illa illa illa juanito maravilla

“90 minutes at the Bernabéu is a very long time.” Real Madrid’s legendary player Juanito once said. 1984/85, first leg of the UEFA Cup semifinal between Inter Milan and Real Madrid. After Milan won 2-0 at San Siro, legendary Real Madrid’s forward Juanito approached Milan defender Graziano Bini and said, “Noventa minuti en el Bernabéu son molto longo” (90 minutes at the Bernabéu is a very long time). Real Madrid won 3-0 in the Spanish capital and played in the final. Since then Inter Milan knew how long one minute at the Bernabéu truly is…

Juanito, a legend of Real Madrid, died at the young age of 37. Ever since his death, Juanito is remembered in every home game, in the 7th minute, as the Ultras chant “Illa illa illa, Juanito maravilla”.

Juanito is considered by most of Real Madrid fans to represent the essence of what the club is about, his spirit often being called upon before matches where the team need to make an unexpected comeback (because of all the comebacks he often led while donning the white shirt). One of these was against Celtic, in the quarterfinals of the 1979–80 European Cup, with Real losing 2–0 in the first match in Glasgow; in the second leg, a Juanito-led side managed to mount a comeback scoring thrice without response (the third goal by Juanito) and reaching the last four. Another comebacks in this period included the downings of F.C. Internazionale Milano and R.S.C. Anderlecht.[1]

The comeback of Juanito, Real Madrid has done it many times and the world will see it again on May 3rd. Hala Madrid.