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32 years without winning ‘La Orejona’. More than three decades without the Real Madrid sat on the throne of Europe. In 1998 the curse was broken with Lorenzo Sanz in the presidency and Jupp Heynckes on the bench. Just two years after breaking history with the Juventus Turin, the white team appeared in its second final in three seasons.

Spanish final which was played in Paris on May 24, 2000. 78,759 fans gathered at the Stade de France to witness the match between Real Madrid, then directed by Vicente del Bosque, and the Valencia, trained by Héctor Cúper.

Casillas; Míchel Salgado, Karanka, Helguera, Iván Campo, Roberto Carlos; Redondo, McManaman, Raúl, Anelka and Morientes were the eleven chosen by Del Bosque to form the initial team against Valencia. Then they also had three historical minutes of the club: Sanchís, Iron and Savio. EL ESPAÑOL spoke with the Brazilian about that final, in which two Spanish clubs met for the first time.

Madrid raise La Octava in Paris after beating Valencia

For Savio, that May 24, 2000 is “a very special date”. “I won my second Champions League there with Real Madrid,” says the Brazilian, who also highlights the moment in which he “assisted Raúl in the third goal.” Third and final both of the whites who, as he remembers, experienced it as “crazy!”.

“Raúl’s goal was very important. With the 2-0, Valencia still had the chance to do something, but with the 3-0 it was already very difficult. Being part of that goal directly is something very special,” says Savio. . The former player, who landed on the Santiago Bernabeu in 1997, he was part of Real Madrid for five seasons.

Five years and three Champions Savio managed to win as a merengue footballer. After conquering The seventh, Real Madrid started as a favorite against Valencia, but the Brazilian remarks that they did not experience it that way in the dressing room: “I don’t think we were the favorites against Valencia. The 1999/2000 season was not good for us in La Liga, the Valencia was fine and had a great team. “

However, the pupils of Vicente del Bosque at that time signed a final of 10. “We played a very intelligent game, with a lot of rhythm and tactically perfect,” says Savio Bortolini. When Braschi whistled the end of the match, several things went through his head: “Emotion, happiness and the feeling of duty accomplished. It was my second Champions. It was very nice!”.

Savio Bortolini with his Real Madrid teammates at the celebration of La Octava

Savio Bortolini with his Real Madrid teammates at the celebration of La Octava

The dressing room lived that moment in a big way and, as Savio says: “It is not easy to win a competition like the Champions twice in three seasons.” “Winning the Eighth was really confirming Real Madrid’s definitive return to Europe, confirming that it was still the largest. The group was very concentrated, it was a game in which we could not fail,” he adds.

Road to La Cibeles

To get to Paris, Real Madrid had to overcome teams like Bayern Munich or the Manchester United. Especially remembered is that already historic meeting in Old Trafford against the red devils. And as impossible as forgetting that duel is also not stopping to remember the heel of Fernando Redondo, after which even the very Alex Ferguson surrendered to the Argentine.

Precisely it was Savio who touched the ball for Redondo and from there to history: “It was a very difficult game, a very difficult field and Manchester had a great team, it was the reigning champion. After tying at home at zero, only We thought about winning and qualifying. It was a great match. Round? Only great players can do something like that. A very nice and decisive move. “

Savio against Stam at Manchester United - Real Madrid in the 1999/2000 Champions League

Savio against Stam at Manchester United – Real Madrid in the 1999/2000 Champions League

From the Theater of Dreams to the Stade de France and back to the Spanish capital to celebrate La Octava. Savio does not highlight any particular anecdote, but the whole of the Madrid party after winning ‘La Orejona’: “The party with the fans in the stadium was spectacular, then we arrived in Madrid, La Cibeles, the Santiago Bernabéu … It was very exciting!”.

What Savio does not forget is from Lorenzo Sanz, former president of Real Madrid who recently died of the coronavirus: “He was a very special person for me, he came to Brazil to look for me and gave me the opportunity to wear the Real Madrid shirt. A great person!”. And it is that the Brazilian arrived at the white house with Sanz, but also coincided with Florentino Pérez In his early years at the club: “He always treated me well. A relationship of respect.”

Galactic Madrid

It was with the arrival of Florentino Pérez to the presidency of Real Madrid when the famous team of ‘Los Galacticos’ began to appear, but before this, the white team already had players such as Raul, Round, Roberto Carlos, Casillas and himself Savio, who also shared costumes also with others like Figo and Zidane.

He has very good words for them, but if he stays with you he knows who to choose: “They are great players and very good people. But I have a friendly relationship with Roberto Carlos, we were always together.” Precisely, two of them are the current coaches of the first merengue team and the Castile.

Savio trusts both: “I see them well. Zidane once again entered the history of the club. He had already done it as a player and now he has done it as a coach, it is incredible. Raúl is at the beginning of his coaching career and has a lot of potential. “

Grateful to Real Madrid

Zidane’s arrival and injuries deprived Savio of a leading role at the Santiago Bernabéu. At the end of 2001/2002, after winning The ninth, closed his page at Real Madrid to start other new chapters in teams such as Bordeaux Girondins, the Saragossa, the Real society or the I raised.

“It was just after winning La Novena. A season that I played less and for me the important thing was to be able to be on the field, playing and enjoying,” Savio told EL ESPAÑOL about his farewell to Real Madrid. But his quality in the field, added to the sympathy and good character outside him, earned him the love of the fans.

Savio Bortolini with César Sánchez, Iván Helguera and Luis Figo

Savio Bortolini with César Sánchez, Iván Helguera and Luis Figo

“The love I received from Real Madrid was something unique, special. I felt a connection from the beginning. The Bernabéu gave me love, gave me strength and was always by my side,” says a Savio who adds a word for the white fans: “Thank you!”. Precisely, that white elastic has worn her again in veterans games: “I have played some games with Madrid Legends, it is always a pleasure to wear that shirt.”

Brazil connection

Savio, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo… or more recently Marcelo, Casemiro, Militao, Vinicius, Rodrygo and Reinier. Real Madrid dances samba, “a connection of successes, of victories” says Savio, who hopes that “it will always continue like this”. About the younger ones, he says that “they have to have more time, but they are footballers of great technical quality.” “I hope they make history at the club, they are talented,” he adds.

Savio and Vinicius Júnior, past and future of Real Madrid together

Savio and Vinicius Júnior, past and future of Real Madrid together

“In Brazil, great players always appear. In recent years, the club has hired three great promises from our football, such as Vinicius, Rodrygo and Reinier.” And although he does not indicate any particular name of possible signings of Brazilian youth by Real Madrid, he does get ‘wet’ when choosing between Mbappé and Haaland: “I love Mbappé!”.

Savio’s present

While other former teammates of his have continued to be linked to the world of football, whether as coaches, advisers, sports directors … Savio focused his career on the business world: “I dedicate myself to a very different facet of the time I was playing, but I am very happy with it. I prepared myself for the moment when I left football. I have a lot of work, I travel a lot, but now I have much more time for my family. “

Savio Bortolini, at home, polishing his three Champions

Savio Bortolini, at home, polishing his three Champions

Instagram (@saviobortolini)

“I work in different markets: financial, real estate and sports. In the sports area, we have made a camaraderie with You First Sports, a Spanish company, here in Brazil, me and my partner Guilherme Siqueira, formerly of Atlético de Madrid and Granada. We are very happy with that connection between Brazil and Spain with You First in Brazil “, concludes Savio. Quite a triple European champion with Real Madrid.

[Más información – Qué fue de Savio Bortolini: el brasileño que jugó en Madrid y Real Sociedad]

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