Real Madrid to play in Cuba in 2019

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OnCuba reported that, in keeping with the current rapprochement between Cuba and Spain, promoted by the governments of both countries, Real Madrid plans to travel to Havana in 2019 for an exhibition match.

A source, who asked not to be identified, told OnCuba that everything was “practically ready” and only a few “small details” were left to iron out with the Cuban Football Federation.

The match, which would commemorate five centuries of Havana’s founding, may be played during the 2019-2020 preseason, in early August, although the source acknowledged that “the high summer temperatures of Cuba” could be “a slight problem to consider.”

As a Plan B, the FIFA date of November is being considered, because it is presumably less hot on the island and, more importantly, the anniversary of the founding of Havana. This variant would also have in its favor that the game could take place during the visit of the King and Queen of Spain to Havana, who in this case, would be present to witness the historic game.

En cambio, tendría el inconveniente de que algunos jugadores del Real Madrid podrían no viajar a Cuba por estar convocados por sus respectivos países, aunque “se puede coordinar con sus federaciones nacionales”, dijo la fuente. [. . .]

On the other hand, [the November date] would be inconvenient because some players of Real Madrid may not be able to travel to Cuba if they are called home by their respective countries, although “it can be coordinated with their national federations,” the source said. [. . .]

And as the icing on the cake, the source announced that Real Madrid will hold a clinic with Cuban soccer players in the days leading up to the match, as well as a “talent search” on the island that could offer access to the training programs of their academy in the Spanish capital.

On behalf of the players, the white captain, Sergio Ramos, said that “we are very enthusiastic about the idea” of playing in Cuba and he recalled his trip to Havana in 2015 as UNICEF Ambassador. “Maybe we’ll discover the next Ronaldo, who knows,” he joked.

[Excerpts translated by Ivette Romero. For original article (in Spanish), see https://oncubanews.com/cuba/real-madrid-jugara-en-la-habana/]

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