The highest earning club in the world, the team with most La Liga titles, that dares challengers to face them at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, coached by Zidane – all of this doesn’t even begin to describe the phenomenon that is Real Madrid.
Started as the Madrid Football Club in 1902, it was dubbed Real, meaning royal, and received the crown in its emblem in 1920. This wasn’t the club’s own vanity, this was recognition by royalty – Alfonso XIII, to be exact. It is not just a big name and a powerful brand in Spain, but in the world as well. If you’ve heard of Zinedine Zidane, his son, Luca, Alfredo Di Stefano, and the legendary Ronaldo, you know that they are the players that made the team what it is today.
Students from British universities often shared their love of football with the countries they visited, and Spain is no exception. In 1897, a club known as La Sociedad was formed, where football was played on a weekly basis. A few people left La Sociedad to form their own football club – Nueva Sociedad de Football. This is the origin of today’s Real Madrid.
In 1905, Real Madrid triumphed over Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Cup, who avenged themselves in 1929, though it was Barcelona who won the title that year. This would be merely the start of the competition between Real Madrid and Barcelona in the years to come.
The name that was bestowed upon them by the king was revoked with the emergence of the Second Spanish Republic. The name that signifies royalty was not welcome in the new democracy. After the Republic lost the Spanish Civil War, the name returned.
The club currently leads the UEFA rankings and it is, at the time of writing, the sixth strongest football team in the world. One of the biggest achievements any team could hope for is getting to be named the best team of the century. As it so happens, FIFA presented Real Madrid with this very reward. Furthermore, the club has won 7 World Cups so far, along with 13 European Cups, 33 La Liga Championships, and over fifty other trophies.
There is one compeer that stands above the rest when it comes to those that challenge Real Madrid. Barcelona has had its fair share of achievements, but the feeling of one club being bane to the other also has roots in history and politics. While on the world stage Real Madrid comes out on top, it is difficult to say which team is better, as they have bested each other practically the same number of times and experienced draws more than 50 times.Other opponents of the club are Atlético Madrid and Athletic Bilbao. Apart from Barcelona, they are the only ones that can give the club a proper challenge, and make them play their best. We’ve talked before about the first matches of the team and how Athletico Bilbao was there. That is how long this particular rivalry is.