Stadium History (2)

In the twenties, after spending a brief affair in the Linear City Velodrome, Real Madrid built a field which caused great excitement inside and outside the capital of Spain. In 1924 the club built the Old Chamartin, historical sports field with a capacity for 15,000 spectators. That was his home for 23 years.


At the end of the 1922-23 season, after winning the Central Region champion, the great event of the campaign was the forced abandonment of the old field in O'Donnell street. The landowner, Laureano Garcia, asked Madrid to let him free to build houses. Club leaders, started negotiations with Arturo Soria, creator of velodrome that existed in the Ciudad Lineal. There were no problems with the Soria family and within a month, as directed by the architect José María Castell, Real player for six seasons (1913-1919), the velodrome will be adapted for football practice.

A memorable date

The opening of the stadium, one of the first grass fields of the capital and a theoretical capacity of 8,000, had a great impact. To celebrate the opening, the Board of Directors of Real Madrid hosted a banquet in the superb restaurant of the Ciudad Lineal, sitting at the table with the notable players who then opened the field and the representation of the Press and the Federation.

Assistance resented

The spectators were in the stands, space and comfort, but failed to be sufficient grounds for the exodus of a great number of fans. Move to the Velodrome was an adventure. Had to take the tram to “Ventas” and there a yellow tram, very slow, which arrived at the “Ciudad Lineal”. The assistance was resented and the Club, after failing to reach an agreement with the owners of the new Metropolitan Stadium, decided to take the great adventure of building a new field.

Loan of 500,000 pesetas (3,000 euro)

Chamartín field was a vision of Carlos López-Quesada. Former Real Madrid player and manager on several occasions, proposed the idea and how to carry it into effect. In late 1923, the Real Madrid leased for a period of six months and half a field located 900 meters from the Hippodrome, known by the name of “Villa Rosa”.

The completion of the works demanded a loan of 500,000 pesetas (3,000 euro), which was endorsed by Carlos López-Quesada, the president and directors Pedro Parages, José de la Peña and Bernardo Menéndez. Took over the leadership of works José María Castell. Their project included the construction of a grandstand with 4,000 seats and all developments and existing facilities of the best sports fields.

Election of the new name

There was discussion about the name that should bring the new field. Some wanted to call it “Real Madrid Sports Park”, but majority chose the more modest “Real Madrid Football Club Field”. The fans called it Chamartín and it has passed into history, but never was its official name. The final purchase of the land became effective on June 30, 1927. The club was headed by Luis Urquijo.

Great premiere

To inaugurate the stadium was organized a match against Newcastle, the english professional team, which offered such an excellent game in the traditional FA Cup. Real Madrid won the match 3-2 and created great enthusiasm among his supporters.

Future in Focus

More than twenty-four years passed before the Real Madrid opened the New Chamartin, seated on the pillars of the old, which was sublime prologue of the current stadium. Years in which the joys and sorrows came together on that historic field. A field, the Old Chamartin, which practically had to be rebuilt after the Spanish civil war.

In 1943, Santiago Bernabéu, after becoming president, thought the initiative to build a stadium that was the envy of European football. The Old Chamartín was the prologue to the new and majestic coliseum Madrid.

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Legends: Santiago Bernabéu


Santiago Bernabéu
Playing career

Bernabeu was born in 1895 in a village of Albacete.He was the seventh son of José Bernabéu, lawyer and administrator in Valencia, and Antonia de Yeste, of cuban origin. With only five years he moved to Madrid with his parents and brothers.

After reaching the capital of Spain, Bernabéu entered the Alfonso XII Royal School of the Augustinians in “San Lorenzo de El Escorial”, where he had his first contact with football. In addition, his older brothers Antonio and Marcelo were also players. Later he studied high school at the Cardenal Cisneros Institute and studied law at the Central University. Although he graduated as a lawyer, never pursued that career.

At school Bernabéu began playing center forward on the soccer team, a position he assumed in his first team, Gimnástica de Madrid. During his time as a bachelor gets to enter Madrid FC- the current Real Madrid CF, where his brother, Antonio Bernabeu, was one of the founding partners. Although the coaches wanted to play as a goalkeeper, his brother Marcelo managed to convince them to play the striker position. The player was part of the youth team for three seasons, until in 1913 he debuted in the ranks of first team

Bernabeu was Real Madrid striker from 1913 to 1927 and during its period of activity scored 69 goals in 78 games, being a hard and effective player.Was also part of the Madrid squad that won the Copa del Rey 1917. Santiago never played an international soccer match in the Spanish team, although it got to be summoned for a match against Portugal on December 17, 1922, without ever debut.

Santiago Bernabéu (Player)
Member of the Board

Santiago Bernabéu retired from football in 1927 and wanted to continue leading the football team. At that time took a position as delegate and assistant coach, and a year later was appointed manager during the period of President Luis Urquijo.

