April 04, 2011

"We dream of a Bernabeu that drives us to victory; don't let us down"

Mourinho, Arbeloa, Carvalho and Xabi Alonso expect Madridismo to carry them to success against Tottenham Hotspur

Every new Champions League victory Real Madrid earn brings them closer to the Wembley Stadium final. The next step is defeating Tottenham Hotspur at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Tuesday, and the entire squad is aware that it will be harder to achieve this without the support of the fans. Jose Mourinho, Alvaro Arbeloa, Xabi Alonso and Ricardo Carvalho, all of whom know the pressure felt at English stadiums first-hand, are sure that the support of the Bernabeu will be decisive to win the first leg of the quarterfinals.

The Bernabeu has witnessed many magical nights in the European Cup, such as Real Madrid's impressive comeback against Bayern Munich the year they ended up winning their ninth title. Back in the 1980s, the pressure put on by Madridistas at the stadium got to be known as "the Bernabeu stage fright".

Two days before the match against Olympique Lyonnais at the Bernabeu in the Last 16, Casillas, Ramos, Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema asked fans to give their support at the stadium. They duly responded and carried the team to a victory that sealed its pass to the quarterfinals. Jose Mourinho realised how important the support of Madridistas had proven to be, but he asked for even more of it for the next round.

"We know there is a lot of pressure at English stadiums," says Mourinho. "But we've also been told of the magical nights of the Bernabeu," adds Carvalho. "We dream of a Bernabeu that drives us to victory; don't let us down," asks Arbeloa. "We picture a crowd that steers us to victory," says Alonso.

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