After nine years, Spain is once again the capital of European football. Madrid will host on Saturday the final of the Champions League between Liverpool and Tottenham. Two British teams that, aside of the desire to bring home the trophy, will bring with them Madrileños’ greatest fear: the hooligans.
English supporters are well known for their violent behaviour. In fact, England's teams were excluded of Champions League for five years after the well-known Heysel tragedy, in which an avalanche killed 39 fans that were enjoying the match at the Belgian stadium.
Nervous hotel & restaurant professionals
Their fame precedes them. Beer-fueled hordes of football fans rampaging everything that´s in their way, before and after the match. They have become the fear of the Madrid hotel & restaurant professionals due to the avalanche of fans who visit the capital for the Champions League final.
The Liverpool fan zone is located in the Plaza de Felipe II, in the surroundings of the WiZink Center, while the Londoners will be located in Colón. Some of Madrid's hospitality professionals consider a preventive closure on Saturday, in order to avoid damages and disturbances associated with hooligans. "They're drunks", said a bar owner who has made his mind to close his establishment during that day.
Around 100,000 tourists are expected to disembark in Madrid these days, which also marks a record number of flights between the UK and Spain. Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport expects the arrival of 1,744 commercial and executive flights in just one day.
Spain's National Security Forces and Corps have already considered all the options to prevent hooligans from wandering around the city without any kind of control. To achieve this, the Government Delegation in Madrid will deploy a "huge" security operation, deploying 4,700 police officers -4,200 belong to the National Police. The rest of the units belong to Civil Guard and the Municipal Police.
The match is considered as high risk event and it will have, for the first time, a National Police's surveillance drone flying over the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. In addition, sale of alcoholic beverages will be prohibited as of five in the afternoon in the two fan zones.
Liverpool fans will take Metro Line 2 to reach the Atletico de Madrid stadium and enter through the southern end of the Atletico Stadium. The Londoners will take the north end but, to do so, they will take Metro line 5 to Canillejas stop. From there, they will walk, escorted by police officers, to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.