Real Madrid Club de Fútbol [reˈal maˈðɾið ˈkluβ ðe ˈfutβol] Royal Madrid Football Club), commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional association football club based in Madrid, Spain. It is the most successful team in Spanish football and was voted by FIFA as the most successful club of the 20th century, having won a record 31 La Liga titles, 17 Spanish "Copa del Rey" Cups, a record 9 UEFA Champions Leagues, 2 UEFA Cups, 1 UEFA Supercup, and 3 Intercontinental Cups. Real Madrid was a founding member of FIFA and the now-defunct G–14 group of Europe's leading football clubs as well as its replacement, the European Club Association. The word "Real" in the club's name is the Spanish term for "royal", and was given by the King Alfonso XIII in 1920 together with the royal crown in the emblem – several other Spanish football teams also received this royal distinction: Real Sociedad, Real Unión de Irún, Real Betis, and Real Zaragoza.
Founded in 1902, Real Madrid never relegated from La Liga, the top league of Spanish football. The club established itself as a major force in both Spanish and European football during the 1950s. In the 1980s, the club had one of the best teams (known as La Quinta del Buitre) in Spain and Europe, winning two UEFA Cups, five consecutive Spanish championships, one Spanish Cup and three Spanish Super Cups.
The team's traditional home kit colour is white, although it initially adopted a blue oblique stripe on the shirt. Its crest has been changed several times in attempts to modernise or re-brand it. The current crest is a modified version of the one first adopted in the 1920s. Real Madrid's home ground is the 80,354-seater Santiago Bernabéu football stadium in downtown Madrid, where it has played since 1947. In 2010 the Bernabéu held the final of the UEFA Champions League.
Real Madrid holds long-standing rivalries with other football clubs, most notably FC Barcelona, with matches between the two teams referred to as "el Clásico". Unlike most European football clubs, Real Madrid's members (socios) have owned and operated the club since its inception. The club is the world's richest football club (€401m) in terms of revenue and the second most valuable hencing over €950m in 2008.
History of Real Madrid C.F.
Early years, Civil War and Franco (1902–1945)
Real Madrid's origins go back to when football was introduced to Madrid by the academics and students of the Institución libre de enseñanza, which included several Oxbridge graduates. They founded Football Club Sky in 1897, playing on Sunday mornings at Moncloa. It split into two clubs in 1900: New Foot-Ball de Madrid and Club Español de Madrid.The latter club split again in 1902, resulting in the formation of Real Madrid Football Club on 6 March 1902. Three years after its foundation, in 1905, Madrid FC won its first title after defeating Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Cup final. The club became one of the founding sides of the Royal Spanish Football Federation on 4 January 1909, when club president Adolfo Meléndez signed the foundation agreement of the Spanish FA. After moving between grounds the team moved to the Campo de O'Donnell. In 1920, the club's name was changed to Real Madrid after King Alfonso XIII granted the title of Real (Royal) to the club.
In 1929, the first Spanish football league was founded. Real Madrid led the first league season until the last match, a loss to Athletic Bilbao, meant they finished runners-up to Barcelona. Real Madrid won its first League title in the 1931–32 season. Real won the League again the following year, becoming the first side to have won the championship twice.
Santiago Bernabéu Yeste and European success (1945–1978)
Santiago Bernabéu Yeste became president of Real Madrid in 1945. Under his presidency, the club, its stadium Santiago Bernabéu and its training facilities Ciudad Deportiva were rebulit after the Spanish Civil War damages. Beginning in 1953, he embarked upon a strategy of signing world-class players from abroad, the most prominent of them being Alfredo Di Stéfano.
In 1955, acting upon the idea proposed by the French sports journalist and editor of L'Équipe Gabriel Hanot, Bernabéu, Bedrignan and Gusztáv Sebes created an exhibition tournament of invited teams from around Europe that would eventually become what today is known as the UEFA Champions League. It was under Bernabéu's guidance that Real Madrid established itself as a major force in both Spanish and European football. The club won the European Cup five times in a row between 1956 and 1960, which included the 7–3 Hampden Park final against Eintracht Frankfurt in 1960.After these five consecutive successes, Real was permanently awarded the original cup and earning the right to wear the UEFA badge of honour.The club won the European Cup for a sixth time in 1966 defeating FK Partizan 2–1 in the final with a team composed entirely of same nationality players, a first in the competition.This team became known as the "Ye-yé". The name "Ye-yé" came from the "Yeah, yeah, yeah" chorus in the Beatles' song "She Loves You" after four members of the team posed for Diario Marca dressed in Beatles wigs. The Ye-yé generation was also European Cup runner-up in 1962 and 1964.
