Real Madrid C.F. is the most successful club in the history of football. It’s the only club with the record of 13 UEFA Champions Leagues and 33 Spanish Leagues (La Liga).
Real Madrid was founded in 1902. Julián Palacios, was its first figurehead, but it was Juan Padrós, Catalan and from Barcelona, who formally constituted the institution that year. Interest in football grew at such a rate in Spain that Madrid proposed a tournament in homage to king Alfonso XIII. The initiative became the Copa de España (Spanish Cup).
With a growing fanbase when the years passed, Real Madrid saw the need to change campgrounds in order to facilitate the number of visitors and obtain more money. The club moved to the O’Donnell Stadium. It was then that the King of Spain’s high steward granted Madrid the title ‘Real’ (Royal) in 1920.
In the early 20s, Real Madrid returned to its pioneering role in Spanish football. The team made a series of trips abroad, making it an international trailblazer. Real Madrid was one of the founding member of The Campeonato de Liga in 1928, and has never ever been relegated.
Real Madrid had now accepted the fact that the success they craved would only be possible with the best players. The goalkeeper Zamora, and the defenders Ciriaco, and Quincoces were signed. The trio formed the best defense in the world. The 1931-1932 season was a great one for Lippo Hertza’s team. The Blancos finished the league as unbeaten champions. It was the start of an era of Madrid dominance. The result was four titles in as many years (two in La Liga and two Copas).
Just a month after the latest cup win (1936), Spanish Civil War broke out. Real Madrid’s finest hour on the pitch so far was under threat and cut short by the military conflict. It led to many players ending their careers or leaving the country in exile. The club and team would not be reassembled until after the war. The president of the club, Sánchez Guerra, was exiled, and another previous president but just for a couple of months, Antonio Ortega, was executed by the Franco regime after the war. Due to the war in Madrid, the club tried to compete in the Catalan Republic League that was free of the conflict, but F.C. Barcelona vetoed that.
The Civil War (1936-39) and its aftermath for more than a decade was absolutely tragic for the team. Real Madrid won no leagues between 1933 and 1954, and only 2 Spanish Cups, in 1946 and 1947. It was also 2 times in the verge of being relegated. The local rival, Atlético, was patronized by the army that won the conflict. As a team who supported the República, Real Madrid was a team that generated no sympathies in the dictator the General Francisco Franco and during the first 15 years of the Franco regime Real Madrid was in the weakest position of his history.
In 1943, in the semi-final of the cup, Real Madrid met Barcelona. In Les Corts, the eleven azulgranas won 3-0. In the return match, los Blancos knocked out their opponent with an extraordinary comeback. Madrid won 11-1, and a rivalry than already existed become eternal.
On the 15th of December 1943, Santiago Bernabéu became the club’s president. Former player and manager of the club, was the most important men in Real Madrid history.
The french journalists Gabriel Hanot and Jacques Ferrán dreamed up a competition that would bring together the champions of each European country. Between them they drew up some regulations that reached the headquarters of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). The proposal was much to the liking of the heads of French publication ‘L’Equipe’, which organized the tournament. They named a commission that included Santiago Bernabéu as one of its vice presidents. The championship became a reality in 1956: the European Cup was born.
Real Madrid won the first European Cup in history on the 13th of June that year. It was the first of the five consecutive cups it would win. This great feat was achieved at the hands of one of history’s greatest footballers, Alfredo Di Stéfano, and during Bernabéu’s presidency.
Madrid discovered Di Stéfano in the club’s fiftieth anniversary year (1952), when the team took on Millonarios (4-2). Since then the club had its sights set on him and the following year he made his debut as a Madrid player. He became the best footballer in the Real Madrid history, receiving two Ballon d’Ors (1957 and 1959) as one of the stars of the team that ruled Europe for five years in a row.
No other team in history has won five European cups in a row like that Real Madrid. That team was composed of real legends, like Alfredo Di Stéfano, the Hungarian Ferenc Puskas, the French Raymond Kopa or the Spanish Francisco Gento, who owns a record of six European Cups.
In the 1959-1960 season, ex-Madrid player Miguel Muñoz took the reins of Real Madrid. He won the Fifth European Cup in his first season as manager, becoming the first footballer to win the European Cup as a player (three times) and as a manager. In 1960, the merengues were also crowned champions of the world as they won the first edition of the Intercontinental Cup: Real Madrid 5-1 Peñarol de Montevideo.
In the 60’s the team was going through a period of change. In Spain it was simply the best, winning eight league championships: in the 50’s Real Madrid won more European Cups than Liga championships, five of them on the trot. And it won its Sixth European Cup in 1966.
