Why Manchester United and Real Madrid formed a close relationship following Munich air disaster

Real Madrid legend and Ballon d’Or winner Alfredo Di Stefano was reportedly offered to Manchester United before the FA blocked the move.

The devastating Munich air disaster took 23 lives, including eight of the legendary Busby Babes and three beloved members of United’s staff.

Real Madrid showed their sportsmanship after the tragic incident, as the Spanish giants’ president Santiago Bernabeu set up friendly matches to raise funds for the Reds and offer support to the grieving club.

He also offered United forward Di Stefano, who was on the back of winning the award of Europe’s best footballer after playing a pivotal role in his side’s journey to lifting the European Cup.

However, the Football Association then intervened and blocked the move from happening, as Football League secretary Alan Hardaker believed it would have taken a space in the squad away from a British player.

United tasted glory in Europe again

Still, the pair of clubs continued having a close relationship and when Sir Matt rebuilt United back to world-class challengers, they won the coveted European Cup 10 years after the disaster.

En route to the final they defeated Real and post-match, Bernabeu admitted: “If it had to be anyone, I am glad it was them.”

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