In the 1970s, Real Madrid won 5 league championships and 3 Spanish Cups. The club played its first UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final in 1971 and lost to English side Chelsea 2–1. On 2 July 1978, club president Santiago Bernabéu died while the World Cup was being played in Argentina. The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) decreed three days of mourning to honour him during the tournament. The following year, the club organized the first edition of the Santiago Bernabéu Trophy in the memory of its former president.
Quinta del Buitre and seventh European Cup (1980s–2000)
By the early 1980s, Real Madrid had lost its grasp on the La Liga title until a new batch of home-grown stars brought domestic success back to the club. Spanish sport journalist Julio César Iglesias gave to this generation the name La Quinta del Buitre ("Vulture's Cohort"), which was derived from the nickname given to one of its members, Emilio Butragueño. The other four members were Manuel Sanchís, Martín Vázquez, Míchel and Miguel Pardeza. With La Quinta del Buitre (reduced to four members when Pardeza left the club for Zaragoza in 1986) and notable players like goalkeeper Francisco Buyo, right-back Miguel Porlán Chendo and Mexican striker Hugo Sánchez, Real Madrid had one of the best teams in Spain and Europe during the second half of the 1980s, winning two UEFA Cups, five Spanish championships in a row, one Spanish cup and three Spanish Super Cups. In the early 1990s, La Quinta del Buitre split up after Martín Vázquez, Emilio Butragueño and Míchel left the club.
In 1996, President Lorenzo Sanz appointed Fabio Capello as coach. Although his tenure lasted only one season, Real Madrid was proclaimed league champion and players like Roberto Carlos, Predrag Mijatović, Davor Šuker and Clarence Seedorf arrived at the club to strengthen a squad that already boasted the likes of Raúl, Fernando Hierro, Iván Zamorano, and Fernando Redondo. As a result, Real Madrid (with the addition of Fernando Morientes in 1997) finally ended its 32-year wait for its seventh European Cup. In 1998, under manager Jupp Heynckes, The Whites defeated Juventus 1–0 in the final thanks to a goal from Predrag Mijatović.
Los Galácticos, Calderón and second Pérez era (2000–present)
Real Madrid's players celebrate their 2008 Supercopa de España title win.
In July 2000, Florentino Pérez was elected club president. He vowed in his campaign to erase the club's debt and modernize the club's facilities. However, the primary electoral promise that propelled Pérez to victory was the signing of Luís Figo. The following year, the club got its training ground rezoned and used the money to begin assembling the famous Galáctico side including players such as Zinédine Zidane, Ronaldo, Luís Figo, Roberto Carlos, Raúl and David Beckham. It is debatable whether the gamble paid off, as despite a European Cup win in 2002, followed by the League in 2003, the club failed to win a major trophy for the next three seasons.
Ramón Calderón was elected as club president on 2 July 2006 and subsequently appointed Fabio Capello as the new coach and Predrag Mijatović as the new sporting director. Real Madrid won the La Liga title in 2007 for the first time in four years but Capello was sacked. In the 2007–08 season, The Whites won the domestic league for the 31st time, achieving their first consecutive league title in eighteen years. On 1 June 2009, Florentino Pérez regained Real Madrid's presidency. Pérez continued with the Galácticos policy pursued in his first term, buying Kaká from A.C. Milan then purchasing Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United for a record breaking £80 million.,
Real Madrid Crest and colours,
Real Madrid's original kit
The first crest had a simple design consisting of a decorative interlacing of the three initials of the club, "MCF" for Madrid Club de Fútbol, in dark blue on a white shirt. The first change in the crest occurred in 1908 when the letters adopted a more streamlined form and appeared inside a circle. The next change in the configuration of the crest did not occur until the presidency of Pedro Parages in 1920. At that time, King Alfonso XIII granted the club his royal patronage which came in the form of the title "Real madrid", roughly translated as "Royal". Thus, Alfonso's crown was added to the crest and the club styled itself Real Madrid Club de Fútbol. With the dissolution of the monarchy in 1931, all the royal symbols (the crown on the crest and the title of Real) were eliminated. The crown was replaced by the dark mulberry band of the Region of Castile. In 1941, two years after the end of the Civil War, the crest's "Real Corona", or "Royal Crown", was restored while the mulberry stripe of Castile was retained as well. In addition, the whole crest was made full color, with gold being the most prominent, and the club was again called Real Madrid Club de Fútbol.The most recent modification to the crest occurred in 2001 when the club wanted to better situate itself for the twenty-first century and further standardize its crest. One of the modifications made was changing the mulberry stripe to a more bluish shade.
