2003-04 Real Madrid Home Shirt Size Small - Ronaldo #9
Team: Real Madrid
Era: 2003-04 (Used for both legs of the 2003 Supercopa de Espana and for the 2003-04 La Liga season)
Name/Number: Ronaldo #9
I honestly believe that you will be better hard pressed to find a version of this shirt in better condition! Looking seldom worn, this near 20 year old shirt is nothing short of immaculate!
Pit to Pit Measurement: 20 inches
Shirt Length: 28.28 inches
Made by in their Adidas ‘ClimaLite’ range that they introduced in 2003; the dimensions of this shirt would seemingly lend themselves better to a size medium rather than a size small, as per the sizing of that era.
Both of Real Madrid’s shirts in the 2003-04 season will be synonymous with the ‘Beckham-Mania’ that surrounded the England captain’s arrival at the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer of 2003! The home shirt was seen everywhere as the England captain was paraded as the club’s new ‘Galactico’ While Real Madrid’s home shirts of the previous couple of season’s paid home to the club’s centenary, and in turn, were very traditionist shirts; the 2003-04 home shirt was a much more contemporary styled effort! While maintaining the all-white backdrop, the standout feature is a subtle one – the elasticated collar disguised as a small slit down the collar. This shirt is peak ‘Galacticos’ Real Madrid, less forgotten however, is that it is also the shirt worn as they won the Supercopa de Espana in 2003; seeing off Real Mallorca 4-2 over 2 Legs, with David Beckham netting in his Santiago Bernabeu debut in the 2nd Leg!
The 2003-04 season would signal the end of one era and the start of another for Real Madrid! Vicente del Bosque, after guiding Real Madrid back to La Liga glory after a fierce title-tilt in the 2002-03 season; would be let go of after 4 fine years with the club! Club captain: Fernando Hierro would also be let go of after 14 seasons with the club!
The new regime would be spearheaded by the arrival of David Beckham from Manchester United; thus, ending the longest running transfer saga of 2003! He also would be joined by Carlos Queiroz from Manchester United, with the Portuguese taking over from the recently deposed Del Bosque. He would have to begin his new foray into management without the midfield lynchpin: Claude Makelele, with the Frenchman drawing the short-straw to accommodate Beckham into the ‘Galactico’ stratosphere.
With the squad now including: Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, Beckham, in addition to Roberto Carlos and Raul; anything less than getting off the ground running on all fronts would not be acceptable by the fans and club hierarchy alike. Queiroz’ first opportunity for silverware came in the Supercopa de Espana clashes with Mallorca. Mallorca would stun the La Liga champions in the 1st Leg at Son Moix, however, Real would overturn the deficit 3 days later, as they won 3-0 at home, with Raul, Ronaldo and crucially, David Beckham netting to bring home the Supercopa!
The La Liga campaign began with a 2-1 over Real Betis on August 30th, with Beckham and Ronaldo delivering for the home side. Real Madrid would struggle on the road once again as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Villarreal in their next outing. That however, was quickly put in the rear view, as they punished Malaga 3-1 away; this win coming just 8 days after thrashing Valladolid 7-2 at home! The Champions League campaign began with a 4-2 at home to Marseille, however the bubble would burst on September 27th, when they were beaten by Valencia 2-0.
The win galvanised the team as they enjoyed a fine October; scooping up 6 wins from a possible 7; in fact, those 6 wins all came in succession – spanning over La Liga, the Copa del Rey and Champions League! Regrettably, the opportunity to usurp Deportivo La Coruna at the top of the table was missed following the goalless draw away to Real Zaragoza on October 28th.
November began with a fine 3-0 at home against Athletic Bilbao, which saw them go level on points with Valencia, who had moved to the summit of the division. Once again, the momentum would botch as Sevilla defeated them 4-1 in a stunning upset on November 9th! An inconsistent month would see them qualify for the Last 16 of the UEFA Champions League but fail to establish headway at the top of the table in La Liga.
The final month of a rollercoaster 2003 would feature back to back games against fierce rivals: Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Deportivo; and Real were brilliant – first beating their city rivals 2-0 at home, before going to the Camp Nou and claiming a 2-1 victory in the first ‘El Clasico’ of the season! They would make it a trilogy of wins as Depor were also beaten 2-1! They would owe a huge debt of gratitude to Ronaldo who scored in each of the 3 wins and he would end the year having scored in each of his previous 5 La Liga games; and consequently, Real Madrid would end 2003 with a 2 point advantage over Valencia in 2nd place!
Raul would score the only goal in Real Madrid’s first game of 2004 – a 1-0 win over Murcia on January 3rd, however, the year would not begin kindly for ‘Los Blancos’ as they would record just 1 victory in each of their next 4 games across league and cup.
Following the January 18th draw with Real Betis; Real Madrid would seemingly awaken from their slumber and reel off 6 wins on the bounce in both competitions to take a 2-0 advantage into the 2nd Leg of their Copa del Rey showdown with Sevilla, and restore a 2 point lead ahead of Valencia in the league.
With the 1st Leg of Champions League Last 16 meeting Bayern Munich at the Olympic Stadium looming on February 24th; they would hold out for a 1-0 defeat to Sevilla to reach the Spanish Cup Final, and then need a late Luis Figo penalty to salvage a 1-1 draw at home with Valencia. Crucially, the point meant that should both teams finish level on points at the end of the season; Valencia would win the title by way of their superior head-to-head record! Ahead of the Bayern clash, Real Madrid would pick up a fine 4-2 win away against Espanyol, before earning a priceless 1-1 draw with Bayern! They would conclude an indifferent February by seeing off Celta Vigo 4-2 and carving out an 8 point niche for themselves at the top of the table!
A critical month of March unfolded as a disaster for the treble chasing Real Madrid as draws with Racing Santander and Zaragoza, followed by a defeat to Bilbao saw their lead at top reduced to just 1 point! Embarrassingly, they would be beaten 3-2 by Zaragoza in the Copa Del Rey Final on March 17th! Fortunately, their 1-0 win over Bayern Munich on March 10th spared any potential embarrassment in Europe, and with a tie against Monaco that came next, they won the 1st Leg 4-2 on March 24th in an incredible game! Meanwhile, the league slump ended with a 5-1 hammering of Sevilla; thus, positive results in April could almost instantly eviscerate the memory of March…
April began with a 2-1 win over Albacete on April 3rd to keep themselves a point clear at the top of La Liga; yet if they thought March was a nightmare, the season would end in unimaginable disaster! First came the sensational 3-1 defeat to Monaco in France on April 6th – a result that saw the French side prevail to the semi-final on away goals! The April 17th Madrid Derby victory over Atletico would be their final win of the season as run of 5 defeats in a row – including losses to Barcelona and Deportivo saw them plunge from 1st to a miserly end of season finish of 4th place.
The notable players that season were:
Ronaldo, Raul, Fernando Morientes, Javier Portillo, Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Borja, Guti, Santi Solari, David Beckham, Antonio Nunez, Esteban Cambiasso, Alvaro Mejia, Roberto Carlos, Ivan Helguera, Francisco Pavon, Alvaro Arbeloa, Michel Salgado, Alvaro Arbeloa, Juanfran, Raul Bravo, Iker Casillas, Cesar Sanchez, Diego Lopez
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