It’s no secret most Real Madrid fans want Barcelona to lose and vice versa. So when Kostas Manolas scored the goal that knocked the mighty Catalans out from the biggest club competition of them all—the UEFA Champions League—it was safe to assume that the Roma defender would be afforded a special reception whenever he played at the Santiago Bernabeu next.
And it appears that Los Blancos faithful haven’t forgotten the Greek centre-back’s iconic moment from last season, for they gave him and only him, a loud cheer before kick-off:
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) September 19, 2018
Roma had lost the first leg in Barcelona 4-1, leaving them with a mountain to climb in the return fixture of their Champions League quarter-final.
Yet, against all odds, the Giallorossi did the unthinkable as they stormed to a 3-0 win at the Stadio Olimpico to send the Catalan giants crashing out.
Manolas scored the third and final goal on that magical night in Rome and he’s obviously been held in high regard since then.
Eusebio di Francesco’s men went out in the next round, losing 6-7 on aggregate to eventual finalists Liverpool in the semis.
They haven’t made the best start to their European campaign this season as Real swamped them 3-0 thanks to goals from Isco, Gareth Bale and Mariano.
As the other two teams in Group G–CSKA Moscow and FC Victoria Pizen–played out a 2-2 draw, Roma find themselves at the bottom of the group after Matchday 1.
Real, chasing a fourth European title on the trot, are heavy favourites to top Group G, while Roma are expected to contest with CSKA Moscow for the second qualifying spot.