Leonardo Ponzio's previous matches at the Bernabéu: The day a heavy defeat still had the taste of victory

River Plate's captain has played at Real Madrid's stadium four times and he'll step out onto that pitch again this Sunday in the CONMEBOL Libertadores final

Diego Milito had just scored four goals in one match for the first time in his career. As he walked off the pitch at Real Zaragoza's La Romareda stadium following the first leg of the Copa del Final semi-final it felt like nothing could remove the smile from his face. Iker Casillas, the Real Madrid goalkeeper that day, said this to the media: "It's a very tough defeat to take, but we're Real Madrid and we'll give them a fight at our home." Zaragoza's 6-1 defeat of their illustrious rivals meant they already had one foot in the final. However Leonardo Ponzio, who was playing at right back for the Spanish side, still remembers how much they suffered in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabéu.

On the 15th February 2006, Ponzio endured one of the most difficult matches of his career. Zaragoza lost 4-0 but still went through to the final of the Copa del Rey. However it was extremely tough for Ponzio. After just 57 seconds, Cicinho got the first goal for Madrid. Zinedine Zidane, the Brazilian Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, David Beckham and Robinho were all in the Los Blancos XI.

Three minutes later and Robinho made it 2-0. There wasn't time for Zaragoza to react before Ronaldo made it 3-0 after just 10 minutes. That five-goal lead was evaporating quickly for Zaragoza. Ponzio arrived at the Spanish club in 2003, having joined from Newell's, at just 21 years of age. From that team which went to the Bernabéu with the objective to survive there were two other Argentines in the lineup: Gabriel and Diego Milito. The famous Brazilian Savio Bortolini was also involved. A few years later Andrés D’Alessandro, Roberto Ayala and Pablo Aimar joined the club.

The question is: how did Zaragoza get through the semi-final of the Copa del Rey after going 3-0 down just 10 minutes in? In the Last 16 they had beaten Atletico Madrid and in the quarter finals had knocked out FC Barcelona - who had Ronaldinho and Messi in their ranks. Not too surprisingly Real Madrid made it 4-0 through Roberto Carlos after the hour mark. This meant they had 30 minutes to get that one goal which would see them go through on the away goals rule. However Zaragoza stood firm and survived the onslaught to go through 6-5 on aggregate.

This was just one of the matches Ponzio has played at the famous Bernabéu stadium with Zaragoza. On the 30th April 2011 he won 3-2, on the 19th December 2009 they lost 6-0, on the 30th October 2005 he won again 1-0 and on the 13th March 2004 he drew 1-1. Although Ponzio's greatest moment against Real Madrid didn't come in the stadium where the CONMEBOL Libertadores final will be played on Sunday.  At the Olímpico stadium in Barcelona, on the 17th March 2004, he beat Madrid in the Copa del Rey final.

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