Real Madrid CF has possibly accomplished everything a football team can. With a record 35 La Liga titles, 20 Copa del Rey trophies, 14 European Cups/Champions Leagues, and two UEFA Cups, Real Madrid is unrivalled in the race for the greatest football club of all time. Real Madrid has a strong rivalry with Barcelona (El Clásico) and Atlético Madrid (El Derbi Madrileño), but has historically been the most popular team in the country. Many of the world’s top players, including legends Alfredo Di Stéfano and Ferenc Puskás, have donned the club’s white shirts.
Though the club was founded in 1902, it was originally known as Madrid Football Club. It wasn’t until 1920 that King Alfonso XIII granted the title of “real” – or “royal” in English. Real’s early years were quite successful, as indicated by four consecutive Copa del Rey championships between 1905 and 1908. By the onset of WWII, Real had won two La Liga titles and seven Copa del Rey cups.
Santiago Bernabéu Yeste became the club’s president in the postwar period, having served in different roles since joining its junior ranks in 1909. Faced with the arduous challenge of rebuilding the club, Bernabéu went on to build a brand-new stadium, which was eventually called the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, and sign a number of high-profile foreign players in order to compete on the European scene. With a bona fide dream team centred on the abilities of Alfredo Di Stéfano, Ferenc Puskás, and Francisco Gento, Real won four La Liga titles and one Copa del Rey before the end of the 1960s. More impressively, they won the first five European Cups, easily defeating all opponents from 1956 to 1960. Many people still regard this legendary club to be the best football team ever created.
The next two decades were equally successful for the club’s rising fan base. In addition to winning a historic 14 La Ligas and 5 Copa del Reys, Real won another European Cup in 1966, defeating Partizan Belgrade 2-1 in the final. The decade ended on a dismal note, however, as Santiago Bernabéu Yeste died in 1978.
Since the late 1990s, Real Madrid has spent vast sums recruiting some of the world’s most famous international players to the club, where they are known as galácticos (“superstars”). These players were often the most expensive (by transfer fee) footballers in the world, and featured David Beckham, Luis Figo, Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Kaká, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Real Madrid Trophies History:
Real Madrid is currently considered the world’s most successful football team. Real Madrid has won a record number of European and international championships, including 14 European Cup/UEFA Champions League titles, 5 UEFA Super Cups, 5 FIFA Club World Cups, 2 UEFA Cups, and 3 Intercontinental Cups.
Real Madrid has won 35 La Liga titles, 12 Supercopa de Espana titles, 19 Copa del Rey titles, two Latin Cup titles, and one League Cup title. They also have 5 Mancomunados trophies and 18 Regional Championships.
Real Madrid Rivals:
Real Madrid’s biggest football rivals are two other Spanish clubs: Barcelona and Atletico. Some of the thrilling matches they’ve played are unforgettable.
- Real Madrid versus Barcelona
Madrid and Barcelona established one of the most famous rivalries in sports history in a semifinals qualifier for the Spanish Cup in 1916, which was also a turning point in Real Madrid’s history. Without away goals, the series consisted of four matches to determine who would advance to the final.
Barcelona won the first game 2-1, while Madrid won the second by a score of 4-1. The third game finished 4-4 after regulation and 6-6 after overtime. Real Madrid won the fourth and final match, 4-2, and proceeded to the Spanish Cup final.
Barcelona players stormed off the pitch with seven minutes remaining in regulation to protest the fourth goal, which they claimed was offside. Espanyol, another Barcelona-based team, hosted the final, which featured Madrid and Bilbao.
The Spanish National Guard had to guard the Madrid players on their way to the pitch, and after the game, bricks and stones were hurled at the Madrid bus, worsening the rivalry between the two clubs. To this day, fans of both sides dislike each other’s clubs, intensifying the tension in El Clasico games.
- Real Madrid versus Atlético Madrid
People who have attended a Madrid Derby can discuss the rivalry between the two teams and the rush of adrenaline that comes with it. Many people believe the rivalry between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid extends beyond football.
Real Madrid’s history is somewhat linked to its city rival. People usually feel that Real Madrid is a team for the wealthy and powerful, whereas Atletico is a team for the average person. In truth, fans of both teams come from all sorts of backgrounds.