In 1929 he assumed the secretariat of the Board of Directors of Real Madrid, a job he held until 1935. In those years saw the birth of the Spanish Football League with the professionalization of the institutions as the main objective. Its work was instrumental in the signing of players such as Ricardo Zamora. In 1934 Castilian Football Federation awarded him the medal for footballing merit.

With the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War took refuge, for two years, in the embassy of France. Later he went into exile in that country and in the last months of the conflict he enlisted in the ranks of the national side.

Real Madrid Presidency

After the war, he returned to the Real Madrid leadership positions, which in those years going through a difficult situation losing most of their best players and without stadium or office. In those years, married in 1940 to Maria Valencia and took a position as a Finance Ministry official.

On September 15, 1943, the Board appointed Real Madrid president Santiago Bernabéu, who has set as its objective the construction of a new stadium, heal the battered economy of the club and professionalize the institution. In June of 1944 formalized the purchase of some adjoining land to the former Chamartín to build the facility, and finally the new Chamartin Stadium was inaugurated on December 14, 1947 with victory over Belenenses 3-1 with 70,000 spectators in the stands. The Board of the club changed the name of the camp on January 4, 1955 by the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, despite the initial reluctance of the president.
Later he opened the sports city, an independent training center of the football stadium which was the usual venue for the preparatory exercises.

In a first stage without success in sports, Bernabéu tried to consolidate the reform on the Real Madrid sporting institutions. After, the club won major titles becoming one of the powers of international football (16 Spanish Leagues, 6 Spanish Cups, 6 European Cups and 1 Intercontinental Cup)

He passed his last months of life relatively smoothly and the president received important awards, including gold and diamond medal of the Royal Spanish Football Federation and the gold medal for sporting merit, awarded by the King Juan Carlos I. He died on June 2, 1978.

History: 1961-1970

A glorious cycle was drawing to an end after two defeats in two different European Cup finals against Benfica and Inter Milan, respectively. The decline of the players that had thrilled the whole of Europe ended with their departure from the Club. Miguel Muñoz's generational reshuffle was eventually successful. The so called "Ye-Yés” regained the European crown by winning the Club's sixth European Cup.

Madricide against Barcelona

Real Madrid were eliminated from the European Cup for the first time in November 1960 against Barcelona. English referees Ellis and Leafe played a big role in the Madridista defeat. The former allowed an unfair penalty to Barcelona at the Bernabéu and the match eventually ended with a 2-2 score. The latter disallowed four Real Madrid goals at the Camp Nou and Barcelona won 2-1. The international press heavily criticised Ellis and Leafe's performance and coined the term Madricide to describe Real Madrid's unjust elimination.

Barcelona get thrashed eleven days later

Real Madrid took revenge from their defeat against Barcelona a few days later by defeating the Catalans 5-3 at the Camp Nou on 4 December. The Real Madrid remained the king of Spanish football. Titles, in this decade, fell in the showcase of Real Madrid, despite the great figures (Rial, Di Stefano, Puskas, Santamaria ...) were leaving the club at different times. Had to renew the equipment and Miguel Muñoz injected new life into the team, primarily with young Spanish players. On March 12, 1961, the team wins a league in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Until that day, no Spanish team had made so many records in the league. Won twenty-four of thirty games played, taking the title with five days in advance. Puskas was the top scorer with 27 goals. With this victory, the Madrid won the trophy property.

Defeat in Europe

The big disappointment came in the European Cup. The date of May 2, 1962 saw the Benfica wins in the Cup final in which all adverse circumstances are allied against Real Madrid. It was one of the most bitter days for society. Bad luck haunted whites over 90 minutes. Bitterness is mitigated by achieving a historic double in football homeland. On July 8, 1962, team defeated Sevilla in the spanish cup final 2-1.

The new sports city

On 18 May 1963, the Real Madrid sports city was opened, located on “Avenida de la Castellana”. The sports complex will glorify the heritage of the Club and host future values of the base teams.

Di Stéfano kidnapped for three days

Alfredo Di Stéfano was kidnapped at the Potomac Hotel in Caracas, where Real Madrid were staying during the World Club Championship. He was taken away the night of the 21 August 1963 by the Libebration Front of Venezuela. "I thought they were going to kill me," wrote the player in his autobiography "Gracias, Vieja". The kidnapping had great impact and his captors got the publicity they wanted. Di Stéfano was freed three days later.

Di Stéfano's bitter farewell

On 27 June 1964, Alfredo Di Stéfano played his last official match as a Real Madrid man at Vienna's Prater Stadium against Inter Milan in the ninth European Cup final, which the Italian side won 3-1. Di Stéfano had a confrontation with coach Miguel Muñoz and Santiago Bernabéu took the latter's side. The President offered the player to stay at the Club to do other jobs, but he refused and signed for Español.

