Futbol fans flocked to the Bronx Wednesday to watch Spanish superstars Real Madrid dismantle Italian club A.C. Milan 5-1 in a loud, sold-out exhibition match at Yankee Stadium.
Bronx Bomber Mariano Rivera helped with the coin toss and a Yankees logo adorned the sideline of the soccer field.
But the night belonged to the “beautiful game,” as Real Madrid hero Cristiano Ronaldo netted two goals and electrified the crowd of 49,407 screaming fans, including many recent immigrants and Bronx youngsters.
Seventeen-year-old Alpha Diallo of East Tremont, who grew up in West Africa - where soccer is the No. 1 sport - shook hands with Ronaldo before the match.
Diallo, who competes for the youth soccer club South Bronx United, was one of several young players selected to carry a flag onto the field before the match.
“I was nervous but happy,” he said, grinning. “I was like, ‘Ooh!’ My friends wanted to touch my hand but I want to put it in plastic. This was the best night of my life.”
Adrian Villa, 10, cheered for Real Madrid along with family members from Mexico.
“I love soccer,” said the Soundview resident, waving a purple Real Madrid flag outside the stadium. “There should be more soccer at Yankee Stadium.”