Search icon


22nd May 2018

Real Madrid forced to break Champions League final superstition

Cheers Spanish State Agency for Air Safety

Oli Dugmore

Cheers Spanish State Agency for Air Safety

Real Madrid have been forced to break superstition ahead of the Champions League final on Saturday.

On their way to face Liverpool, the Galacticos will be denied use of their lucky cabin crew. A different, wider plane requires a new flight staff with different training, according to the [Spanish] State Agency for Air Safety.

The holders were flown to Lisbon, Milan and Cardiff for their tournament wins in 2014, 2016 and 2017, respectively, on aeroplanes managed by captain Juan Ramón Bonet, first officer Alejandro Buxonat and cabin manager Rosa Delia Sosa each time.

MILAN, ITALY - MAY 28: Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid lifts the Champions League trophy after victory in the UEFA Champions League Final match between Real Madrid and Club Atletico de Madrid at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on May 28, 2016 in Milan, Italy.

But because they want a bigger plane, they’re going to have to change. Iberia, the airline which runs Real’s flights, said: “This year, the trip to Kiev will be made in an Airbus A340, which has a broader fuselage, to enable as smooth as possible a journey to Ukraine and to cater for the number of seats that the club has asked for.”

Captain Txomin Baztan, first officer José María Ordovás and chief attendant Manuel Díaz Pachón will now manage the flight to Kiev on Thursday.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with the lucky flight crew after winning the Champions League final in 2016 (Credit: Real Madrid/Twitter)

In a statement Iberia said: “The crew that has on previous occasions been responsible for their flights to closer destinations are not qualified to work with this type of aeroplane. They fly the Airbus A321, which is smaller (it is a 200-seater aircraft) and has less autonomy. As is required by the [Spanish] State Agency for Air Safety, they would have to take a three-month course [to gain the necessary credentials], which they haven’t.”

Speaking to El Mundo, a Spanish newspaper, a Real official said: “Knowing the president [of the club], he’s sure to invite them to the final as guests. He’s very superstitious. It’s a shame that Bonet can’t pilot the plane again, but this year we needed a bigger aircraft because it’s a longer flight and we needed wider seats so that the players can be that bit more comfortable.”

How to watch the Champions League final, free

The Champions League final takes place on Saturday May 26 between Liverpool and Real Madrid.

The matches will be streamed for free on YouTube in 4K at, and through the BT Sport app and