June 29, 1974 is written in gold letters in the eternal rivalry of Madrid-Barça. On a date like today in 1974, both teams faced each other in the final of the still called Copa del Generalísimo. In fact, in the box of authorities of the now extinct Vicente Calderón were Francisco Franco and his wife, Doña Carmen Polo, accompanied by the Princes Don Juan Carlos and Doña Sofía. The final was highly conditioned by what happened that season, just four months earlier, in the League Classic played at the Bernabéu, with that 0-5 (February 17, 1974) that went down in Madrid’s black history on the night of the most excelsa by Johan Cruyff. The Dutchman had been the most expensive signing in football history the previous summer, when Barça hired him, paying Ajax more than 100 million pesetas at the time. But it is already known that the Spanish Federation had prohibited the use of foreign players in the Cup (from that season onwards the rule would change), which forced both Luis Molowny and Rinus Michels to line up only national players.
That left Madrid without its German star, Günter Netzer, who that summer would be world champion, nor the Argentine Oscar ‘Pinino’ Mas. Barça even more accused the absence of Cruyff, as well as that of the Peruvian Hugo Cholo Sotil, a striker with a lot of goals. Madrid lined up Miguel Ángel from the start; José Luis Peinado, Pirri, Benito, Rubiñán; Del Bosque, Grosso, Velázquez; Aguilar, Santillana and Macanás. Barça went out for their part with Sadurní; Rifé, Gallego, Juan Carlos, De la Cruz; Costas, Juanito, Asensi, Marcial; Rexach and Clares.
Madrid, wounded in their pride by the Bernabéu’s hand and with Pirri, Benito and Grosso leading the spirit of revenge for the whites, began in a rush over the Barça portal, encouraged by the more than 50,000 Madrid fans in the Manzanares that summer afternoon (total entry was 48,000). After six minutes a great hospitalization by the right wing of Ico Aguilar (sadly died on May 11 due to cancer) allowed Santillana to open the scoring with an early auction in minute 6. Then Barça had a couple of arrivals, but Miguel Ángel was exalted, something common in the goalkeeper from Ourense. After the break, the Molowny team took the guesswork out with two very quick goals. One of the Galician Rubiñán after taking advantage of a rejection by Sadurní in a great move by Macanás, and another by Ico Aguilar in an explosive penetration by his band that ended with a great picadita to Sadurní. A great goal from the Cantabrian. The finishing touch on the goal was put by Pirri near the end after Grosso’s assistance. Precisely this went to the bench five minutes from the end, in a great gesture by Molowny when deciding that the veteran Ignacio Zoco should go out to collect the Cup. Grosso gave Zoco his captain’s armband. The Navarrese, who was already retiring from football and believed that he was not going to play for Madrid anymore, was moved by the gesture shared by all the dressing room. It was a detail in a night of madridista vindication after that little hand that closed part of his bleeding wound in that night of goals, heat and revenge.