Manchester United has no bigger friend in Football than Real Madrid as it is her who stood by it in most troubled time in the history of the Club.
Munich Air tragedy. Busby Babes.
60 years ago today, a group of young promising Manchester United players, famously known as Busby Babes, along with its staff and other journalists, heading back home from a match became victims of a tragic aeroplane crash. 23 of them died while some sustained injuries that never let them play again, while few lucky ones like Sir Bobby Charlton survived, sustained minor injuries and continued to ply their trade.
In that trying and difficult period for the club, there were many contributions to help United rebuild but none came close to that of Real Madrid who organized series of fundraising friendlies and even went as far as offering a loan to United, their best player and arguably the best player back then, who has just helped them win back to back European cup,the Great Alfredo Di Stefano for the remainder of the season, although FA blocked it.
Daily Telegraph’s James Ducker equals the magnitude and weight of this great gesture to Barcelona loaning Lionel Messi to Manchester United now.
In that year which the tragedy occurred, Real Madrid won the European cup and Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid president then and whose Real Madrid pitch’s name is given to, offered the trophy to Manchester United, although it was also ultimately denied. Santiago then dedicated the trophy to them, Busby Babes.
10 years after, they have played a role in rebuilding them, Real Madrid met with Manchester United in a European Cup semi-final. Manchester United knocked Real out and eventually went on to win the trophy against Benfica. And gracious Santiago said “If it had to be anyone, then I am glad it was them,”