Real Madrid returns to Santiago Bernabéu stadium after 560 days. The ‘Royal’ will take on Celta de Vigo in the heavily renovated stadium on Sunday. The Madrid people use the return to Estadio Santiago Bernabéu to commemorate the late former president Lorenzo Sanz.
Sanz died in March last year at the age of 76 from the effects of the corona virus. The Spaniard was Real’s chairman from 1995 to 2000. Under his leadership, the club won the Champions League twice, in 1998 and 2000. Sanz was then succeeded by Florentino Pérez.
A few weeks before Sanz’s death, Real Madrid had played their final game in Santiago Bernabéu, on March 1, 2020, against FC Barcelona. Shortly afterwards, the competition was shut down due to the corona pandemic. When La Liga resumed a few months later, all matches had to be played without an audience.
Real Madrid used this to accelerate the large-scale renovation of the stadium and to move to the much smaller Estadio Alfredo di Stéfano at the training complex for the home games. On Sunday, the team of coach Carlo Ancelotti returns to the renovated Santiago Bernabéu, which can accommodate about 85,000 spectators. The most striking change is the new roof construction.