So yesterday was supposed to be the Gareth Bale show - and in many ways it was. Bale, the newly acquired world’s most expensive player, scored on his debut to level the tie between Real Madrid and Villarreal at 1-1 before half-time.
But the fact was this goal came against the run of play. Villarreal had not read the script before this fixture and were dominating proceedings. Were it not for a goalkeeping display of world-class magnitude from Diego Lopez - then Real would have been out of touch before Bale made his mark.
But while his back post finish stole the show - it was a Tottenham flop who made sure Los Amarillos gained at least a point from the game.
Giovani dos Santos was signed by Spurs in 2008 from Real’s bitter rivals Barcelona.
Spurs paid €6 million for the Mexican prodigy who was something of a teen sensation at the time and expected to follow in the footsteps of many other great young talents at the club - however that never materialised.
In his four years at Tottenham after he only managed to make very little impact - less than he probably did at Barcelona. In fact the playmakers most impressive times came away from the club whether at Ipswich or Racing Santander - or on international duty with Mexico.
But this summer Dos Santos was hot property after an excellent 2013 where he almost dragged the Balearic Island side RCD Mallorca to survival practically single-handedly last season. Plenty of teams wanted to snap him up with Valencia, Real Betis and Atletico Madrid all keen - as well as an offer to be closer to his Mexican homeland with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
But it was Villarreal who got their man, and so far so good - as Gio has been impressive at his new destination.
And his goal against Real to level the game in the 70th minute was his third goal for the club in four appearances this season.
So Bale may have been a player that Spurs reluctantly let leave - but one they were happy to be rid of last summer certainly spoiled the party last night.
image: © Pedrito Guzman