Real Madrid opponents Melilla face epic 11-hour overnight trip by sea, land and air
"A super extraordinary thing" is was how UD Melilla president Juan Jose Imbroda described the chance to play Real Madrid when the teams were drawn to face each other in the Copa del Rey round of 32.
The opportunity to face the European champions in Madrid does come at a cost, however, for the Spanish third division team.
After losing the first leg 4-0 at home, Melilla must now embark on an 11-hour journey on Tuesday night ahead of Thursday's return leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The team from the autonomous city of Melilla on the north coast of Africa will leave at midnight on Tuesday, on a ferry, with the aim of arriving at their hotel in Madrid by 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
The ferry ride lasts almost seven hours depending on the state of the sea and will end at the port of Malaga. The Melilla contingent will then take a bus to the airport before catching the 9:20 a.m. flight to the Spanish capital.
But no one is complaining about the long journey.
"This game in Madrid is for everyone to enjoy, it's a reward for the team," Melilla captain Dani Barrio, whose side has won five straight league games and lead Group IV standings after 15 games played, said.
Melilla lost the first leg but are just as excited and the club posted a meme on Twitter with the message: "Dreaming of seeing UD Melilla play at the Bernabeu stadium..."
Here's hoping that dream trip to the home of the Spanish giants doesn't end with a nightmare, 11-hour return journey.