The Real Café It was with some trepidation that the MMDDMMers lined up in the tunnel for their first big away match of the season and it had all the ingredients of a ‘Clásico’. We were at The Bernabeau, that hallowed ground of Spanish football, to see what Mourinho and his lackeys could muster up. We were immediately dazzled by the spacious and well appointed restaurant with a stunning view overlooking the historic turf. There was a scramble to get into position and after some argy-bargy in the first few minutes the game settled down. This was a bumper turn-out with the MMDDMM fielding their 1st team with no injuries as well as a stacked subs bench. Madrid pulled off some clever moves early on by supplying butter without being asked and by fielding a rather tasty house wine which scored ov…er and over. The staff were attentive and the service was efficient though they were a bit swamped by the sheer numbers of our forwards and it took them a while to sort out their defence so it was well into the first-half before the starters made an appearance on the left wing, snaking through our midfield and setting themselves up nicely for an early shot. Salad, Cream soup and spaghetti were the front three on this run and all made a good impression on our backs. Half-time loomed and it was down into the bowels of the Earth to the dressing rooms/Bathrooms for a quick team chat and crack open another bottle of red. Disaster struck early in the second half when our midfield general, Dave Shields had to be taken off to go and teach English but fresh troops were on hand as our subs bench were clamouring for a bite of the action. Main courses arrived before we could re-group and it was some quick thinking that saved our bacon. Burger, loin of Pork and Hake were the attacking combination and it must be said that what it lacked in quantity it made up for in quality. Quite often a Menu del Dia can look bounteous but may lack in any real flavour, not so here. The plates were the size of Chad and I had to get up and walk around mine to locate the Hake, lurking under an infant carrot, but it was tasty and my doctor will be happy simply for the fact I had a tiny bit of fish. Heading into injury time and it looks like desserts are being brought out to try and wear us down but no, we have the beating of this Madrid team, a team that has won every Cup with the exception of The All-Ireland and the Superbowl and we take them to the wire and the downstairs bar for Patxeroonies and a photo session. Robbie played a blinder and made some serious money for the swear-box, i.e; his bum. The celebrations carried on till the early hours with several notable hostelries being visited among them Larry’s Bar on Dr. Fleming. The Real Cafe is a must-see on any trip to Madrid and the whole experience warranted a hefty 4 out of 5 from a fastidious team who prove, yet again, that they can run with the best.