Madrid have won the last two Champions League trophies, something never before done in the tournament’s current format. And you’d have to go all the way back to 1976 for the last time a side retained the title for a third year, which Madrid hope to match this weekend.
Their opponents Liverpool are no stranger to superstition, with many players still touching the fabled ‘This is Anfield’ sign before matches. A different superstition may be in the Reds favour for their biggest match in eleven years though, as Real Madrid will be flying to the final without the aid of their lucky flight crew.
Captain Juan Ramón Bonet, first officer Alejandro Buxonat and cabin manager Rosa Delia Sosa were the flight crew on board for Real Madrid’s flight to Lisbon in 2014 as Los Blancos lifted their first Champions League trophy in twelve years.
When they reached the final again in 2016, Madrid requested the same flight crew, who flew them to another Champions League success. The trio were on hand again for last year’s successful final but it seems they won’t be available this time due to the slightly longer haul flight.
Real Madrid will require a larger plane for the flight to Kiev as the airline that operates the flights, Iberia, explained to AS:
“The crew that has on previous occasions been responsible for their flights to closer destinations are not qualified to work with this type of aeroplane. They fly the Airbus A321, which is smaller (it is a 200-seater aircraft) and has less autonomy. As is required by the [Spanish] State Agency for Air Safety, they would have to take a three-month course [to gain the necessary credentials], which they haven’t.”