Five consecutive League titles... Again

Real Madrid are the only team to have won the League five consecutive times twice in the spanish competition. The first time they achieved this was between the 1960/61 and 1964-65 seasons and they repeated the feat between the 1985-86 and 1989-90 seasons. No other Spanish team has been able to break this record.

The "Ye-Yés" crown themselves as European champions

Miguel Muñoz's generational reshuffle of the team in 1964 was successful two years later. On 11 May 1966, Real Madrid won their sixth European Cup title at Brussel's Heysel Stadium against Partizan Belgrade, whom they defeated 2-1. This was the "Ye-Ye" team. "Ye-Ye" was how youngsters were called in Spain in the Sixties, especially those who looked like the Beatles. The team back then was formed by Araquistain; Pachín, De Felipe, Sanchís; Pirri, Zoco; Serena, Amancio, Grosso, Velázquez and Gento.

Closing decade

In the last years of the decade, the team continues its course in the Spanish championship, winning three league titles in seasons 1966-67, 1967-68 and 1968-69, in addition to winning spanish cup in 1970 after beating Valencia at the Nou Camp, 3-1.

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Stadium History (1)

First field next to the bullring

On a site next to the bullring the Madrid Football Club installed the playground. The land was owned by Queen Christina, mother of Alfonso XIII, who leased by the almost symbolic price of 150 pesetas (1 euro) per year. In the growing Alcalá street, crossing the tram tracks that reached "Ventas del Espíritu Santo", there was a building, the "Casa de las Bolas", whose bass, was a tavern called "La Taurina". There the players dressed and kept the goal posts.

Opening next to bullring

On March 6, 1902, the organization was officially founded under the presidency of Juan Padrós Rubio. Three days later, the "Heraldo of Sport" published this review: "On Sunday the 9th of this month (meaning March 1902) held a match in the field next to the bullring, the first of which is proposed to hold this company (Madrid Football Club) to serve test for players and be able to form its first team"

The best of the village and court

In the 1911-12 season, Madrid Football Club would be the best course in Madrid city. Urban growth, coupled with the growth of members, was the main reason to move to their new field, located in the block adjacent to the former, between "Duque de Sesto", "Fernán González", "Narváez" and "O'Donnell" streets. The field was packed into a true team effort. Most partners, including Santiago Bernabeu and his brother Marcelo, Pedro Parages, Julio Chulilla, Carlos Aparicio, Bernardo Melendez, José Irureta, Luis Saura ... got to work in preparing the field, paving the way, nailing stakes or arranging seats.

A fence to prevent invasionsA fence to prevent invasions

The increasing influx of spectators forced to take a measure of some significance: separating players from spectators by a physical barrier. Thanks to money from members and a loan that made the vice president Pedro Parages, the vocal Federico Revuelto, and Juan Padrós first president of the club, and the material provided by the timber handler Adrian Piera, a first fence was built, painted white to prevent the invasion of fans on the pitch. Before the official opening, the Madrid held some matches in the field of O'Donnell. One of them in July 1912, with Barcelona as the rival. The opening of O'Donnell Field was the October 31, 1912.

The most modern

In 1914, a year after the premiere, the Club made another large investment in the field of O'Donnell, built a platform of choice for the authorities, the directors and the families of the players, with a capacity for 216 people. Added a general tier iron chairs to accommodate 600 to 800 spectators. A sufficient capacity, if we consider that, at that time, the Club said to have about 400 members. The beginning of every game was a ritual. Players carried the goals post and mounted it with nails and wooden boxes. It was the third most expensive addition of the field that, nevertheless, was considered one of the most modern of the time.

Goodbye to intimate field

On February 6, 1916 opened the new stand of choice. It had a capacity for 6,000 spectators. That year, also was built for 7,000 pesetas (42 euro), a prefabricated house that became a wardrobe, which were installed toilets and showers that were the envy of football in Madrid. At that time, Madrid Football Club disbursed a total of 25 pesetas (0,15 euro) a month for the maintenance of the site, after had installed electric lights in the house.

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Legends: Juan Padrós


Juan Padrós

Born in Barcelona in 1869, son of Timoteu Padrós and Paula Rubio, who ran a textile business in the Catalan capital. In 1886 he moved to Madrid, where he led with his brother Carlos, the family business “Al Capricho”, a fabric boutique at number 48, Calle de Alcala.

On March 6, 1902, along with his brother and former members of the Sky Foot Ball Club, founded the named Madrid Foot Ball Club. Juan Padrós was elected to the Constituent Assembly as the first official president of the club and took charge of the probate proceedings of the society, whose first office was installed in the back room of his own trade of Alcalá.