Real Madrid's traditional home colours are all white, although it initially adopted a blue oblique stripe on the shirt (the design was kept in the club crest); but unlike today, dark blue socks were worn. The striped shirt was replaced by an all-white version, modeled after the shirt worn by Corinthian F.C., in 1902. In the same year, the blue socks were replaced by black ones. By the early 1940s the manager changed the kit again by adding buttons to the shirt and the club's crest on the left breast (which have remained ever since). On 23 November 1947, in a game against Atlético Madrid at the Metropolitano Stadium, Real Madrid became the first Spanish team to wear numbered shirts.
Real's traditional away colours are all black or all purple. The club's kit is currently manufactured by Adidas whose contract extends from 1998. Real Madrid's first shirt sponsor, Zanussi, agreed for the 1982–83, 1983–84 and 1984–85 seasons. Following that, the club was sponsored by Parmalat and Otaysa before a long-term deal was signed with Teka in 1992. In 2001, Real Madrid ended their contract with Teka and for one season used the Realmadrid.com logo to promote the club's website. Then, in 2002, a deal was signed with Siemens Mobile and in 2006, the BenQ Siemens logo appeared on the club's shirt. Real Madrid's current shirt sponsor is bwin.com following the economic problems of BenQ Siemens.
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium, and Estadio Chamartín
Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabéu during a 2007 match with Real Betis
After moving between grounds the team moved to the "Campo de O'Donnell" in 1912, which remained its home ground for eleven years. After this period, the club moved for one year to the Campo de Ciudad Lineal, a small ground with a capacity of 8,000 spectators. After that, Real Madrid moved its home matches to Estadio Chamartín which was inaugurated on 17 May 1923 with a match against Newcastle United.In this stadium, which hosted 22,500 spectators, Real Madrid celebrated its first Spanish league title. After some successes, the 1943 elected president Santiago Bernabéu decided that the Estadio Chamartín was not big enough for the ambitions of the club. A new stadium was built and was inaugurated on 14 December 1947. This was the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium as it is known today, although it did not acquire this name until 1955. The first match held on Bernabéu was played between Real Madrid and the Portuguese club Belenenses and won by The Whites with 3–1, the first goal being scored by Sabino Barinaga.
The capacity has changed frequently, peaking at 120,000 after a 1953 expansion. Since then, there have been a number of reductions due to modernizations (the last standing places went away in 1998–99 in response to UEFA regulations which forbids standing at matches in the UEFA competition), countered to some extent by expansions. The last change was an increase of about five thousand to a capacity of 80,354, effected in 2003. A plan to add a retractable roof has been announced.
The Bernabéu has hosted the 1964 European Championship final, the 1982 FIFA World Cup final, the 1957, 1969 and 1980 European Cup finals and the 2010 Champions League Final. The stadium has its own Madrid Metro station along the 10 line called Santiago Bernabéu. On 14 November 2007, the Bernabéu has been upgraded to Elite Football Stadium status by UEFA.
On 9 May 2006, the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium was inaugurated at the City of Madrid where Real Madrid usually trains. The inaugural match was played between Real Madrid and Stade Reims, a rematch of the 1956 European Cup final. Real Madrid won the match 6–1 with goals from Sergio Ramos, Cassano (2), Soldado (2), and Jurado. The venue is now part of the Ciudad Real Madrid, the club's new training facilities located outside Madrid in Valdebebas. The stadium holds 5,000 people and is Real Madrid Castilla's home ground. It is named after former Real footballer Alfredo Di Stéfano.,
Real Madrid Statistics and records,
Real Madrid C.F. records and statistics
Raúl is Real Madrid's all-time top goalscorer and top appearance.
Raúl holds the record for most Real Madrid appearances, having played 741 first-team matches from 1994 to 2010. Manuel Sanchis, Jr. comes second, having played 711 times. The record for a goalkeeper is held by Iker Casillas, with 518 appearances. With 127 caps (47 while at the club), Luís Figo of Portugal is Real's most capped international player.
