Real Madrid’s stranglehold on the Champions League came to an unceremonious and humiliating end against Ajax on Tuesday.
A stunned and angry Santiago Bernabeu watched on in disbelief as the Eredivisie side thumped the three-time defending champions 4-1 to secure a remarkable 5-3 aggregate triumph.
It marked the first time Madrid have been knocked out in the last 16 since the 2009-10 season, while not since 2012-13 have the previous season’s winners failed to make the last eight (Chelsea were knocked out in the group stages).
Santiago Solari’s short reign as head coach is now in a perilous position with the shambolic surrender following back-to-back Clasico defeats to Barcelona that ended their Copa del Rey and LaLiga title ambitions.
The Spanish press have piled into Madrid following their meek exit and here we round up the best of the newspaper reaction.
Here lies a team that made history – Marca
A tagline that reads “[A] humiliating end of an unrepeatable cycle” pretty much summed up the mood for Madrid-favoured daily Marca, who had a poignant image of the scoreboard above an emptying Bernabeu.
Tragic week – AS
It was straight to the point from AS with a two-word summary of one of the bleakest weeks in the illustrious history of Los Blancos. The daily added a tweet of Real Madrid’s crest in broken pieces with the caption: The best love story ever told ends.
End of an era! – SPORT
There was little surprise that sympathy from Catalan paper SPORT for Madrid’s plight was in short supply, while there was also focus on soon-to-be Barcelona import Frenkie de Jong’s performance for Ajax.
Nothing at all! – Mundo Deportivo
Another Catalan paper similarly shone a glaring spotlight on Madrid’s failure.
The fall of the Gods – La Gazzetta dello Sport
Naturally, it was not just the Spanish press that focused heavily on Madrid’s misfortune. The embarrassing setback has been heavily covered worldwide including this strong headline from Italian paper La Gazzetta.