The first meeting of the new formed club took place just three days later face among themselves members of the entity, divided into two groups: blue and red. Juan Padrós, sided with the former, while his brother was the referee of the match.

After creating the new club, the efforts of the brothers parents focus on the implementation of a national inter-club championship. The Championship of Spain was organized by the club, always with the help of his brother Carlos, then chairman of the regional federation.

In 1903 Juan Padrós saw as the presiding club won their first title, the Central Regional Championship.

In early 1904, Madrid FC absorbed “AS Amicale” and, shortly afterwards, joined the “Moderno FC”, after which Juan Padrós left the club presidency in favor of his brother.

After a long period away from the football matters, the name of Juan Padrós returned to the present in July 1911, when the assembly of the Spanish Federation of Foot-ball Clubs asked him, as president. The pressures did, finally, Padrós to accept the position on an interim basis that had rejected a year earlier. His term lasted only one year, long enough to achieve the reunification of Spanish football around the Royal Spanish Football Federation, founded in September 1913.

History: 1951-1960

Real Madrid turned legend into myth in the 1950s. The Club celebrated its 50 year anniversary and signed Di Stéfano during this magnificent decade. The arrival of the Argentine player was an inflexion point for the Whites. The team won their first League in 21 years and Bernabéu and Saporta played key roles in the establishment of the European Cup, which Real Madrid won five years in a row. The crowning moment to the decade was the Whites' victory in the first Intercontinental Cup.

On March 6, 1952 will mark the Golden Jubilee of Real Madrid. On this occasion were organized various events, including an international tournament. The Millionaires, most representative team in the American continent, is awarded the trophy. In its ranks, a man dazzles the fans white: Alfredo di Stefano. On 28 June this year, the Madrid began a tour of Latin America. After two games in Colombia, go to Venezuela to compete in the Small World Cup in the round robin mode. Despite the high level of rivals, Ipiña team is awarded the tournament deservedly.

The soap opera that was Di Stéfano's signing

Alfredo Di Stéfano met Santiago Bernabéu in March 1952 during the anniversary celebrations and his signing for the Club resembled a soap opera in which Santiago Bernabéu, Raimundo Saporta, Enrique Martí, Barcelona President and Technical Secretary José Samitier, Millonarios President Alfonso Senior, River Plate President Enrique Pardo and Spanish FA Board Member Armando Muñoz Calero played leading roles. Bernabéu's strategy and Martí's mistakes made Di Stéfano sign for Real Madrid.

Alfredo Di Stefano

Di Stéfano's hectic debut

On 23 September 1953, Alfredo Di Stéfano, his wife and daughters arrived in Madrid from Barcelona at 10:30 am. As soon as he entered Madrid's Atocha Railway Station, the player went to the Club, passed his medical exam, had lunch, left his family at the Emperatriz Hotel, met his new teammates in the dressing room and played his first game at 3:30 pm. It was a friendly game against Nancy the Whites won by 4-2. Di Stéfano scored his first goal as a Real Madrid player on the 67-minute mark.

Third League title, 23 years later

The first consequence of Alfredo di Stéfano's signing was winning the 1953/54 League. The Club hadn't won the title since the 1932/33 season and euphoria spread throughout Madridismo. Twenty-one years later, fans could sing the victory chant again thanks to coach Enrique Fernández.

Chamartín Stadium is renamed as Santiago Bernabéu Stadium

In the 4 January 1955 General Assembly, Messrs. Zapater and Caso proposed changing the name of the stadium to Santiago Bernabéu. The proposal was approved and the President reluctantly accepted this honour as it was the will of the Club's voting members.

Driving force behind the creation of the European Cup

Santiago Bernabéu was one of the people to enthusiastically embrace the proposal of Gabriel Hanot -Chief Editor of L'Equipe- of creating a European tournament to determine which was the best team in the continent. On 2 April 1955, representatives of the most prestigious football clubs in Europe heeded the call of L'Equipe Director Jacques Goddet and met at the Ambassador Hotel in Paris. Bernabéu's leadership skills amazed everyone at the meeting.

The European legend starts in Geneva

Real Madrid made their European Cup debut in the competition's first edition on 8 September 1955 in Geneva against Servette. They won 2-0 thanks to goals by Muñoz and Rial. The Madrid expedition was greeted the day prior to the match in Lausanne by Queen Victoria Eugenia, Don Juan and Don Juan Carlos -currently Juan Carlos I, King of Spain.

First European champions

After eliminating Servette and complicated sides like Partizan Belgrade and Milan, Real Madrid defeated Stade Reims in the Paris final 4-3, coming back from a 2-0 score in favour of the French side. The trophy was a 23.2 kg, 66 cm tall amphora. The 13 June 1956 victors were: Juan Alonso; Atienza, Marquitos, Lesmes; Muñoz, Zárraga; Joseíto, Marsal, Di Stéfano, Rial and Gento.