Raúl is Real's all-time top goalscorer, with 323 goals in 741 games (1994–2010). Four other players have also scored over 200 goals for Real: Alfredo Di Stefano (1953–64), Santillana (1971–88), Ferenc Puskás (1958–66) and Hugo Sánchez (1985–92). Sánchez holds the record for the most league goals scored in one season (38 in 1989–90). Di Stéfano's 49 goals in 58 matches was for decades the all-time highest tally in the European Cup, until it was surpassed by Raúl in 2005. The fastest goal in the history of the club (15 seconds) was scored by Brazilian Ronaldo on 3 December 2003 during a league match against Atlético Madrid.
Officially, the highest home attendance figure for a Real Madrid match is 83,329, which was for a football cup competition, Copa del Rey, in 2006. The current legal capacity of Estadio Santiago Bernabeu is 80,354. The club's average attendance in 2007–08 season was 76,234, the highest in European Leagues. Real has also set records in Spanish football, most notably the most domestic titles (31 as of 2007–08) and the most seasons won in a row (5, during 1960–65 and 1985–90). With 121 matches (from 17 February 1957 to 7 March 1965), the club holds the record for longest unbeaten run at home in La Liga.
The Whites also hold the record for winning the UEFA Champions League nine times and for the most semi-final appearances (21). Raúl González is the all-time UEFA Champions League top scorer, with 66 goals. The team has the record number of consecutive participation in the European Cup with 15, from 1955–56 to 1969–70.
In June 2009, the club broke its own record for the highest transfer fee ever paid in the history of football by agreeing to pay Manchester United €96 million ($131.5 million, £80 million) for the services of Cristiano Ronaldo. The fee of €76 million (over $100 million, £45.8 million) for Zinedine Zidane's transfer from Juventus to Real Madrid in 2001 was the previous highest transfer fee ever paid. In June 2009, Real Madrid also agreed to buy Kaká from AC Milan for a fee that broke the previous record in pounds sterling. The club's record sale came on 1 September 2008, when they sold Robinho to Manchester City for €42 million (£32.5 million).,
Real Madrid Support,
During most home matches the majority of the seats in the stadium are occupied by season ticket holders, of which there are average of 68,670. To become a season ticket holder one must first be a socio, or club member. In addition to members, the club has more than 1,800 peñas (official, club-affiliated supporters' groups) in Spain and around the world. Real Madrid has the highest average all-time attendance in Spanish football and regularly attracts over 65,000 fans to Santiago Bernabéu; it was the second best-supported La Liga team in the 2004–05 season, with an average gate of 71,900. Real Madrid's hardcore supporters are the so-called Ultras Sur supporters. They are known for their extreme right-wing politics. The Ultras Sur have developed an alliance with other right wing groups, most notably S.S. Lazio Irriducibili fans. On several occasions they have racially abused opposing players, and have been investigated by UEFA for doing so.,
Real Madrid Rivalries,
There is often a fierce rivalry between the two strongest teams in a national league, and this is particularly the case in La Liga, where the game between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona is known as 'The Classic' (El Clásico). From the start of national competitions the clubs were seen as representatives of two rival regions in Spain: Catalonia and Castile, as well as of the two cities. The rivalry reflects what many regard as the political and cultural tensions felt between Catalans and the Castilians, seen by one author as a re-enactment of the Spanish Civil War.
During the dictatorships of Primo de Rivera and especially of Francisco Franco (1939–1975), all regional cultures were suppressed. All of the languages spoken in Spanish territory, except Spanish (Castilian) itself, were officially banned. Symbolising the Catalan people's desire for freedom, FC Barcelona became 'More than a club' (Més que un club) for the Catalans. According to Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, the best way for the Catalans to demonstrate their identity was by joining FC Barcelona. It was less risky than joining a clandestine anti-Franco movement, and allowed them to express their dissidence.
On the other hand, Real Madrid was widely seen as the embodiment of the sovereign oppressive centralism and the fascist regime at management level and beyond (Santiago Bernabeu, the former club president for whom the Merengues stadium is named, fought with los nacionales). However, during the Spanish Civil War, members of both clubs such as Josep Sunyol and Rafael Sánchez Guerra suffered at the hands of Franco supporters.
During the 1950s the rivalry was exacerbated further when there was a controversy surrounding the transfer of Alfredo di Stéfano, who finally played for Real Madrid and was key to their subsequent success. The 1960s saw the rivalry reach the European stage when they met twice at the knock-out rounds of the European Cup. The latest European encounter between the clubs, in 2002, was dubbed the "Match of The Century" by Spanish media, and was watched by more than 500 million people.
