History of the Real Madrid Club

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Real Madrid Football Club

Founded: 1902
Supporters Club Members: 96,966
President: Florentino Pérez



- 10 European Cups
- 2 UEFA Cups
- 2 European Super Cups
- 19 Copas del Rey
- 9 Spanish Super Cups
- 32 La Liga titles
- 1 Club World Cup
- 1 FIFA Trophy: Best Club of the 20th Century
- 18 Regional championships
- 2 Latin Cups
- 2 Small World Cups
- 1 League Cup
- More than 100 winners prizes and trophies and 58 runners-up awards


Real Madrid CF is one of five European teams who own a European Cup and has the right to distinguish themselves with a blue patch on the left sleeve of their shirt, denoting that the team has won the tournament multiple times.

The club owns five Spanish La Liga trophies. These are awarded when a club wins the league three consecutive times or on five alternate occasions. 


History of Real Madrid C.F.

Real Madrid CF was formed in 1902, under the name of Madrid Football Club, thanks to the enthusiasm of a group of students from the Student Residence in Madrid. The club immediately began playing in the Spanish league and it is one of only three football teams to never have been relegated in the history of the Spanish First Division (Primera División Española). In 1920, the king awarded the club the title of “Real”, which was then added to create the name we know today: Real Madrid C.F.

Real Madrid is considered one of the most decorated sports clubs in the world and FIFA recognised the club as the Club of the 20th Century through a prize awarded at the beginning of the 21st Century. Real Madrid is also the club with the highest number of supporters in Spain, boasting 30% of the country’s football fans among its ranks.

Real Madrid won its first league title in 1932. Not long afterwards, the club returned to the name of Madrid Football Club, due to the declaration of the Second Spanish Republic in 1931. The title of “Real” was not reinstated until 1941.

At the end of the 40s, Santiago Bernabéu Stadium was constructed in what was a suburb of Madrid at the time. The stadium was named after the president who outlined the global influence of the club. Today, the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is the centre of “madridismo” and its social and sports culture.

Under the presidency of Santiago Bernabéu, Real Madrid achieved its greatest sporting triumphs. In the 50s, he signed one of the best players to ever play for the club, Alfredo Di Stefano, who was nicknamed the ‘Saeta Rubia’ (the ‘Blond Arrow’). Both he and the rest of the players who played for the club during those years became the elite in European football. Real Madrid in the Di Stefano era managed to add 19 major titles and trophies to the club’s trophy cabinet in just a decade.

Players such as Zoco, Velázquez, Sanchís, Pirri, Gento and Amancio were the replacements for Di Stefano over the course of the 60s. Players from the youth academy who had played in the club’s teams in lower leagues and in its sports schools formed the ‘Quinta del Buitre’ (the ‘Vulture’s Cohort’) in the 80s and 90s. This quintet of Emilio Butragueño, Míchel, Manuel Sanchís, Martín Vázquez and Miguel Pardeza won five Spanish league titles for the club and also revolutionised the playing style of the men in white, making the team more technical once again.

The arrival of a full series of the world’s best players in the 90s, including Figo, Beckham, Ronaldo and Zidane, created a team the press and fans alike named the 'Galácticos'. The moniker was derived from the astronomical costs of their transfers and for the quality of their football, which many believed to be on another level. The club managed to win a 7th European Cup with this group of players.

The first part of the 21st Century was a period marked by a large number of new signings: managers and players alike. Footballers like Robinho, Robben, van Nistelrooy and Sneijder arrived hoping to change Madrid’s fortunes, but they ultimately failed.

Star signings strengthened Florentino Pérez’s return to the presidency in 2009, starting with the arrival of the highly desired Brazilian, Kaká. From then on, everything began to change: the appointment of the Portuguese José Mourinho as manager and the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo brought league success in 2011-12. The arrival of Carlo Ancelotti to the technical area in 2013, along with the signing of Gareth Bale, led to Real Madrid winning “la décima”, a 10th European title. Following this, the club won its first Club World Cup and the European Super Cup in 2014.

At the end of the 2014-15 season, after failing to win any title, Carlo Ancelotti was replaced by Rafael Benítez, a Spanish coach coming from the Italian club Napoli, and former coach for some of the biggest European clubs like Inter, Chelsea, Liverpool or Valencia CF.  

