The rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid is one of the hottest in the football world,and it has remained so through out footballing history. It is one of the most watched, most passionate and most heated rivalry in world football with many of the greatest players in history locking horns against each other throughout several decades, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo being the latest among the long list of these all time greats. Though Barcelona has a cross town rivalry with Espanyol and Real Madrid have theirs in Atletico, but the rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid is something else. Hence it takes something special from a player to do something on field to get an applause from opposing set of fans. So rare this feat is , that it has happened only four times in history, thrice a Barca player was applauded by Bernabeau, and once a Madrid player was applauded by Nou Camp.
Those who are relatively new to football must know about the recent ovation which Inesta received at Bernabeu two years earlier, and also the ovation Ronaldinho Gaucho received in 2005. But who is the first ever player who received the ovation from away fans in an El Classico? Well this man have mesmerised the entire world with his skills and artistry, and that day , on 26th June 1983 , he mesmerised the fans at Bernabeu with such a display, that for the first time in history, they applauded a Barcelona player with an ovation of a full minute. That man is considered by many to be the greatest to ever grace the game of football, the genius going by the name of Diego Armando Maradona. When Maradona came to Barcelona for a world record fee, he was already famous as a mercurial talent coming out from Argentina and hence the gigantic fee paid by Barca, but he was far from being considered as one of the all time best, his exploits in the World Cup at Mexico and with Napoli in Seria A were still few years away. His stint with Barcelona was also bitter sweet and ended in a sour note, but his talent and ability dazzled at Barca which showed glimpses of what was to be witnessed in the coming years. Maradona was a talent alien to footballing world, he did things never seen before and which even his contemporaries could never pull off in their dreams, and perhaps apart from Mane Garrincha and Lionel Messi, footballing world has never witnessed a talent so sublime. His training regimes were followed by his fellow team mates, both at barca and napoli, with awe. On that day , Maradona dazzled the spectators and opposition alike, with his God like talent.
The match was a closely fought affair, Maradona pulled off some of his trade mark dribbles as well as superb passing, but it did not resulted in goals or assists on his part. It was 57th minute of the game and Barca were leading 1-0. The Madrid crowd were getting restless and things were already been pelted towards Urruti in Barca goal. Real Madrid were pushing hard for an equaliser thus doing the cardinal sin of marking Maradona loosely. Suddenly Carrasco got the ball and dribbled past Madrid defender Metgod passing the ball to Diego. Maradona then went on a free run towards the goal without giving Metgod any chance to catch him. Madrid keeper Augustin came out to block him, but Diego left him to bite dust with a sudden feint on right. With the goalkeeper lying on ground and an open goal , Maradona could have tapped in with his right foot. But he paused controlling and shifting the ball on his left with Juan Jose rushing in to make a last ditch tackle to deny Maradona. It was as if Maradona pressed a button which slowed down time, he easily bypassed Juan Jose with another beautiful body feint on left, the poor defender sliding and crashing on to the post. With Metgod rushing up, goalkeeper Augustin watching helplessly from floor and Juan Jose crashing on the post, Maradona calmly tapped the ball in goal. The onlookers were stunned, never had they witnessed such brilliance and genius being so casually displayed on a football field, the magic of Diego Maradona. The Bernabeu crowd stood up and applauded the divine display which they just witnessed and the mercurial player who just pulled it off with nonchalance. The legend of Diego Maradona had already left its imprint on one of the most iconic and famous stadiums in World Football.
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