The Emirates Group sponsors both teams. Qatar Sports Investments owns Paris Saint-Germain and they spent a fortune on players like Neymar. Real Madrid is owned by their club supporters, hundreds of people called socios and they too spent a fortune on players like Ronaldo. The word Real, Spanish for Royal, was bestowed on the club by King Alfonso XIII and our friend Matthew advised us that if we’re going to cheer for a Madrid team it ought to be Atlético because Real still has cultural ties to the fascists. But we can’t help ourselves, we’ve been rooting for Real in the Champions League and we were ecstatic watching them defeat PSG, both at home and in Madrid. We wouldn’t root for Real against Barcelona, of course. They are on another plane.
Ronaldo is an over-the-top star. Like Trump, you can’t take your eyes off him as he sucks all the air out of the room. Madrid has Sergio Ramos, the captain of the ship. They have Marcello, a back who is an ever threat to score. They have Bale, on the bench with his man-bun. They have the smart, agile Croatian, Luka Modrić, in midfield. And they have Zinedine Zidane in the ever so sharp coach’s suit. They are a real team and a joy to watch.