Real Madrid granted wish to close Bernabeu roof for Manchester City quarter-final

Real Madrid have been granted permission to close the Bernabeu roof for the visit of Champions League holders Manchester City in the first leg of their quarter-final tie tonight.

The 14-time European champions wanted to close the new retractable roof in order to raise the atmosphere when taking on Pep Guardiola’s side, who defeated Madrid in last season’s semi-finals.

The iconic Bernabeu stadium in the Spanish capital has been developed in recent years and Real also received permission to close the roof for the second leg of their last-16 tie against RB Leipzig last month.

The Bernabeu roof closed ahead of Real Madrid’s clash with Manchester City (Getty Images)
The Bernabeu roof closed ahead of Real Madrid’s clash with Manchester City (Getty Images)

Uefa, as well as the match referee, had to give Madrid the green light in order to close the roof, with visitors Manchester City unable to have a say in the matter.

Real Madrid are playing City for the third successive season in the Champions League, with Carlo Ancelotti’s side out for revenge after their 4-0 defeat at the Etihad last year.

City went on to win the Champions League for the first time and Spanish midfielder Rordi says the treble winners return to the Bernabeu with more “experience” and “composure”.

Guardiola, who managed Madrid’s arch rivals Barcelona, said: "It’s the same managers, but we have new players and they have new players, so they will be completely different games.

"We have a little advantage with the second leg at home, where we play strong and are incredibly confident, but we have to play 90 minutes here and the games are long for different reasons.

"We cannot come here just to control the game. We have to come here to try to hurt them, to punish them, to let them feel we are here and score goals. That is what we have to do.

"But we are talking about Real Madrid, who have the ability to control many aspects of the game. We have to impose our game with who we are."