El Derbi madrileño
Real Madrid supporters during the 2006 El Derbi madrileño match held on Bernabéu
The club's nearest neighbour is Atlético Madrid, a rivalry being shared between fans of both football teams. Although Atlético was originally founded by three Basque students in 1903, it was joined in 1904 by dissident members of Madrid FC. Further tensions came because initially Real supporters came from the middle class while the Atlético supporters were drawn from the working class. Today these distinctions are largely blurred. They met for the first time on 21 February 1929 in matchday three of the first League Championship at the former Chamartín. It was the first official derby of the new tournament, and Real won 2–1. The rivalry first gained international attention in 1959 during the European Cup when the two clubs met in the semi-final. Real won the first leg 2–1 at the Bernabéu while Atlético won 1–0 at the Metropolitano. The tie went to a replay and The Whites won 2–1. Atlético, however, gained some revenge when, led by former Real Madrid coach José Villalonga, it defeated The Whites in two successive Copa del Generalísimo finals in 1960 and 1961.
Between 1961 and 1989, when Real dominated La Liga, only Atlético offered it any serious challenge, winning Liga titles in 1966, 1970, 1973 and 1977. In 1965, Atlético became the first team to beat Real at the Bernabéu in eight years. Real Madrid's record against Atlético in more recent times is very favorable. A high point coming in the 2002–03 season, when The Whites clinched the La Liga title after an impressive victory at Atlético 0–4 at the Vicente Calderón Stadium.,
Real Madrid Finances and ownership ,
In 2010, Forbes evaluated Real Madrid's worth to be around €992 million (USD $1,323 million), ranking them second after Manchester United, based on figures from the 2008–09 season. According to Deloitte, Real Madrid had a recorded revenue of €401 million in the same period, ranking first.
Along with FC Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, and Osasuna, Real Madrid is organised as a registered association. Unlike a limited company, it is not possible to purchase shares in the club, but only membership. The members of Real Madrid, called socios, form an assembly of delegates which is the highest governing body of the club. As of 2010 the club has 60,000 socios.
At the end of the 2009–10 season, the club board of directories stated that Real Madrid had a net debt of €244.6 million, 82.1 million lower than the previous fiscal year.,
Real Madrid in Popular culture,
Real Madrid was the featured club in the second edition of the Goal! football movie trilogy, Goal! 2: Living the Dream... (2007). The film follows former Newcastle United star Santiago Muñez as he is first scouted, and then signed by Real Madrid for the 2005–06 season. The film's creators wanted to put emphasis on the changes in Muñez's life after his move to Madrid. Production was done with the full support of UEFA, allowing the film crew to use many real life players in cameo roles. Real Madrid squad members featured in the film included Iker Casillas, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Raúl, Sergio Ramos, Robinho, Thomas Gravesen, Michael Owen, Míchel Salgado, Júlio Baptista, Steve McManaman, Jonathan Woodgate, and Iván Helguera. Non-Real Madrid players to make cameo appearances included Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry, Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto'o, Andrés Iniesta, Pablo Aimar, Fredrik Ljungberg, Cesc Fàbregas, Santiago Cañizares and others. In the film, both Florentino Pérez and Alfredo Di Stéfano presented the fictional player Muñez to the club after his signing.
Real, The Movie is a 2005 part feature, part documentary film that showcases the world-wide passion for Real Madrid C.F. Produced by the club and directed by Borja Manso, it follows five sub-stories of fans from around the world and their love for Real Madrid. Along with the fictional portion of the film, it also contains real footage of the squad, during training at Ciudad Real Madrid, matches, and interviews. Although the film mentions all of the squad, it mainly focuses on Los Galácticos such as David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Raúl, Luís Figo, Ronaldo, Iker Casillas, and Roberto Carlos, among others. The film was originally produced in Spanish, but has been dubbed for their world-wide fanbase.
The book White Storm: 100 years of Real Madrid by Phil Ball was the first English-language history of Real Madrid. Published in 2002, it talks about the most successful moments of the club during its first centenary, having been translated into various languages.,
Real Madrid Players,
Real Madrid C.F. players
For a list of all former and current Real Madrid C.F. players with a Wikipedia article, see Category:Real Madrid C.F. players.
Spanish teams are limited to three players without EU citizenship. The squad list includes only the principal nationality of each player; several non-European players on the squad have dual citizenship with an EU country. Also, players from the ACP countries—countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific that are signatories to the Cotonou Agreement—are not counted against non-EU quotas due to the Kolpak ruling.