Spanish football: Real Madrid
Spain Buddy resume their love affair with the beautiful game as the latest instalment of our Spanish football series hits your screens. Yes, Matthew Hirtes is once again travelling around the country’s leading clubs. This week, it’s Real Madrid’s turn in the spotlight.
Real Madrid…in 90 seconds
Bullfighting. Flamenco. Paella. These are the things your brain thinks about when triggered by the mention of the word: Spain. Oh, and Real Madrid (Club de Fútbol) too, the all whites who have played at one of the world’s best stadiums, the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, since 1947.
So very, very many. From Argentina’s Blond Arrow Alfredo Di Stéfano (1926-2014) whose leading-the-line capabilities inspired Real Madrid to five successive European Cup triumphs in the 1950s and ’60s to current hotshot Ronaldo who has notched an incredible 400+ goals for the club. In between, another striker Rául played 741 times for Real between 1994 and 2010 (the record number of appearances to date made). Although Argentina midfield playmaker Fernando Redondo, a teammate of Rául’s, was probably even more popular with his Alice band and upright stance mesmerizing to watch, as if he was gliding on the pitch rather than merely running.
Real Madrid Form Guide
Lauded as the 20th Century’s Best Club by FIFA, Real Madrid have carried that form over into our post-millennial titles. Their trophy haul makes the most successful club in the world. With 12 Champions League trophies, 33 La Liga titles, and 19 Copa del Rey final wins.
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The view doesn’t get much better than at elegant Puerta 57, boasting, as it does, a vista of the Bernabéu pitch. Another stunning club eatery’s Restaurante La Esquina noted for its Asturian food (Cachopo de Oviedo) and drink (cider). Outside the stadium, Rafael Salgado’s Jose Luís offers a gateway to Basque cuisine.
Real Madrid are a glamour club. They’re supported by the rich and famous, including heart-throb singer Julio Iglesias, legendary tennis player Rafa Nadal, and Hollywood star Tom Cruise. The Bernabéu’s current capacity is a shade over 81,000.
Damage to Your Wallet
Match-day tickets can go like the hottest of cakes and recent Super Cup final tickets started at 65€. It’s worth becoming a Madridista for priority ticket access. Tickets are available online, by phone, and at the stadium box office.
Matthew Hirtes has been an expat since moving to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria back in 2004. He's travelled extensively through Spain, covering it for such publications as Telegraph Travel, Metro, and The Independent. The author of Going Local in Gran Canaria: How To Turn a Holiday Destination into a Home, Matthew truly is a resident expert. He's also Mr Gran Canaria Local, the man behind the island's most discerning blog.