The desperation in Madrid for the Champions League final tickets appears almost as tangible as the desire of the Liverpool and Tottenham fans to see their team lift the trophy themselves.
Access to the first all-English final since 2008 turns out to be so elusive that a Tottenham fan is willing to give up £ 10,000 to watch the promotion. The sun and sangria may be talking, but it's not the only one.
Both teams have only received a combined allocation of 32,000, so it's no wonder the Spanish authorities say that most fans arrive without a ticket.
Samy Darwish is one of the thousands of fans in Madrid without a definitive Champions League ticket
Mr. Darwish, a dentist, flies from Dubai to Liverpool for every home game, but has still missed
Both teams have an allocation of 16,000 tickets, but the question is certainly that number tenfold
Desperate fans wander through the city center, sip beer and ask passers-by for all that elusive ticket, while others wore t-shirts or signs that said: & # 39; I need a ticket.
British touts stood on the corner of the street, eager to buy eye-catching amounts, while some asked for £ 10,000. But with rumors in abundance that many counterfeits are circulating, there were few enthusiasts.
For some fans, there was a heart attack before a ball was kicked.
Samy Darwish, a seasonal season ticket holder in Liverpool for 41 years, missed a ticket after the club decided he didn't qualify because he had not been to a Champions League away match.
Mr. Darwish, a dentist, flies from Liverpool home to Liverpool for every home game and has also participated in all the Champions League home games the team played.
Standing in the middle of Puerta de Sol Square in Madrid, wearing a t-shirt with the inscription & # 39; I need a ticket & # 39 ;, he moaned: & # 39; I am devastated. I couldn't believe the club said I didn't deserve a ticket to the final.
& # 39; I even wrote to Peter Moore, Liverpool's director, but he said they couldn't help me. I spend thousands of pounds every year watching my beloved team. I decided to come to Madrid without a ticket because I hope someone will feel sorry for me. & # 39;
Tottenham fan John Burt is willing to pay someone £ 7,000 for a ticket to the European clash
Tottenham and Liverpool meet in the full English final at Atletico Madrid on Saturday
Tottenham fan John Burt from Bagshot, Surrey revealed that he had allocated himself a budget of £ 7,000 to buy a blackmarket ticket.
But he admitted: & # 39; If someone offers me a real ticket, I might pay £ 10,000. I have been following Spurs for 40 years and I never dreamed that we would be in a Champions League final. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. & # 39;
Mr. Burt, 54 years old, added: “I am a single man and Tottenham is the only woman I have. She is worth spending this money on. & # 39;
With direct flights to Madrid that cost more than £ 1,000 and is sold out in virtually every hotel room in the city, many fans have been creative in their travel plans and how they will stay.
Many drove from England or flew to other Spanish cities and even neighboring countries, on the way to Madrid by bus, car or train. Some fans had also set up tents in one of the city's big parks while others were getting ready to sleep on the sidewalk.
Liverpool fan Tony Fisher, who arrived via Italy through a budget company, said: & I had to take out a loan day loan to get here. I have no money for a hotel and not much for food. But I just wanted to be in Madrid and be part of the opportunity. It is nice and warm, I just sleep where I can. & # 39;
Liverpool and Tottenham fans have begun to arrive in their droves for the massive game
An estimated 70,000 fans make the journey from the UK to the Wanda Metropoliano stadium
Despite the carnivalesque atmosphere prior to the first full final of the English Champions League since 2008, the Spanish police have created the largest security operation ever for a sporting event in the history of the city. The level of anti-terrorism warning that currently exists in the country is four on a scale of five, which implies a high risk of an attack.
An estimated 4,700 police, some armed, are on duty while drones are deployed to monitor potential problem makers in the narrow side streets of Madrid.
Heavy vehicles will be blocked from driving near the stadium and designated fan zones for 24 hours from 8 hours on Saturday to a & # 39; Nice-style & # 39; attack and all police leave in the Spanish capital has been canceled.
Although the Tottenham or Liverpool fans have no problems with history during the Champions League run of this season or the past seasons, the authorities leave nothing to chance.
Scotland Yard and Merseyside Police officers have shared intelligence with their Spanish counterparts about potential hooligans and face recognition technology will also be on hand to keep them at bay.
A Liverpool supporter is sitting in a bar on Plaza Mayor near the Spanish capital
With temperatures rising to around 30 degrees, fans were seen roaming the sun
An estimated 70,000 fans from both teams are expected to descend into the Spanish capital for the English top of the European football competition.
But thousands have already taken over the center of Madrid, mixed with the locals in the city's main squares, which have been transformed into a & # 39; football festival & # 39; with music, food and drink that have helped to generate a noisy, carnivalesque atmosphere.
The festivities started on Thursday when the Champions League trophy was paraded by Madrid and shown to the public. Fans stood in line for hours at temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius to take a selfie with the main prize of European football.
A giant replica of the Champions League trophy was also seen outside the Royal Palace of Madrid as fans flooded the city's Plaza Mayor, where a mini football stadium was set up, giving them the chance to play and participate in other football activities .
A series of concerts with some of Spain's leading DJs and singers also helped keep fans busy, but the majority decided to use most of the city's atmospheric bars that did a roaring trade, helped in part by the reasonably priced alcohol from Spain.
& # 39; We have a great time. The sun is shining and the beer is cheap, what more do you want? & # 39; said Tottenham fan Gary Withers from Enfield, North London.
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