Though the sofa was all red, Luis Garcia was on Atletico’s corner while Fernando Morientes stayed true to Real Madrid on the other side.
Not much separated them but a bottle of Heineken and once in a while, a gorgeous Spanish bella in a sash and tiara.
The desire to be on the winning side provided a good pre-cursor to the game that was about to be televised live to a gathering of about 800 people.
A slight drizzle ahead of the game did not prevent the fans from lining up for an autograph or two from Garcia and Morientes, and an umbrella was opened up occasionally to keep Garcia’s impeccable black suit dry.
Morientes was more concerned about catching a chill than getting a few drops on his blue shirt and black corduroys.
There is something special when you partake in an action in the presence of an expert.
For instance, if you’re watching a movie with Steven Spielberg or Lupita Nyong’o, or listening to a new Genge track with Jay Z; there is an excitement in the knowledge that these professionals know a whole lot more than you do, and in a way it opens you up to their expertise.
The presence of Garcia and Moreintes filled the open space at Ushuaia Tower with a similar kind of mini euphoria.
Fans hung on every word as Garcia expressed a cautious optimism that Diego Costa’s name in the opening line-up would definitely boost Atletico’s chances.
He insisted however that as a team, a lot could be done to secure victory. It did not seem to bother Garcia that a quick chant from the crowd proved that Real were indeed the favourites.
An English commentator was employed to ensure we all understood the game, which would have been televised in Spanish because of the great country we were in.
The venue was Ushuaia Tower: a prime property along the beach in Ibiza that is used to marry sports, parties and celebrity. It was the culmination of a two-day party bonanza to usher in some classic football.
Much as I tried, it was impossible for me to make out anything that Morientes said.
He was of course speaking in Spanish. It was easy however to understand his wide grin at Real’s victory after extra time no doubt recalling 2002 when they last won it when he was Raul’s strike partner.
Grown men from all over the world; Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Egypt, Tunisia, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania jumped up and down and sang to celebrate the victory.
-By Laura Walubengo