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Hey Bale!July 2nd, 2014
Over the Easter holiday seventeen Monmouth School boys had the opportunity of a lifetime to go on a football tour to Madrid. The week-long tour involved intensive daily sessions with Real Madrid coaches at their state-of-the-art facilities.
The team, a mix of 15 and 16 year old boys, played three evening matches against local opposition, narrowly losing the first two games 3-2 and winning the final match 4-2.
All the boys made real progress during the week in terms of technical ability and overall fitness and the advice they received should prove invaluable going in to next season.
The boys were very fortunate to stay in the hotel used by the Spanish national team, the current World Champions. The hotel staff informed the pupils whether players such as Xavi, Iniesta or Alonso used the room they were staying in.
A wonderful visit to the Bernabeu Stadium would have been the highlight of most tours – but this was no ordinary tour…whilst being guided around Real Madrid’s training facilities, the boys were told to wait quietly. Carlo Ancelotti, the Real Madrid manager, casually strolled by en route to his press conference before the next day’s vital Champions League game against Borussia Dortmund. Just as the boys were shaking their heads in disbelief, the world’s most expensive player and Welsh international, Gareth Bale appeared before them. A vision in flip flops. Jaws hit the floor momentarily before the rush to get autographs and ‘selfies’ ensued. Real Madrid’s superstar winger took the time to chat to the boys in a calm unassuming way. Such a personal visit of this nature is unheard of at Real Madrid.
In a world where super-egos often dominate the headlines, this humble man from Whitchurch made sure this was a tour the boys of Monmouth School would never forget.