News USA The basement where the Pittsburgh Real Madrid players take refuge

The basement where the Pittsburgh Real Madrid players take refuge

I know it sounds strange, but when I wore the Real Madrid shirt at school, none of my classmates or teachers were able to recognize which team that shield that I so proudly wore sewn on my chest belonged to.

I was born 47 years ago in the United States, to parents who emigrated from Spain, and I have always lived there. First in Michigan, the city where I grew up, and now in Pittsburgh, in the northeast of the country, where I have raised my own family. However, I consider myself in a certain way Spanish. Due to family heritage, cultural heritage and, above all, I think, for being that sentimental link with Madrid.

López de Miguel with the Real Madrid shirt in a match that the white club played in the United States.Lope Lopez de Miguel

Following the team here was not easy. In the 80s and 90s there was little interest in soccer and not many matches were broadcast on television. With my father, we tuned in to shortwave radio stations every weekend. Almost always sports carousel. It has stuck with me how the goals, the tension and the atmosphere were experienced through the voice of the narrators.

Now I think it would be unthinkable to go somewhere and nobody knew the merengue shirt. The club has been playing on American soil for several years and today you can see all the LaLiga Santander matches on television. Even I, who had to live that passion alone at school, have set up a kind of bar in the basement of my house (with meringue shirts hanging on the wall and everything) and I see Ancelotti’s people with friends.

López de Miguel in the bar that has been set up in the basement of his house.
López de Miguel in the bar that has been set up in the basement of his house.Lope Lopez de Miguel

In the United States, interest in soccer has grown a lot. I see it with my eldest son, who is eight years old. Lots of kids his age kick the ball around, even if they haven’t taken up the sport at home.

This April I will be with him in Spain for the first time. I hope I can take him to the Santiago Bernabéu so that he soaks up the magic of the stadium, the dimension of the club his father loves, and thus convince him that before Messi (whom he fell in love with at the last World Cup) he has to choose as undisputed idol to Luka Modrić.

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