Soul Glow, Juninho and a La Liga Debut

CD Tenerife 1 v 0 Atletico Madrid (07.03.1999)

This is where it all began. With the exception of two trips across the channel to France as a school kid, this trip was one of many ‘firsts’ for me. This was to be my first real trip abroad, my first time on an aeroplane, my first lad’s holiday (well there was two of us!) and my very first foreign football match! The ironic thing was that (unlike nearly all other trips to follow) football wasnt even on the agenda for this holiday before I set off!

CD TenerifeWe we’re on a package holiday on the Canary Island of Tenerife and were based in the classy resort of Playas Americas. During the holiday, a ‘chalk board’ caught our eyes as we walked past one of the many bars: ‘Tenerife v Atletico Madrid’, Santa Cruz, Sunday 7th March.

My knowledge of european football was generally poor and confined to champions league coverage on terrestrial tv. I dont think i was even aware that Tenerife had a football team that competed in the top flight of spanish football. On reflection i dont think i was even aware the island had a team! This was a trait i would soon eradicate, with all future trips at least getting the required ‘pre-trip research treatment’ they fully deserved. It would involve something like this:

1) Where am I going?
2) How many football clubs are based there (not just top flight, but lower league clubs too)
3) Has the fixture list fallen kindly for me?
4) If i was going away with the missus could i sneak a game or two in?

We signed up for the trip to the Stadio H.R.Lopez for our La Liga debuts, excited by the thought of seeing Tenerife’s star player Emerson play (or ‘soul glow’ as he was more commonly known) along with some of the bigger Atletico names we’d heard of such as Juninho, Chamot and Aguilera.

AKA "Soul Glow"

“Soul Glow”

My memories of this game are vague at best, but i remember expecting an away win for Atletico prior to kick off, and then being surprised at Tenerife’s resilience, and they went on to win the game 1-0, thanks to a first half strike by Roy Mackaay. Mackaay was signed from dutch club Vitesse Arnhem and went onto spend a large part of his career at Bayern Munich, and gained over 40 international caps for Holland.

Unfortunately I have lost my photos from this game…this was in the days before digital cameras, where you had to make the most of the restricted 24 shots provided on a standard film!

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