Football was in mourning on the 2nd of June 1978 at the loss of the president who took Real Madrid to the top. The 70’s are the only decade since the creation of european international club competition when Real Madrid didn’t win any european trophy, but he won 6 Spanish La liga in those 10 years.
The 80s were dominated by a brilliant generation of youth-team players. ‘Vulture’s Cohort’ or “La Quinta del Buitre“, led by Emilio Butragueño, made Real Madrid into one of the best teams in history. The goals of Hugo Sánchez also played an important role in this successful decade. The Whites won the first two UEFA Cups with some historic comebacks in Europe and magical nights in the Bernabéu. They also won 5 La Ligas in a row, a record of consecutive championship in Spain, between 1986 and 1990.
Real Madrid would live next a golden era. First of all, he become again, 32 years later, champion of Europe. But not just once: he won 3 UEFA Champions Leagues in 5 years: la Séptima (7th) in 1998, the 8th in 2000 and 2002 the 9th. The team was leaded by Real Madrid academy player Raúl.
In 2000 Florentino Pérez arrived to the presidency and started the era of the Galacticos. In the first 4 years the won 1 UEFA Champions League, 2 Spanish Leagues and created a Dream Team with the best stars of the football world: Figo, Zidane, Ronaldo, Beckham joined football legends like Raúl, Hierro or Casillas.
Real Madrid won 2 extra leagues in 2007 and 2008 under the direction of Fabio Capello and Bernd Schuster. But after a terrible 2009 season, Florentino Pérez returned to the presidency in 2009 to boost the moral of the madridistas and reinforce the team.
In Florentino Pérez second coming, he signed maybe the best football player of Real Madrid since Di Stéfano, Cristiano Ronaldo, and a lot of stars like Benzema, Xabi Alonso, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos or Gareth Bale. Star managers like José Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti or the newbie and former football legend Zinedine Zidane coached the team.
In these recent years, Real Madrid has won 2 UEFA Champions League in 2 thrilling finals against the local rival Atlético de Madrid with heroic performances of the captain Sergio Ramos. La Décima arrived in 2014 and the 11th UEFA Champions League in 2016. The team has also won a Spanish league in 2012 that shattered all the records, with 100 points and 121 goals.
Both seasons 2016-2017 and 2018-19 were historical. In 2017 Real Madrid became the first club to win back to back Champions League titles with the new competition format. And also won La Liga, the first time since 1958 that the club got both Liga and Champions. With the addition of the European and Spanish Supercup and the World Club Cup, and with 5 trophies during 2017 it was the best season of Real Madrid as a football club.
In 2018-19, Real Madrid became the first sports team to win European Cup both in football and basketball in the same year. The 13th Champions League was also the third in a row and the 4 or 5 years. It was a dinasty compared to no other football team in the world…except the Real Madrid of Bernabéu, Di Stéfano and Gento.
Real Madrid is the king of Europe and Spain and while rivals have come and gone to face him in the history of football, no one is really close of its legacy.
Santiago Bernabeu stadium has a capacitiy of 81.000 seats. 80% of them are occupied by Real Madrid socios that have an abono (season ticket), and the rest of the tickets are sold to the public.
Real Madrid fan stand is the Grada FANS RMCF. It was born in the spirit of binding together all the madridistas that want to support the team relentlessly both in Santiago Bernabéu and outside the stadium. It wants to welcome all madridistas that believe in an animation without violence, politics, racism and intolerance, open to all ages and with an only feeling: MADRIDISMO.
2000 madridistas of all ages, ideology, races and sexes go the GRADA FANS dressed in the white kit of Real Madrid to support Real Madrid each match.
European Cup / UEFA Champions League
Winners (13) – record: 1955–56, 1956–57, 1957–58, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1965–66, 1997–98, 1999–2000, 2001–02, 2013–14, 2015–16, 2016-17, 2018-19
Winners (33) – record: 1931–32, 1932–33, 1953–54, 1954–55, 1956–57, 1957–58, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1971–72, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1977–78, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1994–95, 1996–97, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2011–12, 2016-2017
Copa del Rey
Winners (19): 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1917, 1934, 1936, 1946, 1947, 1961–62, 1969–70, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1979–80, 1981–82, 1988–89, 1992–93, 2010–11, 2013–14
Winners (2): 1984–85, 1985–86
UEFA Super Cup
Winners (4): 2002, 2014, 2016, 2017
Winners (3) – shared record: 1960, 1998, 2002
FIFA Club World Cup
Winners (3): 2014, 2016, 2017
Supercopa de España
Winners (10): 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2012, 2017
Copa Eva Duarte (the forerunner to the Supercopa de España)
Copa de la Liga