Real Madrid have always been one of the giants of the football world, but there was a time in which Los Blancos branched out and began to incorporate other sports under the same name, with futsal being one of those introduced; it was year that Hummel sponsored the Quinta del Butre, and the year that Fernando Martin left for the NBA.
In the Pavilion where Real Madrid’s basketball team played in the summer of 1986, I was a 14-year-old and I saw some huge feet coming down the stairs – it was Fernando Romay, a legendary player for the capital side.
Then I heard someone shout: “You!” It was Javier Santos, the head coach of the futsal team, and he stated that he had a plan: to enhance the quality of players at the club.
Coaches at the club commented on how, after passing through the futsal sector, players had refined their technique and decision-making; but this – the 1986/87 campaign – was the last year that Real had a futsal team.
Santos did his job: he taught us to be a team, and to think like a team. And we started with the basics: that without two feet, it is very difficult to play; it is best to dodge players by using the wall; and that you should honour your sport and your teammates.
Peralta and Agustin were the goalkeepers, De la Morena and Javier Vicente were on the right, Caballero and Jorge on the left, and then Juanfran, Fernando and Pastor were the goalscorers – Nacho and I did everything.
In fact, I do not think we lost that season. I remember it well because there was no Facebook or Twitter.
Despite statements that the club wanted these areas to grow, the futsal section of the club disappeared; it has had a long-term impact at the club, with Jose Antonio Marina stating in his book that they had one ‘objective: to generate talent’: “the best players do not come from the beach, they come from the futsal hall. Players who played futsal touched the ball six times more per minute than those who did not,” according to a study at the University of Liverpool.
Even today, players who played futsal at an early age have flourished: Ronaldo, Neymar, Ronaldinho, Marcelo.
Thirty years after that team were together, some players continued playing futsal while some became great footballers for the main team.
The thing that links them all is the invisible uniforms of that season.
Click here to watch old video, note how game has developed from 1983. I would fancy are top Grimsby mens teams to get a result against Madrid of 83.