Real Madrid Club de Futbol are a club based in the Spanish capital of Madrid and are the current holders of the La Liga title under manager Jose Mourinho.
They have won a record 32 La Liga titles and also hold the record for the most European Cup triumphs (now known as the UEFA Champions League). They have won the competition nine times.
Founded on March 6, 1902 as Sociodad Madrid FC in the Spanish region of Castille, this club has gained followers across Spain and around the world. At the turn of this century, FIFA named Real Madrid as the Official FIFA Club of the Century.
Madrid FC, as it was previously known, won their first major title in 1905 when they emerged victorious in the Copa Del Rey (at the time it was still a statewide and not a nationwide football competition). They were bestowed the title “Royal” by the King of Spain in 1920 after which the club came to be known as Real Madrid.
But it wasn’t until the 1931-1932 season that the club came to grasp its first Spanish league championship. Real Madrid won next season’s championship too but then a plethora of incidents such as the Spanish Civil War in the mid-1930s derailed them.
But Real did reemerge in the 1950s under the guidance of a certain lawyer named Santiago Bernabeu Yeste when they won five consecutive European Cup finals from 1956-1960, famously defeating Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3 in the final at Hampden Park in 1960 in what the club’s supporters regard as the best European Cup match of all time. Real Madrid again won in 1962, 1998, 2000 and 2002.
Real Madrid are known as Los Blancos and Los Merengues to their supporters. They have a total of 1,800 official members and supporters clubs spread across the world. Real Madrid play their home matches at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu; the capacity of this stadium is 80,400.
Several great players have graced the Real Madrid colours. The likes of Alfredi Di Stefano, Frenc Puscas, Gento, Michael Laudrup, Bernd Schuster, Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Michael Owen and David Beckham have all been part of the Real Madrid set-up at one time or the other.
These days the Real Madrid flagship is being flown high by Raul, Guti and Iker Casillas. Recent arrivals Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo will be hoping to emulate all-time greats Zidane and Di Stefano in etching their name into the club’s rich history. The colourful Portuguese Jose Mourinho is the current coach of the club.
Real Madrid are one of only three clubs in Spain not to have been relegated from the first division and foster a fierce morbo against their archrivals FC Barcelona with whom they contest el clasico (also known as el derbi). Real also count their city rivals Atletico Madrid as massive adversaries and contend the Madrid derby with Atletico.
The club’s major achievements include:
- 32 La Liga titles (record)
- 17 Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup)
- 7 Supercopa de Espana
- 9 European Cup/UEFA Champions League (record)
- 3 Intercontinental Cup
- 2 UEFA Cup
- 2 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup