Real Madrid can chase ‘La Decima’ but football is more than a numbers game


Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with Gareth Bale after scoring against Bayern Munich (Picture: AP)

Football, like all sports, is all about the numbers. And there’s none we like more than the ones that tell us who’s the best.

It’s why even the most monolingual football fan knows ‘La Decima’ is Real Madrid’s bid to win a tenth European Cup.

Winning five big cups in the competition’s first five years means they have always been big on the numbers. However, after picking up ‘la septima’, ‘octava’ and ‘novena’ in the period from 1998 to 2002, the 12-year wait for No.10 has become an obsession.

But, for all the talk of destiny and desire, it’s a rare case in football where a number increases – or even exceeds – the significance of the occasion as a whole.

Gareth Bale showed he’s read his Merengue manual when discussing the importance of ‘La Decima’. But what…

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