As Real suffered the ignominy of losing at the Stade de Gerland , there was Kaka spurring on his former club after learning that Milan lost to Man Utd. Did he not get the memo from Fiorentino Perez that their CL title was writ in stone?
"I'm sorry for my teammates, for the fans, but it is not over for Leonardo. The Champions League qualification is decided in two stages. The first one is finished, now they must go to Manchester to play the second half at Old Trafford, even if it is difficult. "
The level of nostalgia that Real players have had for their former clubs is quite astonishing but when you think of how the lag between performance and the talent assembled at the Bernabeu it is not all that surprising. A reminder perhaps that they are just part and parcel of a group of high watted stars assembled for the sole purpose of providing instant gratification. Eons removed from those formative and heady years spent in clubs where they grew to eminence.
It is not just Kaka following his club vicariously but Cristiano Ronaldo looking back with fondness on the days when he wore a Red Devil jersey. Perhaps hinting at more.
"I played there for six years and that's a long time. I am still interested in watching Manchester United and, you never know, maybe in the future I could return to play there. It's always possible."
Karem Benzema's homecoming was spoiled but not before Lyon owner Jean Michael Aulas expressed his concern that the French striker was being marginalized under Manuel Pellegrini.
"He's a bit isolated in the galaxy of Madrid," he said. "He needs a more personal touch from the coach and with his team-mates to gain confidence."
Benzema began his career in OL's youth ranks on his way to becoming the Ligue's most potent striker, helping the club secure five national titles.
With so many players looking back, can Real expect to go forward?