5 Footballers who have silenced the Santiago Bernabeu
The Santiago Bernabeu is one of the most famous football venues in the world. The Bernabeu has been the home to Spanish and European giants Real Madrid since 1947 and it is one of the toughest and most intimidating football stadiums in the world.
It might not have the atmosphere that the likes of San Siro, Maracana or Stadio Olimpico boast of having but it has all the factors to make opposing teams crumble at the prospect of playing there.
The Bernabeu's capacity of over 80,000 fans and the fear factor that the team's quality instills onto the mind of opposing players are enough to cause a lot of intimidation on players of the opposing teams.
However, some few players have managed to pull out some memorable individual performances at this venue. I have taken a look at 5 players who have differed all odds and pull out performances that have managed to silence over 80,000 home fans at the Santiago Bernabeu.
#5 Yossi Benayoun (Liverpool, UEFA Champions League 2009)
The Israeli International who currently plays for Maccabi Petah Tikva might seem the odd one out of the list but his performance for Liverpool against the Los Blancos in the 2009 Champions league round of 16 suggests otherwise.
In Liverpool side consisting of the likes of Dirk Kuyt, Fernando Torres and Xabi Alonso, it was Benayoun who stepped up and punished Real Madrid with an 82nd-minute header.
Liverpool who had been given a huge blow earlier through the injury of their skipper Steven Gerrard who was only fit to make the game approached the game with the defensive compactness common under manager Rafa Benitez and frustrated Real Madrid who struggled to break their solidity at the Bernabeu.
It was not until the 82nd minute of the game that Benayoun rose up and fired home a fine header past Casillas from a Fabio Aurelio's cross and silenced over 80,000 home fans cementing Liverpool's hopes of progressing past the last 16.
Liverpool who did well to prevent Madrid from creating clear-cut chances throughout the game despite their dominance returned to Anfield with a healthy away goal courtesy of their unlikely hero.