The second half of the 1980’s were incredible. Real Madrid won two UEFA Cups and five consecutive League titles, the fifth which set a record. It was a lustrum (1985 to 1990) during which the Whites amazed with two quintets that stirred the imagination: “El Buitre” and “The Five Machos,” whose only pending achievement during their brilliant careers was winning the European Cup.
ONE MINUTE SPELLS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GLORY AND FAILURE
The 1980/81 season had an unpleasant finish for Madrid. On 26 April 1981, they lost the League when the victory chant was already being sung in Valladolid. Real Sociedad, who drew (2-2) against Sporting in the last minute at El Molinón, claimed the title. Barely one month later, on 27 May, an Alan Kennedy goal (82nd minute) gave Liverpool the European Cup, when overtime was the only fair option.
THE BERNABÉU HOST THE 1982 WORLD CUP FINAL
The final of the 1982 World Cup took place at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. In a thrilling match, Italy outplayed Germany and won 3-1. What most spectators will remember most from that 11 July 1982 was the joy that overcame Sandro Pertini, President of Italy, each time the Italian side scored.
DI STÉFANO RETURNS TO THE CLUB
With the Presidential elections on the horizon, candidate Luis de Carlos introduced Alfredo di Stéfano and Amancio Amaro as coaches of the first team and Castilla on 19 May 1982. The Arrow left Madrid in 1964 and returned to the Club 18 years later. De Carlos defeated Ramón Mendoza in the election and Di Stéfano, who signed on for two years, won five runners-up titles in his first year as the Madridista coach.
HISTORIC DOWNPOUR OF GOALS AGAINST ANDERLECHT
On 12 December 1984, Emilio Butragueno became a European household name with an unforgettable performance against Anderlecht at the Bernabéu. The Belgians were coming off a 3-0 first leg win in Brussels and had the next round of the UEFA Cup in sight, but Butragueno crushed all their hopes with three goals (the other three were scored by Valdano (2) and Sanchís) and Real Madrid won convincingly 6-1.
RAMÓN MENDOZA INITIATES A NEW ERA
After two brief stints as a Director and an election-time defeat to Luis de Carlos, Ramón Mendoza became President of Real Madrid in 1985. Mendoza’s arrival was the dawn of a new era in the history of the Club.
BACK-TO-BACK UEFA CUP CHAMPIONS
Real Madrid’s first two UEFA Cup titles were won back-to-back. The first in 1984 against Hungary’s Videoton (3-0 at Sosto Stadium and 0-1 in Chamartín), and the second one year later after defeating FC Köln 5-1 at the Bernabéu and losing 2-0 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.
LONGEST LEAGUE IN HISTORY WON BY REAL MADRID
The 1986/87 season went down in history as the longest League in Spanish football. After 34 matchdays, each team played 10 more games in a three-part playoff: the top six teams would play for the title, which Real Madrid won, the next six would battle it out for a spot in the League Cup with the possibility of participating in the UEFA Cup, and the last six would duke it out to stave off relegation.
FIVE YEARS OF FANTASY AND DOMINANCE
The Real Madrid of the Quinta del Buitre and the The Five Machos won five consecutive Leagues with extraordinary authority (1985/86 to 1989/90) and equalled the record achieved between 1960/61 and 1964/65. During the fifth League, Madrid set a new record (at that time) by scoring 107 goals in 38 matches. The years belonged to Butragueno’s fantasy and the dominance of Hugo Sánchez, who won the Golden Boot along with CSKA Sofia’s Hristo Stoitchkov.
TEMPORARY DI STÉFANO-CAMACHO DUO
On 17 November 1990, after sacking John Benjamín Toshack, Ramón Mendoza turned back to the wisdom of Alfredo di Stéfano and the youth of José Antonio Camacho to coach the team; a temporary duo while the President tried to woo Luis Aragonés away from Espanyol to immediately take charge of the Madridista squad. Luis didn’t want to disassociate himself from the Catalan side, so Mendoza signed Antic.