Real Madrid Club de Fútbol (also known as Real Madrid, Los Blancos, Los Merengues) is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. The club is the most successful club in Spanish football and was voted by FIFA as the most successful football club of the 20th century, having won a record thirty-one La Liga titles, seventeen Spanish Cups, a record nine European Cups and two UEFA Cups. Real was a founding member of The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the now-defunct G-14 group of Europe's leading football clubs as well as its replacement, the European Club Association.
Founded in 1902, Real Madrid has since spent all of its history in the top flight of Spanish football. In the 1940s, the club, the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium and the Ciudad Deportiva were rebuilt following the Spanish Civil War. During the 1950s, Real Madrid established itself as a major force in both Spanish and European football. During the second half of the 1980s, the club had one of the best teams in Spain and Europe (known as La Quinta del Buitre), winning two UEFA Cups, five Spanish championships in a row, one Spanish cup and three Spanish Super Cups.
The club's traditional kit colours are all white. It plays its home professional games in the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in downtown Madrid since 1947. Unlike most European football clubs, the club members (socios) have owned and operated Real Madrid since its foundation.
Real Madrid maintains a large fanbase and holds numerous long-standing rivalries with several other clubs, the most notable with FC Barcelona with whom they biannually contest the El Clásico. The club is the world's richest in football (€351m) in terms of revenue and the second most valuable (worth over €950m as of 2008).
Football was introduced to Madrid by the professors and students of the Institución Libre de Enseñanza, who included several Oxbridge graduates. They founded the club Football Club Sky in 1897, playing on Sunday mornings at Moncloa. This club split in 1900 into two different clubs: New Foot-Ball de Madrid and Club Español de Madrid. The latter club split again in 1902, resulting in the formation of Madrid Football Club on 6 March 1902. Only three years after its foundation, in 1905, Madrid FC won its first official title in the history of the club after defeating Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Cup final. The team won the first of four consecutive Copa del Rey titles (at that time the only statewide competition). The club became one of the founding sides of the Spanish Football Association on 4 January 1909, when club president Adolfo Meléndez signed the foundation agreement of the Spanish FA. After moving between some minor grounds, in 1912, the team settled at the ground that came to be called "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 had the lead going into the last match of the season, but a loss to Athletic Bilbao at San Mamés kept Madrid from winning the title. They had to settle for runner-up, just one point behind Barcelona. Real Madrid won its first League title in the 1931–32 season. The Whites won the League again the following year, and thus became the first side to have won the championship twice.
Santiago Bernabéu Yeste became President of Real Madrid in 1945. Under his presidency, the club, the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium and the Ciudad Deportiva were rebuilt following the Spanish Civil War. Beginning in 1953, he embarked upon a strategy of signing world-class players from abroad, the most prominent of them being the signing of Alfredo di Stéfano. Thus, he built the world's first multinational side.
In 1955, acting upon the idea proposed by the French sports journalist and editor of L'Équipe Gabriel Hanot, and building upon the Copa Latina (a tournament involving clubs from France, Spain, Portugal and Italy), Bernabéu met in the Ambassador Hotel in Paris with Bedrignan and Gusztáv Sebes and created 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. Winning the competition five consecutive times saw Real 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 nationally-born players (known as the Ye-yé team) – a first in the competition. 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. In 1971, the club played it's first UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final, being defeated by English side Chelsea F.C. with 2-1. On 2 July 1978, the one to whom credit can be given for transforming Real Madrid from the second most successful club in Madrid into the most successful in Spain, and one of the most successful in Europe, club president Santiago Bernabéu passed away. The following year, the club organized the first edition of Santiago Bernabéu Trophy in the memory of its former president.
By the early 1980s, Real Madrid had lost its grasp on the La Liga title until a new batch of home-grown stars started to back winning domestic titles. Spanish sport journalist Julio César Iglesias given 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) 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 González, Fernando Hierro 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.
In July 2000, Florentino Pérez was elected club president. His campaign vowed 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 controversially got its training ground rezoned and used the money to begin assembling the famous Galáctico side including players such as Zidane, Ronaldo, Luís Figo, Roberto Carlos, Raúl González 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. However, Capello was dismissed in June 2007, and replaced by German manager and former player Bernd Schuster. The Whites ended the 2007–08 season with the 31st league title and the first consecutive league title in eighteen years.
