With the Real Madrid match now a happy memory, Simon Francis reflects on the experience on playing the Spanish giants.
Speaking in the Bournemouth Evening Echo, Francis is quoted as saying: "All you can really hope going into the game is that they don’t score too many goals. They got one and then two more on the stroke of half-time. The aim then is to try to keep a clean sheet in the second half and to try not to embarrass ourselves. But it is hard to do that when you are playing a world class team with world class players. I don’t think any of us walked off the pitch thinking we had been embarrassed but a team like that are going to punish you for any kind of mistake because they are that good. It was a great experience for everyone involved and some of our play was really good. I thought we almost matched them for the first 20 to 25 minutes. It is not every day you get a chance to play Real Madrid and we have. If you were to ask any of the lads who they would want to play in their career, they would say the best teams in the world. We were a bit downbeat after losing 6-0, as you would be against any team, but it was Real Madrid and it still hasn’t really sunk in that I am saying that! The lads got a lot out of the game and it was a pleasure to be out there against such good players. I thought they handled themselves brilliantly and, as the manager said after the game, their attitude was spot on and it is that kind of attitude that gets you far in the game".
Source: Cherries MAD