LaLiga Ambassador and Former Atletico Madrid Midfielder Tiago Mendes came to the Philippines last Saturday to witness one of the historic rivalry games in LaLiga, El Derbi de Madrid, alongside Filipino football fans.
Right in time for the blockbuster clash between two of the world’s best football teams — Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid — LaLiga and M88 Mansion brought Tiago Mendes to the Philippines to celebrate and enjoy El Derbi de Madrid watch party at Mansion Sports Bar & Lounge in Makati.
“Thank you for this moment, the real warm welcome that you gave me tonight. It’s a pleasure to be here,” Tiago, who was visiting the country for the first time, expressed to his Filipino fans.
A Night with an Atleti Star
Tiago Mendes joined Atletico de Madrid in 2010 and was an integral part of the most successful stages in the recent history of the team, right up until he retired in 2017. In addition, he also served as the team’s assistant manager until 2018.
Tiago played a pivotal role as a midfielder in the team that ultimately led to Atlético de Madrid’s first derby win in 14 years, as well as the LaLiga Santander title in 2014, among other memorable moments for the Colchonero club.
El Derbi de Madrid or the Madrid Derby is a special football fixture in the history of LaLiga, highlighting the clash between two of the most lauded clubs across the globe. And on Saturday, fans in Manila got to celebrate with LaLiga at Mansion Sports Bar with Tiago himself.
Filled with exciting trivia games and raffle, the fans and invited guests, including the official Real Madrid supporters club (Peña Madridista de Filipinas), representatives from the Spanish Embassy, and local stars from the sports scene like James Younghusband, Stephan Schrock, and PBA player Franky Johnson, also got to take home limited edition LaLiga balls, jerseys, and M88 Mansion and beIN Sports prizes.
Lucky Atlético de Madrid fans also got their prizes signed by Tiago.
Celebrating Passion for the Sport
Apart from the games and prizes, Filipino football fans also got the rare opportunity to speak to a LaLiga star and ask about one of the biggest leagues, clubs, and rivalries in the world.
“Real Madrid wins all the time and that’s what makes them special. They have a lot of good players all season and when you have great players who are close to winning, it’s always difficult to play against them. It is an honor to compete with them,” Tiago shared with the fans about his long-time rival team.
In addition, he also shared stories with the fans about the supporters of Atlético de Madrid.
“I think the best thing Atlético de Madrid has is the supporters. They are amazing, they are unbelievable,” he expressed.
“I remember when we lost a game to Real Madrid in a semifinal in our stadium, and we lost against our major rivals, and the supporters were until the last ten minutes of the game, they were shouting and singing, thanking the team even though we lost.”
With more than a century of rivalry, Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid faced off once again last Saturday, though the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Tiago expressed his hopes that football becomes one of the biggest sports in the Philippines as he gave advice to young Filipino football enthusiasts to continue their dreams of entering the fields and not to give up.
“Follow your dreams and never give up. You will need everything. This is the path for happiness,” Tiago shared with aspiring football players.
Images courtesy of COMCO.