The first crest of Real Madrid had a simple design. It consisted 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", roughly translated as "Royal". Thus, Alfonso's crown was added to the crest and the club styled itself Real Madrid Club de Futbol. With the dissolution of the monarchy in 1931, all the symbols of the Royalty were eliminated. Therefore, the crown on the crest and the title of Real were removed. In its place, the dark mulberry band of the Region of Castile was added. 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 colors were modified in that the crest was made full color, with gold being the most prominent, and the club was again called Real Madrid Club de Futbol.
The most recent modification to the crest occurred in 2001 when the club wanted to better position 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 has always worn white shirts and shorts, 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 its 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.
|Period||Kit manufacturer||Shirt sponsor|
After its foundation in 1902, the club moved in its first years between some minor grounds before moving to the Campo de O'Donnell in 1912. This ground 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 the old 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 wasn't 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 didn't acquire this name until 1955. The first match played in the new stadium 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 is due to host the 2010 Champions League Final. The stadium has its own Madrid Metro station along the 10 line called Santiago Bernabéu. Its location, in the heart of Madrid's business district, is quite unusual for a football stadium. The Bernabeu has recently 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 inaugural 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 where Real Madrid Castilla play all their home matches. It is named after former Real footballer Alfredo di Stéfano.
Manuel Sanchís Hontiyuelo holds the record for Real Madrid appearances, having played 710 first-team matches between 1983 and 2001. Forward Santillana comes second, having played 643 times. The record for a goalkeeper is held by Iker Casillas, with 418 appearances. With 127 caps (47 while at the club), Luís Figo of Portugal is Real's most capped international player.
Alfredo di Stéfano is the club's all-time top goalscorer, with 307 goals in 396 games between 1953 and 1964. 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 González (also of Real Madrid) in 2005. Di Stéfano also holds the club record for most goals scored in the league, with 216. Real Madrid's current top-scorer is Raúl González with 209 in the league and 294 in all competitions.
Officially, Real Madrid's highest home attendance is 83,329 for a Copa del Rey match in 2006. The current legal capacity of Santiago Bernabéu is 80,354. The club's average attendance in 2007–08 season was 76,234, the highest in European Leagues. Real have 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).
The Whites also set UEFA Champions League records for most winnings (nine) and for most semi-final appearances (21). Raúl González is the all-time UEFA Champions League top scorer, with 63 goals. The team has the record number of consecutive participation in the Champions' Cup with 15, from 1955–56 to 1969–70. The fee of €76 million (over US$100 million, £45.8 million) for Zinedine Zidane's transfer from Juventus to Real Madrid in 2001 is the highest ever paid in the history of football. The club's record sale came on 1 September 2008 , when they sold Robinho to Manchester City for €42 million (£32.5 million).
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. In order to become a season ticket holder one must first be a socio, or club member. Not all members are able to get a season ticket. 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 first highest average all-time attendance in Spanish football and regularly attract 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. The club has a large and diverse fanbase, who hold some long-standing rivalries with other clubs; most notably with FC Barcelona, with whom it regularly contests El Clásico.
Some of Real Madrid's hardcore fans are the so-called Ultras Sur supporters. They are known for their right-wing politics. The Ultras Sur have developed an alliance with some S.S. Lazio Irriducibili fans. On several occasions they have racially abused opposing players, and have been investigated by UEFA for doing so.
The rivalry with FC Barcelona projects what some regard as the political tensions felt between Castilians and Catalans. During the 1950s, the rivalry was intensified further when the clubs disputed the signing of Alfredo di Stéfano, who finally played for Real Madrid and was key in the subsequent success achieved by the club. The 1960s saw the rivalry reach the European stage when they met twice at the European Cup, Real Madrid winning in 1960 and FC Barcelona winning in 1961. In 2000, the rivalry was reinforced following the controversial decision by Luís Figo to leave FC Barcelona and sign for Real Madrid. The two teams met again in the 2002 UEFA Champions League semi-final. Real Madrid, the eventual champion, won the clash dubbed by Spanish media as the Match of the Century. As the two biggest and most successful clubs in Spain, the rivalry is renewed on an annual basis with both teams often challenging each other for the league championship. The flashpoint of this rivalry is the twice-a-season El Clásico which draws vast audiences from around the world.
