European Footballer Of The Year 3 Times In A Row Real Madrid – a Brief History

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Real Madrid – a Brief History

Founded in 1902, Real Madrid Club de Futbol has been a powerhouse in European football since the middle of the last century. Indeed, they were awarded the honor of “Best Club of the 20th Century” by FIFA, an award for their immense domestic success and dominance in Europe. This was not always the name of Real Madrid, and the “Real” (or “Royal”) part of the name was only added after the club received a blessing from King Alfonso XIII in 1920. The club plays in a white strip and is commonly known as “Los Merengues” (the whites). The club’s home in Santiago is the Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, one of the best stadiums in Europe with over 80,000 fans and now a major tourist attraction in the city. Since the inception of the Spanish National League in 1928, Madrid has never been relegated from the top division.

The club’s success really began during Franco’s reign – he saw the club as a great propaganda vehicle and poured resources into the club to try to dominate Spain and beyond. This gave birth to one of football’s greatest rivals, the Catalan club Barcelona. Franco’s regime’s repression of the Catalan language and culture immediately pitted Barcelona against Madrid, the team representing the dictator’s regime, and some unsavory match-fixing incidents further soured relations and intensified the rivalry.

Madrid’s best period came between 1955 and 1960 when they won five consecutive European Cups. It really put the club on the map as a dominant force in Europe and no club has since matched this feat. Perhaps the best performance came in the 1960 final where they beat their German opposition, Eintracht Frankfurt, 7–3. Real have since won the trophy four more times, a total of 9 more than any other team. Real Madrid’s domestic honors include 29 league titles and 17 Spanish Cup wins, the most by any team in Spain.

Madrid have also been extremely successful in recent years, famous for having the resources to buy the most high profile signings, it seems no price is too big for Real Madrid. In 2000 they brought Luis Figo from rivals Barcelona for EUR60 million, the following year French wonder Zinedine Zidane arrived from Juventus for a world record fee of EUR71 million. Further high-profile signings were made in 2002 and 2003 when Ronaldo and England captain David Beckham were brought in by the club to bolster their star-studded squad. This policy of buying the best players has earned Real Madrid a new nickname, “Los Galacticos”.

The club’s fortunes have declined slightly in recent seasons however – three seasons since their last league win and four seasons since their last European triumph will not please many of the club’s fans. Great pressure is put on the manager and the past few years have seen rapid staff turnover; This is not a club that is used to losing so when results don’t come usually the manager bites the bullet. Last season they saw the title go to rivals Barcelona and their European run ended against Juventus in the quarter-finals – results that are not acceptable at the Bernabeu and they will look to improve on that this season and bring some home. silverware

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