Real Madrid



Real Madrid Wikipedia

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"Real Madrid" redirects here. For the basketball team, see Real Madrid Baloncesto. For the football club in South Africa, see Real Madrid (South Africa). For other uses, see Real Madrid (disambiguation).

Real Madrid
Real Madrid C.F. emblem
Full nameReal Madrid Club de Fútbol
Nickname(s)Los Blancos (The Whites) Los Merengues (The Meringues) Los Vikingos (The Vikings)
Founded6 March 1902; 112 years ago (1902-03-06)

as Madrid Football Club
GroundSantiago Bernabéu Stadium
Ground Capacity85,454
Honorary PresidentAlfredo Di Stefano
PresidentFlorentino Pérez
ManagerCarlo Ancelotti
LeagueLa Liga
2013–14La Liga, 3rd
WebsiteClub home page
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours
Current season
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol (Spanish pronunciation: [reˈal maˈðɾið ˈkluβ ðe ˈfuðβol]; Royal Madrid Football Club), commonly known as Real Madrid, or simply as Real, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain.

Founded in 1902 as Madrid Football Club, the team has traditionally worn a white home kit since. The word real is Spanish for royal and was bestowed to the club by King Alfonso XIII in 1920 together with the royal crown in the emblem. The team has played its home matches in the 85,454-capacity Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in downtown Madrid since 1947. 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 in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of €513 million, and the most valuable sports team, worth €2.4 billion (US$3.3 billion). It is one of three clubs to have never been relegated from the top flight of Spanish football, along with Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona. Real Madrid holds many long-standing rivalries, most notably El Clásico with FC Barcelona and El Derbi madrileño with Atlético Madrid.

The club established itself as a major force in both Spanish and European football during the 1950s. Domestically, Real Madrid has won a record 32 La Liga titles, 19 Copas del Rey, 9 Supercopas de España, 1 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la Liga. Internationally it has won a record ten European Cup/UEFA Champions League titles and a joint record three Intercontinental Cups, as well as two UEFA Cups, and one UEFA Super Cup.



                Main article: History of Real Madrid C.F.

                Early years (1897–1945)

                Julián Palacios, the first president of the club in 1900–1902

                Real Madrid team in 1905
                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 Cambridge and Oxford University 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. On 6 March 1902, after a new Board presided by Juan Padrós had been elected, Madrid Football Club was officially founded. 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 1912. In 1920, the club's name was changed to Real Madrid after King Alfonso XIII granted the title of Real (Royal) to the club.

                The then King of Spain Alfonso XIII
                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.

                On 14 April 1931, the arrival of the Second Spanish Republic caused the club to lose the title Real and went back to being named Madrid Football Club. Football continued during the Second World War, and on 13 June 1943 Madrid beat Barcelona 11–1 in the second leg of a semi-final of the Copa del Generalísimo, the Copa del Rey having been renamed in honour of General Franco. It has been suggested that Barcelona players were intimidated by police, including by the director of state security who "allegedly told the team that some of them were only playing because of the regime's generosity in permitting them to remain in the country."(p26) The Barcelona chairman, Enric Piñeyro, was assaulted by Madrid fans.(p284)

                Santiago Bernabéu Yeste and European success (1945–78)

                Alfredo Di Stéfano led the club to win five European Cups consecutively (currently the Champions League)
                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 rebuilt after the Spanish Civil War damages. Additionally, during the 1950s former Real Madrid Amateurs player Miguel Malbo founded Real Madrid's youth academy, or "cantera", known today as La Fábrica. Beginning in 1953, he embarked upon a strategy of signing world-class players from abroad, the most prominent of them being Alfredo Di Stéfano.

                Amancio Amaro, captain of the Yé-yé
                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 Partizan Belgrade 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 Yé-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 five league championships and three 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 Trofeo Santiago Bernabéu in the memory of its former president.

                Quinta del Buitre and seventh European Cup (1980–2000)

                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; all five footballers were graduates of Real Madrid's youth academy. 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, they defeated Juventus 1–0 in the final with a goal from Predrag Mijatović.