The club's nearest neighbour is Atlético Madrid, which is also seen as a viable rival by Real Madrid fans. 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 beating Atlético 4–0 at the Vicente Calderón Stadium.
The sale of the training ground for office buildings cleared Real Madrid's debts of €270m and enabled the club to embark upon an unprecedented spending spree which brought big-name players to the club. Moreover, the money gained was spent on a state-of-the-art training complex on the city's outskirts.
After the 2004–05 season, Real Madrid have ended Manchester United's eight-year reign as the biggest earners in world football on the back of a galáctico policy with €275.7m (£190m) jumped 17 per cent.
In January 2007, Real Madrid paid their debts of €224 million and fell to second spot behind Manchester United. However, they reached the top again in March by getting massive image rights of €762 million. Manchester United's debt was €872 million in 2007, down from €1.25 billion in 2005.
In September 2007, Real Madrid was considered the most valuable Football brand in Europe by BBDO, and is currently ranked as the second most valuable club in football with a value of €951 mil (£640 million / $1.285 billion) as of May 2008. Also, it is still the richest club in football with a revenue of €351 mil (£236 million / $474 million).
There have been about 41 managers of Real Madrid since the appointment of the club's first professional manager, Arthur Johnson in 1910. The longest-running manager in terms of time and games is Miguel Muñoz (1960–1974) with 604 matches. Current manager, German Bernd Schuster, is Real's most successful permanent manager in terms of percentage of wins with 72.09% (as of 28 September 2008), while Jacinto Quincoces is team's least successful (37.21%).
|Arthur Johnson||1910–20|| || || || || || || || |
|Lippo Hertzka||1930–32|| || || || || || || || |
|Robert Firsth||1932–34|| || || || || || || || |
|Francisco Bru||1934–41|| || || || || || || || |
|Jacinto Quincoces||1945–46, 1947–48|| || || || || || || || |
|Baltasar Albéniz||1946–47, 1950–51|| || || || || || || || |
|Enrique Fernández||1953–54|| || || || || || || || |
|José Villalonga||1954–57|| || || || || || || || |
|Luis Carniglia||1957–59, 1959|| || || || || || || || |
|Miguel Muñoz||1959, 1960–74|| || || || || || || || |
|Miljan Miljanić||1974–77|| || || || || || || || |
|Vujadin Boškov||1979–82|| || || || || || || || |
|Luis Molowny||1974, 1977–79, 1982, 1985–86|| || || || || || || || |
|Leo Beenhakker||1986–89, 1992|| || || || || || || || |
|John Toshack||1989–90, 1999|| || || || || || || || |
|Alfredo di Stéfano||1990–91|| || || || || || || || |
|Benito Floro Sanz||1992–94|| || || || || || || || |
|Vicente del Bosque||1994, 1999–03|| || || || || || || || |
|Jorge Valdano||1994–96|| || || || || || || || |
|Fabio Capello||1996–97, 2006–07|| || || || || || || || |
|Jupp Heynckes||1997–98|| || || || || || || || |
|Guus Hiddink||1998–99|| || || || || || || || |
|Carlos Queiróz||2003–04|| || || || || || || || |
|Bernd Schuster||2007–|| || || || || || || || |
|Luis de Urquijo||1926||1930|
|Rafael Sánchez Guerra||1935||1936|
|Antonio Santos Peralba||1940||1943|
|Santiago Bernabéu Yeste||1943||1978|
|Luis de Carlos||1978||1985|
Historically, Real Madrid is the Spain's most successful team, having won a total of 57 domestic trophies, and one of the most recognized football clubs in the world, having won a total of 18 European trophies, making them the second most winning team in Europe and third in the world for official international competition won, all recognized by UEFA and FIFA. The club was placed first in the FIFA Clubs of the 20th Century's selection on 23 December 2000. It also received the FIFA Order of Merit in 2004. Added to this, Real is allowed to wear the UEFA Badge of Honour on their shirt during UEFA Champions League matches as they have won more than five European Cups.