Imagine how awkward this was at training.
Real Madrid are no strangers to a cup final, but how about playing one against your own team-mates?
That’s exactly what happened in the 1980 Copa Del Rey final.
For the first and last time in the history of Spanish football, a youth team played their parent club in a domestic cup final.
Real Madrid were pitted against their reserve team, Real Madrid Castilla.
Unfortunately, there was to be no fairy-tale ending for Castilla.
The inexperienced side were beaten 6-1 on the day, but just getting to the final is an underdog story to rival Leicester City.
But just how exactly did this happen?
Let’s find out…
Before 1991, reserve teams in Spain were treated completely independently from their senior team.
They were never allowed to compete in the same divisions as their counterparts.
Despite this, they were still able to feature in the same cup competitions, including the Copa Del Rey.
Generally, youth teams would fail miserably in the cup, most times never making it past the first round.
If a draw placed a senior team against its reserve squad, the draw would be redone to ensure a different opponent.
The only way that a youth team could ever face their parent club would be if both sides reached the final, something that would never happen… right? Wrong.
Route to the final
Eighteen youth teams entered the 1979-80 Copa Del Rey, with Castilla going all the way.
The team’s average age was just 20, with no player over the age of 23 on the roster.
The young side was led by an equally young manager.
34-year-old Juanjo Garcia Santos was the coach and, unsurprisingly, guiding Castilla to the final was the crowning glory of his brief managerial career.
The big day
Kitted out in a changed strip of purple, Castilla, perhaps understandably so, let the occasion and nerves get to them.
After initially keeping Madrid at arms length, Castilla found themselves losing 2-0 by half-time.
Shortly after the break, the minnows were 4-0 down as Madrid began to bully their younger brother.
Castilla’s Ricardo Alvarez pulled back a consolation goal with ten minutes remaining, making the score 4-1, before Madrid scored two more to put the game to bed.
Once Madrid were awarded the trophy, both sides then celebrated the victory on the pitch together.
The final featured several household names.
England’s Laurie Cunningham was starting on the wing for that day.
The 1980 final win was Cunningham’s first of two Copa Del Rey titles, with the next coming two years later.
The former West Brom star also won a La Liga title during his spell with Los Blancos.
Another name which jumps out from the winning side is Vincente Del Bosque, of World Cup winning management fame.
Del Bosque got himself on the score-sheet on the day, netting Madrid’s fourth.
Jose Antonio Camacho also featured, he would go onto manage Madrid over two spells, as well as Benfica.
Despite the defeat, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Castilla!
Since Madrid had qualified for the European Cup, Castilla, as Copa Del Rey runners up, took their place in the European Cup Winners’ Cup (remember that?)
Castilla’s European adventure was, however, over before it really began.
The first round saw them face Trevor Brooking’s West Ham.
Despite winning 3-1 in the first leg in Madrid, Castilla were knocked out after West Ham beat them 5-1 after extra time at Upton Park.
The return leg was played behind closed doors after West Ham fans caused crowd trouble during the first tie in Madrid.
Some things never change.
Castilla still remain the only reserve team to ever take part in an official UEFA senior competition.
Dream Team World Cup has landed!
The greatest show on Earth just got that bit more exciting.
That’s because the Dream Team World Cup game is now live ahead of this summer’s tournament.
Dream Team World Cup
- Completely free to enter
- £50m budget and 20 transfers throughout the tournament
- £175k total prizepot (for UK players only)
- SIGN UP FOR DREAM TEAM WORLD CUP NOW
Messi? Ronaldo? Jordan Henderson? Take your pick, they’re all available for you to select at your mercy.
It’s absolutely free to enter, there’s a mouthwatering £175k prizepot and you can even play outside the UK.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up here!