This weekend the matches of the 1/32 finals of the Belarusian Cup will be held. Farm clubs do not take part in them, therefore Petrikovskiy “Shakhtar” (farm of Soligorsk people) and “Dynamo-Brest-1960” from Malorita were left idle. In 2018, the Brest “Rukh” had a similar rest. This practice came to Belarus from abroad …
The ban on the participation of farms and youth in the Cup is usually associated with a possible unsportsmanlike component of the match – and sometimes in vain. For example, in 2002 in the Estonian Cup final, the Tallinn “Levadia” and “Levadia II” – the youth team of the same club – met. She celebrated her victory with a score of 2: 0 – you won’t believe it! – youth.
But this is Estonia, you say. Are there any examples from the top leagues? Sure! Exactly 40 years ago, on June 4, 1980, in Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, the King’s Cup final took place, in which Real Madrid hosted their own youth team – Real Madrid Castilla.
In those years, the Spaniards saw nothing shameful in the fact that youth teams take part in the Cup. They still have young people playing in Segunda (D2), Segunda B (D3) and Tercere (D4) – it is generally accepted that young footballers are much better off hardening in battles with older players than playing the ball with their peers.
That tournament began 18 youth teams that few people took seriously. However, farms were prohibited from playing with the first team until the final. “Castilla” started the tournament from the stage of 1/256 finals and consecutively eliminated 5 senior teams, and “Extremadura” took out with a score of 10: 2. At 18, Athletic fell – a team that in those years fought for the title, and in 1983 and 1984 became the champion of Spain.
In the quarterfinals, Castilla beat Real Sociedad, the team that will win gold medals next season, on aggregate. After the defeat of the current vice-champion of the country, Gijon Sporting, in the semifinals, Castilla reached the final.
To understand the scale: try to imagine that Rukh of the 2018 model reached the final of the Belarus Cup, knocking out along the way BATE, Minsk Dynamo and Saligorsk Shakhtar. Have you presented? Yeah, it’s rather complicated.
Interestingly, this was not the first time a team from Segunda reached the Cup final. True, the three previous cases occurred even before World War II: in 1931, Betis reached the final, in 1935 Sabadell created a sensation, and in 1939 – Racing Ferrol. But none of them took the trophy. And even less was it a farm club that met with the main team in the final.
The main team of “Real”, as in the program “Clever and Clever”, chose a shorter track – starting from the 1/8 finals and getting on easier opponents. Real Madrid made it to the final, beating Betis in a penalty shootout, and the decisive blow was realized by the goalkeeper of Madrid Garcia Remon.
It is quite easy to guess which side was the audience’s sympathy in the final. People were frankly rooting for Castilla, whistling to the referee if he recorded a youth foul, and were not particularly happy about Real Madrid’s goals. True, the struggle did not work out: the youth faded and fought off the attacks of Real Madrid throughout the match, almost without attacking. The game ended with a score of 6: 1, and one of the goals was scored by Vicente del Bosque, the future coach of Real Madrid and the Spanish national team. All the players were present at the trophy presentation.
Real Madrid won the Spanish championship, so Castilla went to the Cup Winners’ Cup. And even had a great home match, beating West Ham 3: 1. True, in London, the “hammer men” smashed the young Spaniards 5: 1 and advanced to the next round.
Despite the enchanting cup achievement, only two of the Castilla players subsequently played for the first team – defender Ricardo Gallego (9 seasons for Real Madrid) and goalkeeper Augustin (10 seasons for Real Madrid).
But “Castilla” did not stop surprising Spanish football and won the Segunda in the 1983/84 season. As a farm club, the team could not rise to the elite. But this was done by young people: Manolo Sanchis, Emilio Butrageno, Miguel Pardesa, Martin Vasquez and, of course, Michel – the famous “Butrageno Five”, which for a decade has shaped the appearance of “Real” and the Red Fury.