History: 1941-1950

If in the sport this decade was the weakest of all the history of Real Madrid, from here starts the future success of the Club. Madrid was destroyed after the civil war, but this was a prescient man, Santiago Bernabeu, who will lay the foundations of a team that, over the years, will be recognized as the Best Club of the twentieth century.

The Club recovers its crown

On January 1, 1941, after recovering its crown, Madrid Football Club changed their name to Real Madrid Club de Fútbol. The Real Madrid was reinforced by a number of players trying to mitigate the effects of civil strife that had left the team without its most emblematic figures. Thus, in the first year of the decade came Barinaga and Olivares, two players who would make history in the Club. By contrast, the April 5, 1941, one of the great legends of the club, Jacinto Quincoces, considered the best defender in the world at the time, played his last game for Real Madrid.

Historical victory against Barcelona: 11-1

In the second leg of the semifinals of the Spanish Cup in 1943, Real Madrid earned an historical victory over Barcelona, defeating the Catalans 11-1. The Whites were bitter about the 3-0 defeat at Las Corts Stadium in the first leg and the bad reception Barcelona's fans gave them. They stepped onto the pitch at Chamartín Stadium determined to earn a victory and sealed a spectacular 8-0 score at the end of the first half. At the end of the match, the score-board reflected an historical figure: 11-1. Pruden (4), Barinaga (3), “Chus” Alonso (2), Alsúa and Botella scored Real Madrid's eleven strikes, while Martín tallied Barcelona's only goal.

Bernabéu's era begins

Antonio Santos Peralba, President of Real Madrid, and Mesa de Asta, President of Barcelona, were forced out of their jobs by the hostilities between both teams during the semifinals. In gatherings attended by outstanding figures at Real Madrid the name of Santiago Bernabéu, who had no dealings with the Club since 1935, came up. He was easily convinced to become the Club's next President and his appointment was made public on 15 September 1943. Ernesto Cotorruelo, President of the Football Association of Castilla, presided the Presidency Handover between Peralba and Bernabéu, which was also attended by members of their Boards of Directors.

With him as President is opened the largest page in the history of Real Madrid. A few months later, the first major project of Santiago Bernabéu is becoming a reality: they buy land to build a new stadium. Two months later, work began: Santiago Bernabéu, pick in hand, symbolically began the construction of the stadium that years later will bear his name.

Santiago Barnabéu
Chamartín cost 37 million pesetas

In spring 1943, Santos Peralba pointed out that a new stadium should be built and that it should hold a crowd of 40,000 people. Less than a year later, Santiago Bernabéu was much more ambitious in one of his Board meetings: "Gentlemen, we need a much larger Stadium and we are going to build it." Bernabéu decided to build a stadium capable of holding 75,000 people in its first stage and whose building works would amount to 37 million pesetas (222,375 Euro).

Bernabéu's first two titles

The 1940s weren't the best of decades for Real Madrid, but they marked the start of Bernabéu's office and the Club's return to winning titles. Jacinto Quincoces takes over the team. On June 13, 1946, ten years after the great final in Valencia, Real Madrid validates the Cup title with Valencia who started as a clear favorite. Real Madrid won 3-1. That same year, Quincoces consumes his great ambition: Luis Molowny join Real Madrid. The second consecutive Cup of Spain was won in 1947 after defeating Español 2-0.

Pioneer in having numbered shirts

On 23 November 1947, in a game against Atletico Madrid at the Metropolitano Stadium, Real Madrid became the first Spanish team to wear numbered shirts. It was Pablo Hernández Coronado's idea. The Spanish FA liked the initiative an decreed in 1948 that every team should have their players numbered in the range between 2 and 11. Once again, Real Madrid were pioneers in Spanish football.

Spectacular inauguration of the new Chamartín Stadium

The inauguration of the new Chamartín Stadium was very solemn. A mass was held on 14 December 1947, followed by a series of acts paying tribute to Santiago Bernabéu's vision and to the members whose money had financed the construction. The match between Real Madrid and Os Belenenses kicked-off at 3:30 pm when they were over. Real Madrid defeated the Portuguese side 3-1 and the new Colosseum became the pride of all Madrdismo and the envy of every football Club in Spain.

Chamartin Stadium 1947
Kubala's failed signing

In 1948, Real Madrid underwent a radical renewal of their squad. Two years later, they tried to sign Ladislao Kubala, who had arrived in Spain with his then team Hungaria. Negotiations were called off because the player wanted to include his brother-in-law, Fernando Daucik, as coach in the deal and Bernabéu did not comply.

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