Real Madrid Football Club
There are football clubs which are shaped by the essence of sport, but Real Madrid is one football club which has shaped the sport in itself.
Known infamously as the Los Blancos, Real Madrid FC plays in the top flight of Spanish football, the La Liga and is one of the richest and biggest clubs in the world. Currently led by Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid Football Club has had a history of influence, power and sporting excellence over the years.
Real Madrid FC traces its origins to a time when a group of Cambridge and Oxford University students founded a football group named Sky Football in 1897, also known as the La Sociedad (The Society) in Madrid. However, a conflict between the group members led to the formation of the Nueva Sociedad de Football (New Society of Football). Neuva Sociedad was then renamed as Madrid Football Club in 1901 and officially founded in 1902 with one of the dissenters, Julian Palacios as the first club president. The club's name was changed to Real Madrid FC after King Alfonso XIII granted the title of Real (Royal) to the club’s title.
Madrid FC won its first title after defeating Athletic Bilbao in the 1905 Spanish Cup Final. The Los Blancos won its first league title in the 1931-32 season and also went on to win the same in the successive season. The club was renamed to Madrid FC after the deposition of King Alfonso XIII and the arrival of the Second Spanish Republic in 1931. The club was again renamed Real Madrid CF after the end of the Spanish Civil War.
Crest and Colors
The first-Fever crest of the football club was a cursive ‘MCF’ in 1902. The logo was standardized into a circular figure in 1908 before the addition of color in 1931. The crest got a royal crown by the decree of King Alfonso XIII in 1920. The club lost the royal crown and retained the same in 1941 after the end of the Spanish Civil War. The latest changes to the crest were made in 2001 when shades of Blue were added to the crest to get a modern outlook to the club logo.
The club colors have always been white except in the 1925 season. The away shades have generally been Black, Blue or Purple over the years with certain exceptions.
Real Madrid’s first official home venue was the Campo de O'Donnell in 1912. Madrid played at the venue for 11 years till 1923. The club then plied its trade from the 8000-seater ground Campo de Ciudad Lineal for a year before shifting to Estadio Chamartin which had the capability to hold 22,500 spectators.
The club’s new president, Santiago Bernabeu decided to lay the foundations for a new stadium in 1943, which was inaugurated in 1947. The new stadium came to be known as the Santiago Bernabeu in 1955 and has been the home venue for Real Madrid FC ever since.
Santiago Bernabeu had managed to achieve a record capacity of 1,20,000 before UEFA forced the clubs to reduce the capacity followed by renovation works to 81,000 seats.
Real Madrid Football Club also has a secondary stadium in Alfredo Di Stefano Ground within its training facility in the Ciudad Real Madrid. The stadium was inaugurated in 2006 and acts as the primary training ground within the facility. It also is the home ground for Real Madrid Castilla, the club’s reserve side which plays in the Spanish lower division. The stadium can hold up to 5000 spectators.
The Era of European Domination
Real Madrid rose to prominence in the European football competitions under Club President Santiago Bernabeu post the Spanish Civil War. The Club won the European Cup on five consecutive occasions from 1956 to 1960. The Club was then permanently handed over the cup and rewarded the UEFA Badge of Honour. The Club won its sixth European title in 1966. However, there are few apprehensions about this sudden European success as Madrid’s rivals Barcelona claim a certain political clout held by Real Madrid FC courtesy of General Franco which led to an unbeatable era for Real Madrid.
Real Madrid FC had lost its sheen and domination by the early 1990s. The Club was under a transitional stage and failed to retain the European Cups on a regular basis. Madrid focussed on home-grown players, and had the likes of Emilio Butragueno, Manolo Sanchis, Martin Vazquez, Michel and Miguel Pardeza. The five players formed the base of the Real Madrid squad for several years. They managed to win two UEFA Cups, five Spanish Championships, and three Spanish Super Cups in just five years.
The appointment of Fabio Capello led to Real Madrid winning the Spanish League yet again in 1996. Real Madrid FC won its seventh European Cup Title after 32 long years of wait in 1998 under manager Jupp Heyneckes. Real Madrid won the Champions League (the newer version of the European Cup) for the record eighth time under new manager Vicente del Bosque in the 1999-2000 season. Fernando Hierro, Fernando Redondo, Roberto Carlos and Raúl González were some of the key men in the squad. Iker Casillas and Nicholas Anelka were the new and young additions to the squad.
