Tickets to the Champions League final are being offered to desperate fans for up to €6,000 (£5,300), around 100 times the face value.
Tottenham and Liverpool supporters have been arriving in Madrid, many without tickets, for Saturday night’s match – the biggest game in European football.
Some have been quoted up to €6,000 for tickets with a face value of around €70 (£62).
Mark Roy, a Liverpool fan living in Abu Dhabi, said: “I’ve just gotta be here – any Liverpool fan, a Champions League final, just has to be here.”
He wore a custom-made T-shirt advertising his willingness to buy a ticket and said he is looking to spend about €2,500 (£2,200), but knows it may not be enough.
“Even on the street last night they were €6,000 on average and I’ve said no to that. I’ve spoke to a couple of people today and supposed to meet someone – if he turns up, I’ll have a ticket,” Mr Roy, 49, said.
“I’m aware of the counterfeits. I’ve done my research, 100%, I’m not spending 2,500 on something that might be fake.”
Preventing fans from being stung by counterfeiters is one of the tasks of the extra 1,300 Spanish tourism police drafted in to the city ahead of what has been declared a “high risk” match.
Police officer Jose Ramon Carrasco said: “We will be looking for people with both counterfeit tickets and also selling and reselling tickets which is not allowed. If they [police] find out, they will take the tickets from these people and fine them.”
Spurs season ticket holder Mick Ozkor, 46, from Enfield in north London, who, along with his father and two sons, has tickets to the game, admitted he was “quite excited, very nervous” ahead of what might be a “once in a lifetime” match.
The Premier League clubs have been allocated around 16,000 seats each and Mr Ozkor complained: “I think what they could have done is given the supporters more. It’s a shame that not everyone can attend.”
A Reds supporter who gave his name as John, said he was hoping for “a bit of luck” after arriving in Madrid without a ticket.
The 25-year-old told the Press Association he was “looking to spend about €2,000 (£1,770). We’ve seen online they are around €5,000 (£4,425) each, so less than halfway there.”
Matt Howley, who has travelled to the Spanish capital from Philadelphia without a ticket, said he would like to pay no more than $1,000 (£792).
More than 4,700 security personnel from several security areas will be involved in the policing operation in total.
Mr Carrasco warned fans that singing and being noisy or happy is “understandable” but warned: “What’s not understandable is maybe throwing bottles in the street, getting into fights.”
Officers have already detained six people and seized 2,000 fake Champions League products that were going to be sold in Madrid ahead of the game.
Huge screens, stages and pop-up bars have also been erected in plazas across the city, but, bizarrely, they will not show the match live, meaning many supporters will probably cram into the city’s packed-out bars.