Chilean, establishing himself as one of the future players of the mattress institution. Although it might seem otherwise, the humiliating defeat was not going to be the worst for Real Madrid on that day.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s birthday that led Kevin Roldán to stardom
The Portuguese star had turned 30 two days earlier, planning to celebrate it on the day of the meeting. He invited the entire Real Madrid squad to a party at a luxurious Madrid restaurant, with a starring appearance by a character that still continues to thrive in popular culture: Kevin Roldán. The defiant Colombian singer responded to the press upon his arrival at the forward’s birthday to “break the stage.”
That phrase raised blisters, as well as the publication with Cristiano Ronaldo on his personal account on Instagram. Later, Roldán admitted that the family members of the Madrid footballers were at the party and that the attendees were hardly overjoyed at the party for this reason, but the damage had already been done. The Portuguese even considered suing the singer for spreading images of the party, however, the matter remained in borage water.
Life after ‘breaking the platform’
The painful defeat in the Madrid derby marked the beginning of the end for Ancelotti at Real Madrid. The Whites were first in the league, and after losing their winning streak in a row a few days earlier against Valencia at the Mestalla, their confidence was dramatically deflated. Despite this, they managed to reach the semifinals of the Champions League to put Atlético de Madrid out again with a solitary goal by Chicharito Hernández at the Bernabéu, somehow repaying the humiliation received in the last derby.
While Madrid, unattainable in the early stages of the season, was deflating, Luis Enrique’s Barça began to win integers. With the return of Luis Suárez to the playing fields after his suspension for biting Chiellini in the 2014 World Cup, the Catalans swept all competitions to get the second (and for the moment, last) triplet in their history. In the celebration of this, the breaking of the platform on Cristiano Ronaldo’s birthday returned to the front pages after Piqué’s speech. “Kevin Roldán, everything begins with you!”, Commented the Blaugrana player in a phrase that went down in the history of Spanish football.
This marked the end of the Ancelotti era at the club, in what seemed like a ‘full stop’ that turned out to be ‘and apart’ this season. Behind him, Benítez arrived, who did not catch on, to make way for Zinedine Zidane and his three Champions League in a row in the greatest milestone for Real Madrid in its modern history. Meanwhile, Atlético de Madrid said goodbye to Vicente Calderón and arrived at Wanda Metropolitano, trying to seek the conquest of the Champions League with Simeone in command. They stayed close in 2016, when on penalties they fell to Zidane’s Madrid in what was their first Champions League of their streak. Thus, little by little, that February 7, 2015, was being forgotten and how it all began with him, as Piqué said.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.