Today, this member association based in the outskirts of Tirana consists of some 200 members. They are all Albanian and, as Fation, some of them are also former Spanish residents. Together, they have created a fan club which, above all, tries to promote sports in a country where calcetto (table football) is very popular among young people and where there are a great number of junior teams. In the words of the executive director of the peña, Ervin Themeli, “Periodically, we organise matches between amateur teams of different ages, and we go so far as participating in mini-leagues from neighbouring countries, such as Macedonia and Greece, with our own teams, Tropical 2001 or Roger 2004.”
Moreover, as is natural, the fan club has two meeting points in Tirana, where the members get together every weekend to enjoy the games of Real Madrid while they watch the live action.
However, in spite of the continuous follow-up of the progress of the Whites on TV, it is hard for the fan club members to give up the joys linked to watching the team live at the Bernabéu. Fortunately, a good number amongst them have the chance of doing so from time to time. Says Fation Pula, “We travel to Spain quite often for work.” This way, among those matches when they were able to watch their team live from the stands and that they remember more passionately, the fan club vice-director emphasises a few mythical ones, namely, the Champions League final against Valencia in 2000 which meant Real Madrid's eighth top continental title, as well as other top European face-offs.
What is very clear is that, while they await their next trip to Spain, the members of the ‘Amigos del Real Madrid’ peña will continue working for the love of the sport and the colours and badge of a Club that they carry in their hearts.