                Los Galácticos (2000–2006)

                Main article: Galácticos

                Beckham and Zidane were considered "Galácticos"
                In July 2000, Florentino Pérez was elected club president. He vowed in his campaign to erase the club's €270 million debt and modernize the club's facilities. However, the primary electoral promise that propelled Pérez to victory was the signing of Luís Figo from arch-rivals Barcelona. 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, Fabio Cannavaro and David Beckham. It is debatable whether the gamble paid off, as despite a UEFA Champions League and an Intercontinental Cup win in 2002, followed by the League in 2003, the club failed to win a major trophy for the next three seasons.

                The few days after the capturing of the league title were surrounded with controversy. The first controversial decision came when Pérez sacked winning coach Vicente del Bosque, after Real's sporting director claimed that del Bosque was not the right man for the job; they wanted someone young to shake up the team.[citation needed] The bad atmosphere continued when the Real legend and captain Fernando Hierro left the club after a disagreement with the management, as did Steve McManaman.[citation needed] However, the club toured Asia in pre-season and introduced newly signed David Beckham. Pérez and his directors refused to renew Claude Makélélé's contract with a better salary, upsetting Makélélé who asked for a transfer, eventually moving to Chelsea[citation needed] In the final days of the transfer window, Fernando Morientes left the club on loan to Monaco.[citation needed] Real Madrid, with newly appointed coach Carlos Queiroz, started their domestic league slowly after a hard win over Real Betis.[citation needed]

                The 2005–06 season began with the promise of several new signings — Julio Baptista (€20 million), Robinho (€30 million) and Sergio Ramos (€30 million – release clause) —[citation needed] but the Portuguese coach was not able to find the right formula on the pitch as Real Madrid's poor form continued, with the team hitting rock bottom after a humiliating 0–3 loss at the hands of Barcelona in the Santiago Bernabéu.[citation needed] Luxemburgo would eventually resign and his replacement was Juan Ramón López Caro, formally the manager of Real Madrid Castilla.[citation needed] A brief return to form came to an abrupt halt after losing the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarterfinal, 6–1 to Real Zaragoza.[citation needed] Shortly after, Real Madrid were eliminated from the Champions League for a fourth successive year, this time at the hands of Arsenal. On 27 February 2006, Florentino Pérez resigned.

                New president Ramón Calderón (2006–2009)

                Real Madrid's players celebrate their 2008 Supercopa de España title win against Valencia
                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. On 9 June 2007, Real played against Zaragoza at La Romareda. The match got off to a bad start when Real Madrid were forced to change their lineup some minutes before the start of the match when young defender Miguel Torres tore his hamstring during warm-up.[citation needed] Zaragoza led Real 2–1 near the end of the match while Barcelona were also winning against Espanyol 2–1. Real's title challenge looked to be over.[citation needed] However, a late Ruud van Nistelrooy equalizer followed by a last-minute Raúl Tamudo goal sprang Real Madrid's title hopes back into their favour.[citation needed] Sevilla were also held 0–0 away against Mallorca, which meant that a win at home against Mallorca would effectively secure Los Merengues their 30th Spanish league title.[citation needed]

                The title was won on 17 June, Real faced Mallorca at the Bernabéu, while Barcelona and Sevilla, the other title challengers, faced Gimnàstic de Tarragona and Villarreal respectively. At half time Real were 0–1 down, while Barcelona had surged ahead into a 0–3 lead in Tarragona; however, three goals in the last half-an-hour secured Real Madrid a 3–1 win and their first league title since 2003. The first goal came from Reyes who scored after a good work from Higuaín. An own goal followed by another goal from Reyes allowed Real to begin celebrating the title. Thousands of Real Madrid fans began going to Plaza de Cibeles to celebrate the title.[citation needed]

                Second Pérez term and the Mourinho era (2009–13)

                Cristiano Ronaldo, the first player ever to score against every team in a single season in La Liga
                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 Milan, and then purchasing Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United for a record-breaking £80 million.

                José Mourinho took over as manager in May 2010. In April 2011, a strange occurrence happened when, for the first time ever, four Clásicos were to be played in a span of eighteen days. The first fixture was for the Liga campaign on 17 April (which ended 1–1 with penalty goals for both sides), the Copa del Rey final (which ended 1–0 to Madrid), and the controversial two-legged Champions League semifinal on 27 April and 2 May (3–1 loss on aggregate) to Barcelona.