Two-time European Champion at the Bernabéu

On 30 May 1957, 125,000 fans witnessed how Real Madrid were crowned European champions for the second time running at the Santiago Bernabéu after defeating Fiorentina. The Italian side's catenaccio was responsible for the 0-0 score at the end of the first half. The draw was kept on the score until the 70-minute mark, when Di Stéfano scored from a penalty that came from a tackle on Mateos. Six minutes later, Gento netted a spectacular lob that went over keeper Sarti and Real Madrid eventually won the match 2-0. Real Madrid's starting line-up was as follows: Juan Alonso; Torres, Marquitos, Lesmes; Muñoz, Zárraga; Kopa, Mateos, Di Stéfano, Rial and Gento.

Di Stéfano is awarded his first Ballon d'Or

Alfredo Di Stéfano received his first Ballon d'Or from Jacques Ferrán, Director of France Football, on 23 January 1958. The ceremony was held at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium before the Real Madrid-Sevilla European match scheduled for the day. Di Stéfano scored four of the eight strikes Real Madrid tallied against the Andalusian side. Di Stéfano was awarded the Ballon d'Or again in 1959.

Three-time European Champion

Real Madrid became European champions for the third time at Heysel Stadium in Brussels after defeating Milan in overtime 3-2. The extraordinary match saw both teams showcasing professional pride. Gento's goal in overtime crowned the Whites as champions.

Ferenc Puskas

11 August 1958, after tough negotiations, Ferenc Puskas was acquired by the entity. Will be a great reinforcement of the season. A legendary figure in world football, is considered one of the best players in history. Nicknamed "Little Cannon Pum Pum" due to his unerring left-foot shot and his goals.

Ferenc Puskas

European kings again

Madridismo triumphed again in the fourth European Cup final. The match was held in Stuttgart and Real Madrid faced an old foe: Stade Reims. The Whites earned a 2-0 victory thanks to goals by Mateos and Di Stéfano and kept their European crown. Real Madrid were already considered as the best team in Europe.

Five-time champions

On 18 May 1960, Real Madrid won their fifth consecutive European title in Glasgow, a feat that as of today stands unrivalled. Hampden Park saw how the Whites defeated Eintracht Francfort 7-3, thanks to four goals by the unforgettable Puskas and three by Di Stéfano

First Intercontinental Cup champions

On September 4, 1960, Real Madrid were crowned as the best team in the world after beating, in the first Intercontinental Cup final in history, Montevideo Peñarol by 5-1 on aggregate. After the first leg, played in Uruguay and ended with 0-0, Real Madrid did not miss the opportunity to offer a new title to the 120,000 spectators who lined the steps of the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Puskas (2), Di Stefano and Herrera made local five goals, and Spencer scored the consolation goal of Peñarol.

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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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History: 1931-1940

All signs pointed to the great launch of Real Madrid as the best Spanish team. At the beginning of the decade, team earned two consecutive victories in the recently released “Liga” (1931-32 and 1932-33). Also won the title of Spanish Cup in 1934 and 1936. But, when all smiled at Real Madrid, Spanish civil war came ...

A bar at the Club

At the start of 1931, Real Madrid renewed their headquarters on "15, Caballero de Gracia" Street. The Club expanded its offices and bought new furniture. President Luis de Usera and Technical Secretary Pablo Hernández Coronado had new offices built, but the greatest novelty of them all was the construction of a bar in which visitors could refresh their dry throats during football gatherings.

Real Madrid lose their crown

On 14 April 1931, the arrival of the Second Spanish Republic deprived Madrid of its royal title and the crown was taken off the logo. From then on, club went back to be known as Madrid Football Club.

League champions on Barcelona's field

Real Madrid won the first of its 31 League titles in the 1931/32 season. League championship came to be threatened by a coming strike of referees, but their disunity made it fail. Throughout the campaign there was an intense side by side between Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, which was not resolved until the last day, when the Basques were defeated in Santander and Real Madrid tied at two goals against Barcelona in the old field “Les Corts”. After the trip to the capital of Spain, Madrid dispatch was received at City Hall by the mayor, who officially welcomed them, saying, on behalf of the people of Madrid, gratitude for the conquest of this honorable title. Real Madrid had written an epic, not only having won the title but to do it without losing a match. The solid defensive trio formed by Zamora, Ciriaco and Quincoces -the team only conceded 15 goals-, had a great share in the success.

Ciriaco, Zamora and Quincoces
Second straight title

With great football, focusing on the fighting spirit and the quality of the players, the champion did not give options to its rivals, although it started and finished the tournament with defeats. During the campaign, José Samitier, until then Barcelona idol, joined the roster and with his refined technique and vision of the game enhanced the template. The championship was another hard fight with Athletic Bilbao, which exceeded at the final by two points, giving them their second consecutive league. Olivares, with 16 goals, was the top scorer in the championship.