Santiago Bernabéu Stadium

Official Name: Estadio Santiago Bernabéu
Opened: 14 December 1947
Architects: José María Castell, Manuel Muñoz Monasterio and Luis Alemany Soler (original architects)
Height: 45 metres
Pitch Size: 105 x 70 metres
Capacity: 81,044 spectators
Cost: €1,732,943
Address: Avenida de Concha Espina, 1, Madrid


History of Santiago Bernabéu Stadium

Santiago Bernabéu Stadium has been the official football stadium of Real Madrid C.F. since it was opened in 1947. In 2007, UEFA awarded the stadium maximum distinction, naming it an elite stadium.

The history of this football stadium began in the summer of 1944 when the economical resources were obtained, necessary to acquire land next to the old Chamartín Stadium, where the team in white originally played. The design for the new stadium, which was presented at the Círculo de Bellas Artes, caused quite a stir, not just for the size and modern appearance of the structure, but also for the strength the planned basic material (reinforced concrete) used in its construction would provide. The building techniques and materials employed were not usual in Spanish post-war construction.

The new stadium was opened in 1947 with a friendly match against Os Belenenses from Portugal. The stadium was initially known as the Nuevo Estadio Chamartín, or simply Chamartín. Its capacity was significant for the time: 75,145 spectators, of which only 9% had seats. The rest stood to watch the game.

Just seven years later, the stadium underwent its first renovation. The side area of the pitch’s stands was increased,

enabling up to 125,000 spectators to attend games. With this extension, Chamartín became the second largest stadium in Europe in terms of capacity, with the English stadium of Wembley taking the title of the largest. In 1955, the stadium was renamed the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in honour of everything achieved by the president, such as the footballers signed, and his achievement of this impressive stadium, which was – and still is – an architectural reference point for sporting establishments in the 20th Century.

An interesting fact is that up until 1957, the stadium had no lighting for night matches. In May 1957, light towers were used for the first time for a friendly match, with Sport Club do Recife from Brazil providing the opposition.

The second major renovation of the stadium took place during the 1980s. The work was undertaken in order to be able to host the 1982 World Cup, which was held in Spain. The architects Luis and Rafael Alemany and Manuel Salinas did the remodelling. The work was required due to FIFA regulations, with the conversion of spaces being the key point, resulting in the stadium installing seating for two thirds of its capacity. The renovation reduced the overall capacity of the stadium, which, in 1982, was 90,800 spectators. The stadium’s internal appearance was also refurbished, with electronic scoreboards being added to the North and South sides, while new access points, adjoining communal areas, press workspaces and new dressing rooms were created. The total cost of these renovations amounted to more than €4.2 million (at the time, 704 million pesetas).

In the second half of the 80s, the stadium introduced safety infrastructure in order to adapt to UEFA regulations designed to prevent the growing rise in violence at European football stadiums. To do this, independent access points to each area of the stadium were constructed and seats were installed for all spectators.

The creation of so many seats reduced the stadium’s capacity. In order to increase it again, the club decided to reform the stands in 1992. To do this, a third tier was added to the lateral west side of the pitch, increasing the stadium’s total capacity by 20,200 spectators. An incline of 87% in this tier enabled spectators to sit close to the pitch and enjoy an excellent view. Through these works, the stadium increased its height from 22 metres to 45 metres.
The new height of the stadium stands generated a lot of shadow, which damaged the pitch, especially in winter. With the aim of correcting this defect, a polypropylene tube network over 30 kilometres in length was installed under the pitch surface to provide the grass with warm water and heat.

After these remodelling works, Santiago Bernabéu Stadium reached a capacity of 106,000 spectators. However, in 1998, a final reconversion of spaces converted the entire stadium into one of seated spaces, with the total capacity dropping to 74,328 spectators.

In 2000, a management plan was launched to maximise the profitability of the club’s facilities. 

New boxes were created, the dressing rooms were refurbished, VIP areas were designed for important attendees, a new box of honour was installed in the East end and the electronic scoreboards, public address system and trophy room were improved. Bars, restaurants, escalators and heating in the stands were installed, while a multifunctional building on Calle Padre Damián was furnished. This building was fitted out with offices and a large club store, which acts as the start point for the guided Bernabéu Tour that was opened. Stadium capacity rose to 80,354 spectators.

In 2006, Santiago Bernabéu Stadium became the world’s first self-managing stadium with services integrated in a fibre optic network and information systems. The general stadium roof system was opened in 2011 and the latest stand expansion saw the stadium’s capacity increase to 81,044 spectators. In the coming years, there are plans to increase the stadium by a further 8,000 seats, in addition to building new green areas, a hotel, a shopping area and private parking zones.