Growing up in the Spanish capital, Angel Berlanga was a season ticket holder at Real Madrid and marvelled at the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo and Ronaldo showcasing their skills at the Santiago Bernabeu. In 2014, the Auckland City captain came agonisingly close to an unthinkable finale against his boyhood club, when only extra time stood in the way of the New Zealand side facing the European champions at the FIFA Club World Cup.
It wasn’t to be for Berlanga, though. Despite grabbing an equaliser against San Lorenzo in the semi-final, an extra-time goal from Mauro Matos downed the plucky Navy Blues, sending the Copa Libertadores winners to the 2014 showpiece final instead. But 2016 presents another chance for Berlanga to contemplate coming up against his beloved club, with Auckland and Real Madrid having both reached the Club World Cup once more, this time in Japan.