Nearby was the team to repeat at the next three seasons, but in all team was left with honey on lips and with the "title" of runners, at the distance of one point of the winners, Athletic (1933-34 and 1935-36 ) and Betis (1934-35). However, on May 6, 1934, Real Madrid won the Cup tournament after 17 years of drought in this competition. In the final, defeated Valencia 2-1, goals scored by Hilario and Lazcano.

Alberty, the first foreigner at Madrid Spanish football had opened itself to the rest of the continent, and on 12 June 1934 Madrid went on a European tour. During the trip, they signed Fortuna Dusseldorf's Jacob Bender, but the German FA eventually didn't allow the transfer. Months later, on 20 December, a team comprised of Spanish players faced the national team of Hungary at Chamartín Stadium in honour of the Spanish international players that took part in the Italian World Cup. After the game, Hungary goalkeeper Gyula Alberty Kiszely, signed for Madrid and became the first foreign player to play on the team in the Club's history.

The first Madrid-Barcelona Cup final

On June 21, 1936, Real Madrid and Barcelona faced in the Spanish Cup Final. A large highly anticipated match that raised enormous expectations. With Valencia as a backdrop, both teams, and then the most representative of Spanish football, left the skin on the pitch to get the win. The Real Madrid started the match with great success, achieving two goals by Eugenio and Lecue. Then Escolá got catch up. And under a deep domain of Barcelona, came the great leadership of Ricardo Zamora with an anthology stop -which would be the last with the team in an official match-and gave Madrid the title. Real Madrid won 2-1, but had 10 players. Escolá hooked a powerful shot that went straight to the net. And there was Zamora, emerged from a cloud of dust to stop the poisoned shooting. That sensational speech marked the end of a player and the beginning of a legend. Men who achieved the historic feat were: Zamora, Ciriaco, Quincoces, P. Regueiro, Bonet; Sauto, Eugenio, L. Regueiro, Sañudo, Lecue and Emilín.

Seized by the Popular Front

The war started on 18 July 1936. The same day, the Club, along with every other sports entity in the country, was seized by the Popular Front who appointed their own people to run it. That's how Juan José Vallejo came to run the Spanish FA, the Football Association of Castilla and Madrid FC at the same time. Madrid kept functioning as always at the offices on 4 Recoletos Street with Pablo Hernández Coronado acting as Secretary and Head of the sports side of the Club, and Carlos Alonso being responsible for Chamartín Stadium.

Madrid vetoed by Barcelona

Pablo Hernández Coronado tried to make Madrid survive during the war, but the three steps he took trying to do so failed. He couldn't manage to get the team to play in the Valencia Championship and the Catalan Championship and his project for a European tour collapsed. The Catalan Championship started on 4 October 1936 with the following teams: Barcelona, Español, Sabadell, Gerona, Granollers and Badalona. Madrid coach Paco Bru managed to get the Catalan teams accept having Madrid in the tournament, but Barcelona vetoed them and they weren't allowed to take part in the Championship in the end.

Establishment of the Salvation Committee

The Salvation Committee was created when the war ended on 1 April 1939. It was presided by Adolfo Meléndez and it comprised Mssrs. Parages, Urquijo, Oliver, Coppel and Ortiz de Zárate. Its Secretary, Pablo Hernández Coronado, called up a meeting at 8 Fernanflor Street. After reviewing the appalling state Chamartín Stadium was in, Pedro Parages said: "This will be a complicated problem to solve because we will need approximately 300,000 pesetas to rehabilitate the stadium, an exorbitant sum these days".

The first full house of the post-war period

Chamartín Stadium reopened on 22 October 1939 to hold the first derby of the post-war period. It was a Regional Championship fixture in which Madrid defeated Atletico 2-1. Support for football didn't decrease with the war, and despite the fact that the cheapest tickets cost five pesetas -a price heavily criticised back in the day for being too expensive- the stands were full of fans that fervently rooted for their team.

Chamartín Stadium during Spanish Civil War
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History: 1921-1930

In this third decade, Real Madrid has become an international benchmark, thanks to the tours made by several European countries. In addition, the team made a successful American tour. In the brief period of one year, the Real Madrid stadium changed twice. The last year comes to Madrid the legendary Ricardo Zamora.

Santiago Bernabéu joins Atletico for a year

Prior to the start of the 1920/21 season Santiago Bernabéu left the Real Madrid team, for the first time since his arrival in 1912, although fans saw him play in several friendlies with the “eternal rival” shirt. In 1921, and after donning the Atletico Madrid shirt for a match against Español, the Spanish FA denied Santiago Bernabéu the authorisation to play in the semifinals of the Spanish Cup, because had not passed one year since his departure from Real.

