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Everton and Real Madrid have only previously locked horns once.
In August 1987, the Toffees were invited to play for the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy – an annual fixture dedicated to the memory of the former long-serving Los Blancos president.
A largely forgettable game for the Blues, it finished in a 6-1 defeat.
For one member of Colin Harvey’s class, however, it is an occasion always to be treasured.
Paul Power – a veteran left-back – became the only Everton player to score against the nine-time European Champions.
That statistic could change this weekend when the two sides clash in Los Angeles - but at present he is the proud holder of that particular title.
“I live on that a little bit, that I’ve managed to score at the Bernabeu,” Power told evertonfc.com.
“I can’t really remember my goal that well but I know it wasn’t that spectacular. It was a straightforward finish but a nice memory.
“They were one of the top teams and it was good to play against Emilio Butragueno, who was an absolute goal machine in his day.
“But my main memories of the game are that we didn’t have very much of the ball!”
In what was essentially a glorified friendly, Madrid were 4-0 up at half-time against a Blues side missing several key players.
Power pulled one back after the restart but two more strikes from the Spaniards completed the scoring.
Manager Harvey, in his programme notes for the following week’s home Division One fixture against Tottenham, jokingly reviewed the trip as ‘weather nice, stadium superb but the game spoiled it’ before admitting that Everton had encountered a team he rated as arguably Europe’s best.
“Madrid were able to keep the ball for ages, and when we did get possession back we would have it for two or three passes and then give it straight back to them again,” recalled 59-year-old Power.
“Adrian Heath was injured and he didn’t travel. When we came home he told us that he had listened to the game on one of the radio stations and that the commentator could go 10 minutes without saying an Everton player’s name!
“It was a bit of a lesson for us. We had a great team then but it showed how far behind the best side in Europe we were, albeit we weren’t at full strength.”
Power will have the opportunity to monitor Everton’s progress closely on Sunday morning after recently retiring from his position as Under-15s coach at Manchester City – the club for which he made over 400 senior appearances prior to joining the Toffees in 1986.
He has been impressed with the start Roberto Martinez has made to his reign at Goodison Park and expects the new-look Blues to run Real Madrid much closer this weekend than they did 26 years ago.
“I saw the result against Juventus the other night and things look like they are in good order,” Power added. “It will be good for Martinez to test himself against one of the best teams in Europe and certainly the most expensive player in Europe.
“If Cristiano Ronaldo plays, it will be a real challenge for all the Everton players, especially the younger lads.
“It’s not quite like playing the game at the Bernabeu where there’s an excitable – and sometimes vitriolic - crowd on the sidelines. But the Americans will still make it an experience to remember.”
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