The election of Florentino Perez as the president of the club led to the economic revolution at Real Madrid FC. Perez signed international stars from across the world in five years to form the infamous Galacticos, starting with the transfer of Luis Figo from Barcelona. The other prominent names of the squad were Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo de Lima, David Beckham and Fabio Cannavaro. The club managed to win the Champions League and La Liga in 2002 and 2003 respectively but failed to win a single title in the next three seasons.
The club suffered from a four-year trophy drought to finally win the La Liga in 2007 after a series of mismanagement at the top level of the club.
The second resurgence
Florentino Perez returned to the club presidential position and continued his Galactico approach. He brought in Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United in 2009 to embark upon a new era in Real Madrid’s football club history.
After a series of early elimination in the Champions League, and several La Liga titles, Real Madrid FC won its 10th Champions League title under Carlo Ancelotti in 2014. The club saw an influx of superstars across the world like Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, Angel di Maria, and Xabi Alonso after the 2010s.
Real Madrid won its 11th Champions League title in 2016 under Zinedine Zidane and went on to become the first and only club in history to win the Champions League on three consecutive occasions. The Los Blancos were crowned European Champions in the 2017 and 2018 seasons as well, under Zinedine Zidane. Three consecutive Champions League titles seem unbelievable for a neutral fan of the support, but such has been the class of Real Madrid over the years.
The Club won the title of the FIFA Club of the Century for its exceptional European record. Real Madrid is the most successful European Club with 13 European Cup titles and the most successful Spanish Club with 32 La Liga Titles.
The folklore around Real Madrid’s rivalry with Barcelona goes back to the Spanish Civil War. A social divide prompted by Spain’s political and social history, the El Clasico is one of the fiercest rivalries in world football. The Los Blancos also share a Madrid Derby with city rivals, Atletico Madrid.
The domination of Real Madrid in world football is a novel in itself. From the Di Stefano Era, Galacticos to the La Undecima, the Los Blancos have ticked the right boxes in almost every field of club football, and has forever changed the essence of football across the world with its wide-ranging sporting and social clout over millions of fans.
Real Madrid Football Club Squad
There have been injuries, contract negotiations, loans out, and speculation about Zinedine Zidane’s future. Yet Real Madrid Football club will still be fighting for two major trophies until the end.
Real Madrid FC may not be at the best of its years when taken into context the five consecutive European Cups in the 60s or the hattrick of Champions League in 2018. However, Zidane’s second stint at the club as a manager is eventually coming up in shape with a perfect balance of aggression, creativity and consistency in the squad.
Lunin: The Ukranian goalkeeper has spent the majority of his tenure away from Real Madrid FC on loan spells with Leganes, Valladolid and Oviedo after joining the Los Blancos in 2018. Zinedine Zidane has used him recently in most of the Copa Del Rey ties.
Thibaut Courtois: The Belgian goalkeeper joined Real Madrid FC in 2018 after his spell with Genk, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid. Courtois had a run of shaky performances in his initial years at the club but has retained his spot between the sticks ever since.
Ferland Mendy: Born in French, but of Senegalese descent, Mendy has made his way as the first-choice left-back in the Zinedine Zidane setup. Mendy is a fantastic crosser of the ball and likes to also play as a left full-back. Mendy graduated from the Le Havre set up in France and joined Lyon in the Ligue 1 before committing his future with Real Madrid FC.
Alvaro Odriozola: Raised in the esteemed Real Sociedad academy, the Spanish right-back moved to Real Madrid in 2018 after plying his trade with Sociedad in the reserves and first team. Odriozola failed to get into the starting line-up under Zidane and was subsequently sent to join Bayern Munich on a short loan spell before returning to Madrid. Odriozola is mostly a second choice for Zidane in the right-back position.
Marcelo: The Brazilian can be pegged as one of the modern club legends for Real Madrid. Marcelo joined the Los Blancos way back in 2007 and has been the face of Real Madrid FC defense along with Sergio Ramos. Marcelo has played over 350 fixtures for the club and will go down as one of the most sturdy left-backs to have ever played the sport in the last decade.
