Champions League Final: Fans disappointed as authorities confirm NO giant screens broadcasting live game

Neither UEFA or Madrid City Hall have plans to broadcast the match live on big screens for the tens of thousands of fans without tickets.

Champions League Final: Fans disappointed as authorities confirm NO giant screens broadcasting live game
Liverpool fans in the Plaza Mayor. Photo: AFP

Fans are set for disappointment as authorities confirmed there would be no live broadcast of the game on large screens in dedicated fanzones around Madrid on Saturday.

Tens of thousands of Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur fans have travelled to the Spanish capital to support their teams as they compete for the Champions League title.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson had lobbied Madrid Mayor, Manuela Carmena for free public screenings of the live games, but confirmed on Thursday that his request had not been met. 

Many were hopeful that despite early insistence from authorities that there would be no live broadcast of the game on big screens,  it was merely a ploy to put people off coming unless they had tickets. 

“They did the same thing in Kiev,” said James, a Liverpool supporter who was in Kiev for the Champions League Final last year. “They didn't announce until the last minute there, because they don't want people travelling over without tickets.”



Fan groups of Facebook and Whatsapp were filled with speculation about whether big screens were going up.

“Any sign of the big screens going up in the fan zones yet?” wrote one post in a group dedicated to Liverpool supporters travelling in Madrid on Friday.

“We're in the fan zone and been informed by a worker that there will be a big screen showing the game. Then asked the police and they said there will not be a screen showing the game. So what the hells…” came one reply.

Both UEFA, which runs the fanzones and Madrid City Hall which authorises activities in them confirmed to The Local on Friday that there would not be giant screens installed for the final.

The police also tweeted out this unequivocal statement:

Some supporters expressed their disappointment:

“Actually f**ked off at this now. No big screen, bars getting booked out to watch the game all over the shop.
What the actual f**k is going on? Any f**kin chance of going over having a great day singing, drinking, meeting millions of Reds and then watching the game close by without having to pay rip off advance fees to get into pre booked bars or get a Metro out of town to get to actually see the game?
Absolutely f**king ridiculous this.

But others were more stoic.

One wrote: ” Screens or not just go Madrid an party like its 2019 allez allez allez about it.”

“There will be plenty places to watch the game. Big screens or not. Just be prepared and sensible, it will be ok,” wrote another.

Madrid’s full of bars

Fan zones will shut at 6pm when those with tickets will be expected to travel to the stadium and those without will have plenty of time to find a location to watch the game.

Madrid has an estimated 12,000 venues –  bars, restaurants and cafes – which will have screens and will likely show the match.

Irish bars in the centre are likely to fill up quickly and will be turning people away at the door once they reach capacity but almost every bar in Madrid has a television and, in football-mad Spain, all will be tuned to the final.

Fans are advised to head away from the centre and the area close to the stadium where bars will be most busy.

Try turning down a quieter side-street and the chances are you will find a bar with a TV.

Order a cerveza and a plate of patatas bravas and settle in for the game.

READ ALSO: Champions League Final: What to eat in Madrid when you have a hangover

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Putellas becomes second Spanish footballer in history to win Ballon d’Or

Alexia Putellas of Barcelona and Spain won the women's Ballon d'Or prize on Monday, becoming only the second Spanish-born footballer in history to be considered the best in the world, and claiming a win for Spain after a 61-year wait.

FC Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Alexia Putellas poses after being awarded thewomen's Ballon d'Or award.
FC Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Alexia Putellas poses after being awarded thewomen's Ballon d'Or award. Photo: FRANCK FIFE / AFP

Putellas is the third winner of the prize, following in the footsteps of Ada Hegerberg, who won the inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or in 2018, and United States World Cup star Megan Rapinoe, winner in 2019.

Putellas captained Barcelona to victory in this year’s Champions League, scoring a penalty in the final as her side hammered Chelsea 4-0 in Gothenburg.

She also won a Spanish league and cup double with Barca, the club she joined as a teenager in 2012, and helped her country qualify for the upcoming Women’s Euro in England.

Her Barcelona and Spain teammate Jennifer Hermoso finished second in the voting, with Sam Kerr of Chelsea and Australia coming in third.

It completes an awards double for Putellas, who in August was named player of the year by European football’s governing body UEFA.

But it’s also a huge win for Spain as it’s the first time in 61 years that a Spanish footballer – male or female – is crowned the world’s best footballer of the year, and only the second time in history a Spaniard wins the Ballon d’Or. 

Former Spanish midfielder Luis Suárez (not the ex Liverpool and Barça player now at Atlético) was the only Spanish-born footballer to win the award in 1960 while at Inter Milan. Argentinian-born Alfredo Di Stefano, the Real Madrid star who took up Spanish citizenship, also won it in 1959.

Who is Alexia Putellas?

Alexia Putellas grew up dreaming of playing for Barcelona and after clinching the treble of league, cup and Champions League last season, her status as a women’s footballing icon was underlined as she claimed the Ballon d’Or on Monday.

Unlike the men’s side, Barca’s women swept the board last term with the 27-year-old, who wears “Alexia” on the back of her shirt, at the forefront, months before Lionel Messi’s emotional departure.

Attacker Putellas, who turns 28 in February, spent her childhood less than an hour’s car journey from the Camp Nou and she made her first trip to the ground from her hometown of Mollet del Valles, for the Barcelona derby on January 6, 2000.

Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Alexia Putellas (R) vies with VfL Wolfsburg's German defender Kathrin Hendrich
Putellas plays as a striker for Barça and Spain. GABRIEL BOUYS / POOL / AFP

Exactly 21 years later she became the first woman in the modern era to score in the stadium, against Espanyol. Her name was engraved in the club’s history from that day forward, but her story started much earlier.

She started playing the sport in school, against boys.

“My mum had enough of me coming home with bruises on my legs, so she signed me up at a club so that I stopped playing during break-time,” Putellas said last year.

So, with her parent’s insistence, she joined Sabadell before being signed by Barca’s academy.

“That’s where things got serious… But you couldn’t envisage, with all one’s power, to make a living from football,” she said.

After less than a year with “her” outfit, she moved across town to Espanyol and made her first-team debut in 2010 before losing to Barca in the final of the Copa de la Reina.

She then headed south for a season at Valencia-based club Levante before returning “home” in July 2012, signing for Barcelona just two months after her father’s death.

In her first term there she helped Barca win the league and cup double, winning the award for player of the match in the final of the latter competition.