“This is the nearest thing Real Madrid fans in Mexico have to Cibeles,” says Jesús González from outside a seafood restaurant frequented by fans of the Spanish side in the upscale Colonia Roma neighborhood of the Mexican capital, which boasts a replica of the famous statue of the Roman goddess of fertility, a Madrid landmark where Real Madrid supporters traditionally celebrate their side’s victories.
González and around 100 Mexican Real Madrid supporters waving Spanish flags and wearing soccer shirts were celebrating their side winning La Liga, Spain’s top flight soccer division, on Sunday evening with a 0-2 win over Malaga. At pretty much the same moment hundreds of supporters were congregating around the original Cibeles in the center of the Spanish capital.
“Coming here is a tradition, because this fountain is a symbol of the unity between Mexico and Spain,” says Carlos Álvarez. The statue, slightly smaller than the original, was donated by the Spanish community in Mexico in the early 1980s. As well as Real Madrid’s numerous wins, it has also hosted fiestas to celebrate the Spanish national side winning the World Cup in 2010, along with its two European Championships in 2008 and 2012.
Real Madrid needed a draw to take the title, the side’s first in five years. Fans packed into the tiny restaurant roared with delight and began singing when Cristiano Ronaldo scored the first goal, with Karim Benzema securing the win with a second.
This fountain is a symbol of the unity between Mexico and Spain
Mexican Real Madrid fan Carlos Álvarez
Fans poured out into the hot mid-afternoon sun to celebrate. “Here you can climb up and celebrate,” says one fan, wrapping a Real Madrid scarf around the neck of Cibeles, only to be ejected when police arrived on the scene and ordered the fans down from the statue, prompting one supporter to plead: “Let me take a photo, come on!”
Apparently, this year’s celebrations were relatively low key compared to the revelry a year ago when Real Madrid won the Champions League: “That was madness, some of the fans wanted to take all the alcohol out of the seafood restaurant, but this time they have been pretty quiet,” says one waiter.
English version by Nick Lyne.