Nacho: One of the most versatile defenders in the current Zinedine Zidane setup, Nacho rose all the way to the first team from the Real Madrid academy, also known as the La Fabrica. Nacho made his first-team debut way back in 2011 and has had a recurrent presence in the starting line-up ever since. He can play in multiple positions in the backline.
Raphael Varane: The French center-back also joined the club in 2011 and has slowly clawed into the regular starting line-up in the recent few seasons. Varane has played 234 games for the Los Blancos and played a primary role in France’s 2018 World Cup winning run.
Sergio Ramos: Ramos might owe his footballing development to Sevilla, but the Spanish Captain is the face of the values and aggression catapulted by Real Madrid FC. Ramos has scored several goals despite being a defender including the 2014 Champions League final winner to win the 10th European Cup title for Real Madrid. Ramos is a leader in its truest sense and is soon to depart this club after a glorious spell of 16 years so far.
Eder Militao: The Brazilian joined the club only in 2019 and has been handy for the team at the back in the absence of Sergio Ramos.
Dani Carvajal: Carvajal graduated from the La Fabrica setup as well before moving to Bayern Munich for a season in 2012. He joined his boyhood club in 2013 and has been a pivotal part of the same as a right-back ever since.
Isco: The Spaniard joined Real Madrid Football Club after his initial years as a professional with Valencia and Malaga. Isco was compared to the likes of Andres Iniesta and Xavi for a few years before he faded away from the first team line-up ever since. He has played 229 games for his club.
Federico Valverde: The Uruguayan central defensive midfielder joined Real Madrid Castilla as a teenager before being promoted to the first team in 2017. He spent a season at Deportivo La Coruna before cementing his place in the midfield under Zidane.
Casemiro: The Brazilian central defensive midfielder can play as a center-back as well. Casemiro joined the reserve sides of Real Madrid on loan from Sao Paulo before permanently moving to Madrid. He also spent a season on loan at Porto.
Luka Modric: The Croatian midfielder is one of the finest signings made by Real Madrid FC in the last decade. His arrival at the club provided a whole new impetus in the midfield. He played a crucial role in the four Champions League titles won by the club between 2014 and 2018. Modric also became the first player to break the Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo domination in the Ballon D’or awards by his passing prowess.
Toni Kroos: The German midfielder is synonymous to Luka Modric in the midfield. Kroos formed a formidable midfield duo with Modric after he joined the club in 2014. Kroos has played 214 games for the club and is the midfield lynchpin for the Los Blancos.
Rodrygo: The Brazilian winger joined the Real Madrid Castilla from Santos in 2019 before being promoted to the first team in the same year itself.
Mariano: After graduating from the Real Madrid Academy, Mariano joined Badalona in the Spanish fourth division before joining the reserve sides of Real Madrid. Mariano was promoted to the first team in 2016 and subsequently moved to Lyon for a season before returning to the club in 2018.
Vinicius Jr: The 20-year-old prodigy is one of the finest dribblers of the ball in the current era. The Brazilian likes to play with the ball and has an exemplary pace to burn with his feet, showing the remnants of the classic Brazilian style of play. Vinicius has played 77 games for Real Madrid FC since moving to Spain in 2018 from Flamengo in Brazil.
Lucas Vazquez: The right-winger graduated from the Real Madrid academy in 2010. He spent a few seasons in the lower divisions including a spell at RCD Espanyol before making his first-team debut in 2015. Vazquez has played 164 official games for the Los Blancos ever since.
Marco Asensio: The young Spanish winger joined Real Madrid in 2014 after playing his early years of football at Mallorca. Asensio spent two seasons on loan at his boyhood club, Mallorca and Espanyol. Asensio can play on both the wings but usually prefers the right flank.
Karim Benzema: The French striker has risen to the occasion and successfully filled the void left by the departure of club legend Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus. The striker had a series of rough patches in previous seasons but is on some fantastic form now. Benzema has scored 190 goals in just 378 fixtures for the clubs, and can be considered as one of the greatest Real Madrid players in the last few years.
Eden Hazard: Hazard’s move to the club has been plagued by regular injuries and match fitness issues. He has only managed to make 26 appearances in two years and just score 3 goals.
Real Madrid FC is in a transitional stage under Zinedine Zidane and the further the football season continues, the clearer it is to see that the Los Blancos are slowly but steadily getting on their feet after a streak of average seasons after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus.
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