                The first Clasico saw Cristiano Ronaldo get his first goal against Barcelona due to a penalty given to Madrid after a foul to Marcelo. The Copa del Rey final gave Real Madrid its first title under Mourinho with a header from Cristiano Ronaldo in extra time. The Champions League semifinal was perhaps the most controversial of the four, with the expulsion of Pepe in the first leg at the Santiago Bernabéu, after an alleged "dangerous challenge" to Barcelona defender Daniel Alves. Alves was carried out in a stretcher "unable to walk", but after Pepe was shown red, Alves came running back into the field within seconds. After Pepe's sending off, coach José Mourinho was also sent off, receiving a fine and a five-match ban. This same match was also controversial in that Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets being captured on video saying what seemed like a supposed racial slur to Madrid left-back Marcelo. The second leg was not as controversial as the first, with perhaps the exception of an annulled goal to Gonzalo Higuaín, after Cristiano Ronaldo was deemed to have fouled Javier Mascherano as a result of a foul to Ronaldo by Gerard Piqué.

                In the 2011–12 La Liga season, Real Madrid won the league, a record 32nd time in La Liga history and finished the season with a number of records including 100 points in a single season, a record 121 goals scored & goal difference of +89, and a record 16 away wins and 32 overall wins. In the same season, Cristiano Ronaldo become the fastest player to reach 100 goals in Spanish league history. In reaching 101 goals in 92 games, Ronaldo surpassed Real Madrid legend Ferenc Puskás, who scored 100 goals in 105 games. Ronaldo set a new club mark for individual goals scored in one year (60), and became the first player ever to score against all 19 opposition teams in a single season.

                Real Madrid began the 2012-13 season by winning the Supercopa de España, defeating Barcelona on away goals, but finished as second in the league competition. A major transfer of the season was signing of Luka Modrić, in the region of £33 million. In the Champions League, they were drawn in the "group of death" along Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and Ajax, finishing second with ten points behind Dortmund. In the 16 round defeated Manchester United, quarter-finals Galatasaray, and reached third straight semifinal finish at the Champions League, where were again stopped by Dortmund. After a disappointing extra time loss to Atlético Madrid in the 2013 Copa del Rey final (which broke a 14-year skid for Atleti), Florentino Perez announced the departure of Mourinho at the end of the season by "mutual agreement". Mourinho returned to the English Premier League with Chelsea, a team he managed from 2004 to 2007.

                The Ancelotti era and La Décima (2013–present)

                On 25 June 2013, Carlo Ancelotti became the manager of Real Madrid, succeeding Mourinho, by signing a three-year deal. A day later, he was introduced at his first press conference for Madrid where it was announced that both Zinedine Zidane and Paul Clement will be his assistants. On 1 September 2013, the long-awaited transfer of Gareth Bale was announced. The transfer of the Welshman is reportedly the new world record signing, with the transfer price expected to be around €100 million. In Ancelotti's first season at the club, Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey, with Bale scoring the winner in the final against Barcelona. On 24 May 2014, Real Madrid defeated city rivals Atlético Madrid in the Champions League Final winning their first European title since 2002, and they became the first team to win ten European Cups, an achievement known as "La Décima".

                Crest and colours

                Emblem evolution

                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", meaning "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 21st century and further standardize its crest. One of the modifications made was changing the mulberry stripe to a more bluish shade.
                Real Madrid's first kit

                Real Madrid's traditional home colours are all white, although before its foundation in the club first game against themselves they adopted a blue and a red oblique stripe on the shirt to differentiate the two teams (the club crest design has a purple stripe which isn't associated to this. It was incorporated the year they lost the royal crown, as it the traditional region of Castile colour); but unlike today, black socks were worn. Lastly, the black socks will be replaced by dark blue ones. Real Madrid has maintained the white shirt for its home kit throughout the history of the club. There was however one season that the shirt and shorts were not both white. It was an initiative undertaken by Escobal and Quesada in 1925, the two were traveling through England when they noticed the kit worn by London-based team Corinthian F.C., one of the most famous teams at the time known for its elegance and sportsmanship. It was decided that Real Madrid would wear black shorts in an attempt to look like the English team but the initiative lasted only one year. After being eliminated from the cup by Barcelona with a 1–5 defeat in Madrid and a 2–0 defeat in Catalonia, President Parages decided to return to an all-white kit claiming that the other brought bad luck. Years later, Leeds United switched their blue shirt for a white one after marveling at Real Madrid's 7–3 Victory against Eintracht Frankfurt in Glasgow's Hampden Park. 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 blue or all purple. Since the advent of the replica kit market, the club has also released various other one colour designs, including red, green, orange and black. 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 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 shirt sponsor from 2007 until 2013 was following the economic problems of BenQ Siemens. It is currently Fly Emirates.

                Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors

                PeriodKit manufacturerShirt partner
                1989–1991Reny Picot
                2002–2005Siemens mobile
                2013–2018Fly Emirates
                * appeared as shirt sponsor to promote the club's new website.


                Main articles: Estadio Chamartín, Santiago Bernabéu Stadium and Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium
                Santiago Bernabéu
                Broke ground27 October 1944
                Opened14 December 1947
                ArchitectManuel Muñoz Monasterio, Luis Alemany Soler, Antonio Lamela
                Field size107 m × 72 m (351 ft × 236 ft)
                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 85,454, effected in 2011. A plan to add a retractable roof has been announced. Real Madrid has the fourth highest of the average attendances of European football clubs only behind Borussia Dortmund, FC Barcelona, and Manchester United.

                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.

                Records and statistics

                Main article: List of Real Madrid C.F. records and statistics

                Raúl is Real Madrid's all-time leader in goals scored and appearances
                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 630 appearances. With 152 caps (all at the club), he is also Real's most capped international player. While with 127 caps (47 while at the club), Luís Figo of Portugal is Real's most capped foreign international player.

                Gareth Bale's transfer to Real Madrid in 2013 was reportedly for a world record €100 million
                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 Stéfano (1953–64), Santillana (1971–88), Ferenc Puskás (1958–66) and Hugo Sánchez (1985–92). Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo holds the record for the most league goals scored in one season (46 in 2011–12). 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 Bernabéu 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 (32 as of 2012–13) 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 club also hold the record for winning the European Cup/UEFA Champions League ten times and for the most semi-final appearances (25). Raúl González is as of December 2011[update] the all-time UEFA Champions League top scorer, with 71 goals in total, 66 whilst playing for Real Madrid. The team has the record number of consecutive participations in the European Cup (before it became the Champions League) 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 (US$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. This record had been broken previously in June 2009, for a few days, when Real Madrid agreed to buy Kaká from A.C. Milan. The transfer of the Gareth Bale, in 2013, is reportedly the new world record signing, with the transfer price expected to be around €100 million. The club's record sale came on 2 September 2013, when Arsenal signed Mesut Özil for €47 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. 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 second highest average all-time attendance in Spanish football and regularly attracts over 74,000 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.


                El Clásico

                Main article: El Clásico

                Barcelona players formed a guard of honour for Real Madrid as champions of the league.
                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 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. Over the years, the record from Real Madrid and Barcelona is 81 victories for Madrid, 76 victories for Barcelona, and 39 draws.

                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, 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 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 Bernabéu, the former club president for whom Real Madrid's stadium is named, fought on the Nationalist side during the Spanish Civil War. However, during the 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. In 2002, the European encounter between the clubs was dubbed the "Match of The Century" by Spanish media, and was watched by more than 500 million people.

                El Derbi madrileño

                Main article: El Derbi madrileño

                Real Madrid supporters during the 2006 El Derbi madrileño match held at Santiago 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 which Real won 2–1. Atlético, however, gained some revenge when, led by former Real Madrid coach José Villalonga, it defeated its city rivals 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 Real clinched the La Liga title after a 0–4 victory at Atlético at the Vicente Calderón Stadium. Atlético Madrid's first win over city rivals since 1999 came with Copa del Rey win in May 2013. In 2013-14, Real and Atlético were finalists of UEFA Champions League, first final which hosted 2 clubs from same city. Real Madrid triumphed with 4-1 in extra time.

                European rivalary

                Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are two of the most successful clubs in the UEFA Champions League/European Cup competition, Real winning 10 times and Bayern winning 5 times. Real Madrid versus Bayern is the match that has historically been played most often in the Champions League with 14 matches and the European Cup with 19 matches. Real's biggest loss at home in the Champions League came at the hands of Bayern on 29 February 2000: 2–4. Real Madrid supporters often refer to Bayern as the "Bestia negra" ("Black Beast"). Despite the number of duels, Bayern and Real have never met in the final of a Champions League or European Cup.[citation needed] The two teams met in the 2011–12 Champions League semi-finals which resulted in 3–3 on aggregate, forcing extra time and penalties. Bayern won 3–1 on penalties to reach their first ever home Champions League final. They then again met in 2013–14 UEFA Champions League semi-finals, a rematch of the 2012 semi-final, with Real Madrid winning 5–0 on aggregate.

