sport news Agustin Rodriguez was Real Madrid's goalkeeper the last time they faced ... trends now
He was a 21-year-old rookie goalkeeper facing the mighty Liverpool back in 1981, now 41-years later Agustin Rodriguez has been with Real Madrid every step of the way on their journey back to another Paris final.
Still treasuring the shirt he swapped with Ray Clemence after the game Liverpool won 1-0 in the Parc des Princes thanks to an Alan Kennedy goal, Agustin is now a season ticket holder at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Agustin Rodriguez (pictured) has been with Real Madrid every step of the way in Europe
Rodriguez was Real's goalkeeper the last time they faced Liverpool in a final in Paris in 1981
He believes this final is wide open; says he never doubted current Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois even when others did; and recalls how in 1981 it was very much Liverpool and not Madrid who felt they were invincible.
‘It was pure magic,’ he says of Madrid’s run to the final. ‘Three comebacks in a row and they were all similar. It was like Groundhog day only in a positive sense!
‘Over the 180 minutes plus extra time of each tie City, Chelsea and PSG were superior to Madrid for long spells.
Liverpool won 1-0 in the Parc des Princes thanks to an Alan Kennedy goal against Rodriguez
'But when Madrid have this explosion of energy, sparked by a goal, the people are on their feet and the stadium carries the team along with it.
‘We scored the first goal against City at minute 90! I thought: well there’s not time and then boom we scored three goals in five minutes.
It’s like the rich guy wines and dines the girl, takes her to a fine restaurant and a luxury hotel, but then along comes the rogue who doesn’t have the airs and graces but sweeps her off her feet and takes her away. Football is like that sometimes.’
A lot has been said about Madrid’s apparent invincibility in a competition they have made their own but back in 1981 things were very different with the Spanish side not having won the trophy for 15 years.
‘We had Laurie Cunningham carrying an injury, Uli Stielike was not 100 per cent. Liverpool had won the