The first team to wear black armbands

Nowadays it's very common to see teams wearing black armbands as a sign of mourning. Madrid was the first team ever to wear the armband for such use, and it was seen for the first time, in a match against Atletico Madrid on March 5, 1922, in honour of the deaths of "Madridista" player Sotero Aranguren and Bilbao player, Rafael Moreno “Pichichi”.

Ruete keeps off Bernabéu of the national team

After being called up several times by the national team, Santiago Bernabéu could have made his debut with Spain against Portugal in Lisbon on December 17, 1922. He was all dressed to play when national coach, Julián Ruete, gave Pagaza the nod instead. “I was surprised that they called me up, but even more that they allowed me to dress, but coach didn't want to play with me”, stated Bernabéu.

One year at the Ciudad Lineal Velodrome

Real Madrid were forced to leave O'Donnell field in 1923 because the owner wanted to develop the land. Therefore, the team moved to the Velodrome at Ciudad Lineal which was the first grass playing field they had ever used. The grounds belonged to Arturo Soria's heirs, who then rented it to Real Madrid. It measured 108 metres long by 68 metres wide, and had enough room for 8,000 spectators.

Chamartín, a crazy undertaking

Less than a year later, on May 17, 1924, occurs the opening of Chamartín field, with capacity for 15,000 spectators, built by José María Castell. Real Madrid paid tribute him in his dual capacity as former Real Madrid player and architect. It was inaugurated on May 17, 1924 with a match between Real Madrid and Newcastle United. The hosts defeated the English side 3-2 in front of 15,000 onlookers. The new Madridista field was full-capacity for that match. In 1947, the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium was built on top of parts of this land.

Chamartín Field

The first English tour

Businessman Enrique Alcaraz was responsible for getting Real Madrid to play in England, the birthplace of football, for the first time. Despite the fact that every match against the English teams ended in defeat, the British press unanimously praised Real Madrid's talent and playing style.

Pedro Parages banishes black shorts because they are jinxed

Real Madrid had always dressed in white, until the 1925/26 season, when the shorts of the official kit were changed to black. A string of bad results led the Club President, Pedro Parages, to leave the black shorts idea because he thought they were jinxed.

Coach Santiago Bernabéu

In 1926, the head coaching job was given to Santiago Bernabéu when President Luis Urquijo decided to replace Juan de Cárcer. Then, in 1928, he was in charge of the team for three months after coach José Ángel Berraondo. During the 1932/33 season, Bernabéu became interim coach for one month between the departure of Lippo Hertzka and the arrival of Robert E. Firth.

American tour stirs excitement

Real Madrid's first American tour was a big hit in Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Cuba, Mexico and the United States. During three and a half months the team was on the two continents when they won 16 of the matches they played. José García Echaniz was responsible for the Madridista expedition and Santiago Bernabéu was the Club representative.

League Championship: “La Liga”

On February 10, 1929 there is a milestone in Spanish football, with the dispute on the first day of the new League Championship. It is established the First Spanish Division with ten teams: the six champions of Spain, among whom was the Real Madrid, the three runners, and the winner of a qualifying tournament among a dozen teams; Racing Santander won the tournament. It was made a championship that gave a definite boost to Spanish football. The Real Madrid debut is settled with victory over Europe 5-0. The Real Madrid is the first leader of the league. Good start in a competition that will bring fans great satisfaction.

The first Madrid-Atletico derby

Madrid and Atletico met for the first time on February 21, 1929, in matchday 3 of the League Championship at the former Chamartín field. It was the first official derby of the new tournament, and Madrid won 2-1 thanks to a double by Triana, while Marín scored the lone strike for the Rojiblancos.

First League runner-up

Real Madrid led the first Spanish football League for the first ten match days, and it looked like they would easily win the League title. But the Madridistas were surpassed by Arenas de Guecho and Barcelona. Madrid retook the lead in the second part of the tournament by defeating Arenas, in what was their best game of the season. But the loss against Athletic Bilbao at San Mamés in the last match of the season kept Madrid from winning the title. They had to settle for runner-up, just one point behind Barcelona.

Zamora signing has national impact

The negotiations between Pablo Hernández Coronado and Damián Canellas, technical secretaries of Real Madrid and Español respectively, produced the transfer of the legendary keeper to the White Club. The Zamora signing caused a national stir, because Madrid paid to the Catalan Club, the astronomical figure of 150,000 pesetas (900€). “The Divine,” as Zamora was also known, made his Real Madrid debut on October      5, 1930 against Atletico Madrid in matchday 4 of the Regional Championship.

