Yé-yé, La Quinta del Buitre and Los Galácticos: How Real Madrid can dominate Spain and Europe once more
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As the trio retired, Munoz returned to the Bernabeu as manager and Gento eventually become captain. Gento led a new generation of younger Spanish players including Manuel Sanchis Snr and Pirri. The side was made up of entirely Spanish players. They saw a new era of dominance, winning a sixth European Cup in 1966 and eight La Liga titles in nine years between 1961 and 1969.They also lifted the Copa Del Rey in 1962. This era is known as the Yé-yé era. Yé-yé was a nickname for Spanish youngsters during the height of Beatlemania. These years were characterised by innocent fun, and Real’s squad embodied this spirit. As di Stefano, Puskas and Kopa left, a new generation of heroes was ready and waiting. Los Merengues would have to wait till 1998 for a seventh European title. The next significant era in the club’s history came in the 1980s with the emergence of La Quinta del Buitre (The Vulture Squadron). Led by Emilio Butragueño (El Buitre – The Vulture), who made an instant impact scoring twice and bagging an assist on his debut against Cadiz as Real pulled back from 0-2 down to win 3-2. Butragueño came into a team with patchy form and impressed with strong physical attributes. He was a poacher and would score 165 goals for the club. He was joined by fellow Real youth stars Manuel Sanchis Jr, Martin Vasquez, Michel and Miguel Pardeza. Winning the second division with the side’s B team in 1984, the quintet were eased into the first team picture by di Stefano. The youngsters played with high stamina and played a much more physical game; they would match Yé-yé with five consecutive La Liga wins, also winning two consecutive UEFA Cups. Real’s style of play changed due to the influence of La Quinta del Buitre; the tempo was higher and the play was faster and more aggressive. However, Johan Cruyff returned to Barcelona in the late 1980s, where he installed a new style of play and system of coaching, which is still in place today. In 1991, Barcelona won their first La Liga in 14 years and went onto win another three in the following three seasons, with the club’s tika-taka philosophy taking shape.
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This is due to finally finding a balanced style of play that combines the best of La Quinta and Yé-yé. They have foreign and Spanish stars at their disposal, making their strike force electric. Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale could walk into any side in the planet. But at the same time the hard working fast tempo exists with Casemiro a fierce defensive midfielder and Marcelo and Carvajal, two marauding full-backs. Sergio Ramos is captain and he perhaps epitomises this spirit best; he is fierce in the tackle but a silky ball player too. If Real Madrid can remember to stay true to the cores of both La Quinta del Buitre and Yé-yé, this second Galácticos era may just be able to become the greatest side in the club’s proud history and the White Storm may rage over the skies of Europe for years to come. Image Credit - Wikipedia Commons