                Finances and ownership

                It was under Florentino Pérez's first presidency (2000–2006) that Real Madrid started its ambition of becoming the world's richest professional football club. The club ceded part of its training grounds to the city of Madrid in 2001, and sold the rest to four corporations: Repsol YPF, Mutua Automovilística de Madrid, Sacyr Vallehermoso and OHL. The sale eradicated the club's debts, paving the way for it to buy the world's most expensive players such as Zinédine Zidane, Luís Figo, Ronaldo and David Beckham. The city had previously rezoned the training grounds for development, a move which in turn increased their value, and then bought the site. The European Commission started an investigation into whether the city overpaid for the property, to be considered a form of state subsidy.

                The sale of the training ground for office buildings cleared Real Madrid's debts of €270 million and enabled the club to embark upon an unprecedented spending spree which brought big-name players to the club. In addition, profit from the sale was spent on a state-of-the-art training complex on the city's outskirts. Although Pérez's policy resulted in increased financial success from the exploitation of the club's high marketing potential around the world, especially in Asia, it came under increasing criticism for being too focused on marketing the Real Madrid brand, and not enough on the performances of the team.[citation needed]

                By September 2007, Real Madrid was considered the most valuable football brand in Europe by BBDO. In 2008, it was ranked the second most valuable club in football, with a value of €951 million (£640 million / $1.285 billion), only beaten by Manchester United, which was valued at €1.333 billion (£900 million). In 2010, Real Madrid had the highest turnover in football worldwide. In September 2009, Real Madrid's management announced plans to open its own dedicated theme park by 2013.

                A study at Harvard University concluded that Real Madrid "is one of the 20 most important brand names and the only one in which its executives, the players, are well-known. We have some spectacular figures in regard to worldwide support of the club. There are an estimated 287 million people worldwide who follow Real Madrid." In 2010, Forbes evaluated Real Madrid's worth to be around €992 million (USD $1.323 billion), 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. This means that Real Madrid is owned by its supporters who elect the clubs president. The club president cannot invest his own money into the club it can only spend what it earns, this is mainly derived through merchandise sales, television rights and ticket sales. 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 directors of the club stated that Real Madrid had a net debt of €244.6 million, €82.1 million lower than the previous fiscal year. Real Madrid announced that it had a net debt of €170 million after the 2010–11 season.

                From 2007 to 2011 the club made a net profit of €190 million.

                During the 2009–10 season Real Madrid made €150 million through ticket sales, which was the highest in top flight football. The club has the highest number of shirt sales a season, around 1.5 million.

                For the 2010–11 season its wage bill totalled €169 million, which was second highest in Europe behind FC Barcelona. However its wage bill to turnover ratio was the best in Europe at 43%, ahead of Manchester United and Arsenal at 46% and 50% respectively.

                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 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.

                On 7 December 2011, Real Madrid released a dance adaptation of the club's anthem, "Himno del Real Madrid", titled "Everybody" as the first single from an upcoming album entitled The Legends: The Official Real Madrid Digital Music Album. It was created Australian DJs The Stafford Brothers.

                Real Madrid TV

                Real Madrid TV is an encrypted digital television channel, operated by Real Madrid and specialising in the club. The channel is available in Spanish and English. It is located at Ciudad Real Madrid in Valdebebas (Madrid), Real Madrid's training centre.


                Main article: List of 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.
                See Real Madrid squad 2013–14

                Current squad

                As of 31 January 2014

                Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
                1SpainGKIker Casillas (captain)
                2FranceDFRaphaël Varane
                3PortugalDFPepe (vice-captain)
                4SpainDFSergio Ramos (vice-captain)
                5PortugalDFFábio Coentrão
                6GermanyMFSami Khedira
                7PortugalFWCristiano Ronaldo
                9FranceFWKarim Benzema
                11WalesMFGareth Bale
                12BrazilDFMarcelo (vice-captain)
                13SpainGKJesús Fernández
                14SpainMFXabi Alonso
                15SpainDFDaniel Carvajal
                17SpainDFÁlvaro Arbeloa
                18SpainDFNacho Fernández
                19CroatiaMFLuka Modrić

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