Major League Soccer, Real Madrid

Real Madrid v Toronto Match Thoughts

Last night I went to the Real Madrid v Toronto game at BMO Field in Toronto. The tickets were my Fathers Day gift to my dad. When I was a kid, my dad had taken me all over England to watch Coventry City and because of him I got to stand in the Kop, watch a Cup Final at Wembley and see the best players in the world play in the 60’s and 70’s.

We were both excited to add the names of Ronaldo and Kaka to the list of great players that we had seen live. This was also my first trip to BMO Field and I had heard a lot about the stadium and the fans, and was looking forward to the experience.

BMO Field and Real Madrid lived up to my expectations. BMO Field is the first soccer stadium that I have gone too that captures the experience and atmosphere of a European game. It seemed that half the Toronto fans were wearing red scarves that were held aloft throughout the game, and the singing of songs created a great atmosphere.

As for Real Madrid they were so impressive. This was the first time that I had seen Ronaldo and Kaka live, and the first thing that struck me about them was how big and strong they are. Ronaldo’s goal came after he out jumped a Toronto defender by at least a foot, then quickly ran to get the return pass from Benzema before calmly slotting the ball in the back of the goal. Late in the first half Real Madrid had a free-kick just outside the Toronto penalty box and you could feel the atmosphere change in the stadium as everyone thought Ronaldo was going to take the free kick.

What I found really funny was the booing that Ronaldo got whenever he touched the ball in the first half. However, when he scored the whole stadium erupted in cheers. I guess that sums up a lot of fans love/hate relationship with Ronaldo.

This was Kaka’s first game for Madrid, and while he is behind the others in terms of match fitness, he always seemed to make the correct pass. He is so intelligent and his control in tight spaces in really amazing.

Madrid had an interesting formation with Raul, Benzema and Ronaldo up front with Kaka playing just behind them. That is a powerful attacking quartet but against better opposition it might leave Madrid a little vulnerable at the back. It will be interesting to see which of those superstars is on the bench when Madrid travels in the Champions League.

Overall it was a great night and I am already looking forward to returning to BMO Field with my new TFC scarf for an MLS game.