On the occasion of Real Madrid’s visit to Abu Dhabi for the Club World Cup, the club invited the fan clubs in the region as a gesture to show gratitude for the continuous support Arab fans have given the Whites throughout the years.
The gathering took place at Rosewood Hotel in Abu Dhabi on the afternoon of the Club World Cup Final and was attended by Real Madrid’s president Florentino Perez, club legends Emilio Butragueño, Raúl González and Roberto Carlos as well as local fan clubs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and Arab fan clubs from the MENA region such as KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Algeria and Morocco as well as some Spanish fan clubs who were there to witness the ceremony.
The club’s president Perez started the ceremony with a speech that spoke of the values of the club as well as the importance of the fans and their support.
“It’s an honour to be here in this great country and be defending a title as prestigious as the Club World Cup. This would be the first time that a club has lifted the trophy for a second successive year and this team will be giving its all to do so”.
The president also highlighted the great reception the players and club representatives had upon arrival to the UAE capital where the airport VIP lounge was named after the White club to commemorate the visit.
“Right since we arrived in Abu Dhabi we’ve felt right at home. You’ve shown us your affection and we’re extremely grateful for such a great welcome. Real Madrid is an allegiance that unites us all. You have a key role to play today in trying to achieve what’s a big challenge.
It’s been a year of successes and trophies and we now want to once again be crowned world champions, for a sixth time in our history. It won’t be easy because we’re up against the Copa Libertadores holders, Gremio, a great club that we congratulate for reaching the final”.
Florentino Pérez also wanted to highlight the important role Arab fan clubs had in the club and how valuable their support is especially during the team’s visit to Abu Dhabi.
“The supporters’ groups are the heartbeat of madridismo and you have a vital role to play in passing on our values. We’re united by this badge, its values and a feeling of belonging. This club has no barriers or boundaries. Origins, nationalities, languages, religion and culture are of no importance. We’re Real Madrid because we love this shirt and everything it stands for”.
Following the president’s speech, the fan club’s were presented with a commemorative flag from Perez and took photos with him as well as the legends present.
Raúl who caused a stir with his presence among the fan club members was quick to point out how happy he was to attend the ceremony: “The honor is all mine, thank you for your support it means a lot,” he replied when was told by the president of the fan club La Saeta de Dubai, Rashid Harib that he was his Real Madrid idol and what an honor it was to finally meet him.
Florentino Pérez, Butragueño, Roberto Carlos and Raúl took the time to take photos with the 500 supporters present many of whom were meeting their childhood idols for the first time.
The club’s gesture towards the fans didn’t go unnoticed as many of the fan club representatives expressed their happiness and appreciation at being honored by arguably the biggest club in Europe.
Khalaf Aldouseri the President of the Real Madrid fan club in Kuwait and one of the guests at the fan club’s meeting in Abu Dhabi said “The club’s management honored the Real Madrid fan clubs in the region.
An unprecedented gesture by the club’s management that shows respect and appreciation for the supporters clubs and their representatives and encourages them to do more as Madridistas. On the personal side, I was very happy to meet with my brothers the representatives of Real Madrid in the Arab world and share with them ideas and experiences, and exchange commemorative gifts and social media accounts. It was more than a wonderful experience and a chance to connect with all the Madridistas in the Arab world who share our passion and our love for the Spanish club.”
This sentiment was shared by all the guests present but as Oman’s fan club Vice President Hamood AlMaskari pointed out, these kind of gestures are not surprising from Real Madrid, who always make their fans feel special like they did by offering free tickets to attend the semi final and final of the Club World Cup to all the official members “It was not a surprise that Real Madrid would acknowledge and appreciate their fans from the Arab world, such a classy gesture from the best club in the world.”