Their players earn just £20,000 a year, they’re owned by a small group of fans and their stadium only has hot water for 20 minutes… now Gareth Bale and Real Madrid are visiting tiny minnows Unionistas de Salamanca
- Real Madrid travel to take on Unionistas de Salamanca in the Copa del Rey
- The match, on Wednesday night, will be at Unionistas’ tiny 3,000-seater stadium
- Sportsmail has taken a look at the huge gulf between the two clubs
Real Madrid travel to minnows Unionistas de Salamanca on Wednesday night as they aim to keep up their Copa del Rey hopes in a stadium that seats just 3,000 people.
Unionistas were founded from the ashes of UD Salamanca, a historic and famous side that was Vicente del Bosque’s local club. Fans of the old club came together to look after the institution.
Now they have a chance to knock Real out of the cup in front of their own fans. Sportsmail has taken a look at the huge gulf between the two clubs.
Real Madrid will travel to Unionistas de Salamanca for a Copa del Rey clash on Wednesday
Unionistas play in a tiny stadium which can fit around 3,000 supporters in for the game
Total time spent in the top flight in Spain?
Real Madrid: 89 years
Unionistas: UD Salamanca spent 12 years in the first division before going bust in 2013. It is now Unionistas’ dream to reach those heights.
They are currently in one of the regional groups of the third tier but they are moving in the right direction after three impressive promotions from amateur, regional football where they started.
Madrid: 3.3 million
The Unionistas players celebrating after being drawn against Real in the Copa del Rey
Overall wage bill for the season?
Real: Sporting Intelligence figures published by Marca at the end of 2019 had the average annual salary at Real Madrid at €10m (£8.4m).
Unionistas: Here the average player’s annual salary is about €24,000 (£20,000).
Is the club part of the Common Goal scheme – Juan Mata’s project which has players donating 1 per cent of their salaries to worthy causes?
Real: Hala Madrid, played before the game as opposed to sung by the fans.
Unionistas: Every game they sing the old UD Salamanca anthem to honour the club they effectively replaced.
Real will play at the tiny stadium but are more used to the impressive Santiago Bernabeu
Real: The green baize of the Santiago Bernabeu maintained to perfection by former Arsenal groundsman Paul Burgess.
Unionistas: Around 53 volunteers look after the pitch at Las Pistas. On Monday it was under a blanket of snow but it will be match-ready on Wednesday night.
Real: Gareth Bale looks set to start having been left out at the weekend against Sevilla. Spain internationals Isco and Dani Carvajal should also be in what will be a strong team.
Unionistas: Winger Piojo has already warned the Galaticos: ‘There is only enough hot water at the stadium for 20 minutes so the last ones in after the game will be taking cold showers.’
His team-mate Javi Navas revealed: ‘If we go through some of the players have said they will have the date of the game tattooed, I will dye my hair white.’
Gareth Bale looks set to start for Real having been left out at the weekend against Sevilla