Ricardo Zamora
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History: 1911-1920

The second decade of life of Madrid begins with an acute crisis that gets into the minds of fans and players. The prayers of the president to replace him are not taken into account. Consumed more than half a decade, the team returns to winning ways sports.

Only the energy of a few people, Padrós, Parages, Aparici, Chuilla, Saura, Prats and some others, contains the defections. The president, Adolfo Melendez, back and forth to Morocco, and his repeated prayers to replace him are not taken into account, as this would have seemed a tough call in these circumstances. It is at this time, early years of the decade, when there is a qualitative leap in the emerging sport. After the first moments of curiosity about the new sport, started the task of keeping sports and corporate efforts. The leaders noted that to overcome the economic instability it is necessary to increase the social mass of spectators who come to the field.

The Bernabéu family sets foot in the Club

Antonio, Marcelo and Santiago Bernabéu joined Madrid Football Club at the start of the 20th Century and forever left their mark on its history. Antonio had the organisational talent: he was a founding member of Bologna FC and later became President of the Spanish Football Association. Marcelo was an outstanding player, and Santiago was everything possible for the Club: player, delegate, director, secretary, and President.

Bernabéu debuts at the age of 16

Santiago Bernabéu made his Madrid debut on March 3, 1912 when he was only 16 years old. It was in a friendly match against English Sports Club, and it took place at the "Pradera del Corregidor", along the Manzanares river in Madrid. The Madridista squad defeated the English side 2-1, and Bernabéu, playing as a left midfielder, scored the winning goal.

Creation of the Regional FA and his first tournament

Adolfo Meléndez, two-time President of Madrid (1908-10 and 1913-16), presided the meeting hosted by Madrid, during which, the Madrilenian FA was created. Acting as Secretary, the main overseer of the Club signed the accord which, among other agreements, established the first competition between teams from the city, and whose winner would be elegible to play in the Spanish Championship.

Inauguration of O'Donnell Field

October 31, 1912 witnessed the inauguration of O'Donnell Field. The playing field was sandy and had a size of 115 meters long by 85 wide. The stage was packed into a true team effort. The majority of partners-including Santiago Bernabeu, his brother, Marcelo, Pedro Parages, Chulilla, etc .- are put to work clearing the land, driving stakes or arranging seats. The increasing influx of spectators forced to take a measure of some significance: separating players from spectators by a physical barrier. Thanks to the alms of the partners and a loan that made Parages, Revuelto and Juan Padrós as well as the material provided by the timber handler Adrian Piera, was built the first fence to prevent the invasion of fans to the field. This work marked the transition from a precursor game to a mass show and represented one of the large disbursements of that prehistoric Madrid.

Two days later, the headline of Spanish daily ABC said: “The match between Sporting Club of Irún and Madrid, was held at Madrid's field and was a booming success. Sporting Club is one of the best teams to visit Madrid. They pass very well and have a beautiful aerial game. Perhaps they missed in the sandy pitch. Madrid deserve the most profound congratulations for playing against a team as fine as Sporting".

The regional tournament decked in white

The Regional Championship of the city will always be linked to the history of Real Madrid. While Adolfo Meléndez, President of the Club, pushed for the creation of the tournament, the Madridistas became its domineering participant, winning 12 of the 18 editions.

Madrid-Barcelona: Eternal, epic qualifier

The semifinal of the 1916 Spanish Cup between Madrid and Barcelona turned into an eternal and epic elimination round. In those days, goals difference didn't count so the teams had to play four matches to determine the winner. Barça won the first game in the "Ciudad Condal" 2-1. Then Madrid defeated Barcelona 4-1 on the field of the Spanish Capital. The last two matches were played at Real Madrid's field. By the end of regulation time in the first, the score was a draw 4-4 and ended 6-6 at the end of extra time. Finally, Madrid defeated Barcelona 4-2 in the fourth match and qualified for the final.

The hostilities begin

In the final match of the mentioned 1916 Cup semifinals, Barcelona players walked off the pitch with seven minutes remaining in protest of the fourth goal, which they considered to be offside. During the final between Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, hosted by Español in Barcelona, the "Guardia Civil" (Spain's Civil Guard), had to protect Madrid players on their way into the dressing room. Later on, rocks and stones were thrown at the bus that transported the team to the hotel. The hostilities between the two clubs had begun.

Alfonso XIII grants the title of Real

On 29 June 1920, the club received a communication from the Primary Superintendent of his Majesty the King Alfonso XIII, which granted Madrid the title of Real. The decision, which would change the entity's original name, was eagerly anticipated by the Madridista Director.

The first tour takes place in Italy

In 1920, Madrid went on its first tour, comprised of five matches in Italy. The trip was organised by Natalio Rivas, another of the founding members of Bolonga and Madridista player. The budget for the expedition was very small, so the team was forced to eat at the cheapest restaurants they could find.

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