Madrid plays host to one of the most iconic sporting teams in the world – the New Zealand All Blacks rugby side.
This Saturday, 21st May, will see the Classic All Blacks, a team of former players from the New Zealand national side face the Spanish national team in the first ever match between the two sides.
The match, which is being played at the Wanda Metropolitan Stadium in front of 37,000 rugby fans, was supposed to have taken place in 2020 and then again in 2021, but both games were postponed due to the pandemic.
The clash between these two teams has been organised by Kiwi House in conjunction with the Spanish Rugby Federation, and Atlético de Madrid.
Kiwi House hope that the event will be a celebration of sport with some of the best rugby players from Spain and around the world – complete with third half refreshments!
In a press statement the organisers expressed their “gratitude to the Madrid City Council and the Madrid regional government, who have shown us their absolute support during these complicated months.”
Indeed, they have been repaying their gratitude by performing their legendary Haka, the Maori dance and battle cry in front of the Royal Palace to Madrid´s Mayor, José Luis Martínez-Almeida and hundreds of fans and visitors.
The All Blacks have won three rugby world cups, in 1987, 2011 and 2015, and have 15 players in the Rugby Hall of Fame.
Spanish rugby has improved much in recent years and for the first time qualified for next year’s Rugby World Cup in France, after beating Iberian rivals Portugal 33-28.
However, the team was later disqualified after an independent judicial committee found that they had fielded an ineligible player during qualifying.