is a multi-sport entity headquartered in Madrid, SpainWas officially founded on the 6th of March 1902 by the brothers Juan Padrós and Carlos Padrós, under the name (Sociedad) Madrid Football Club.





Real Madrid C. F. participates in Spain’s First Division, the Nation’s top flight professional (Association) Football League (La Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional), since it’s founding in 1929. One of only three teams to have always competed, never being relegated – with Athletic Club and F.C. Barcelona. Real Madrid C.F. holds the honor of being the first historic leader of the competition, the holder of the most League titles – 32, and having earned the most points in one season, with 100 (2011/2012).

has constantly contributed to football’s progress at every opportunity, 
being creators, founding members and co-founders of various
competitions and football associations like the extinct Spanish Cup or
Championship of Spain, the European Cup, the Intercontinental Cup,

and FIFA.


is one of the most renowned and honored entities on earth,

being awarded National and International Football honors

named by FIFA (Fédération International de Football

Associations), as “The Best Club of the 20th Century,”

in December 2000. Named “The Best European Football Club

of the 20th Century,” by the IFFHS (International Federation

of Football History & Statistics), and the most titled institution 

in World Basketball. In both sports, a total of 17 European

 Cups, the highest competition for Clubs in the “old” continent,

and 7 World Championships, more than any other European

Club in either sport.





 Identifiable by it’s color White (Blanco), the Club has more than 93,000 member/socios, and the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is it’s home ground. The Bernabéu has a capacity of 85,454 seated spectators, third highest capacity in Europe. Counting a capacity of 120,000 spectators before conforming to UEFA (European Union of Football Associations) regulations.

One of the most popular Clubs in the country (Spain) and of the World. It’s one of the most highly valued sports entities in the market, one of the highest annual earning, and the richest Club in the World, topping Deloitte’s football rich often, this year’s (May/2016) KPMG Club Enterprise list (methodology using 5 specific characteristics: profitability, popularity, stadium ownership, broadcasting rights, and sporting potential), within a range from 2.8 million to 2.99 billion Euros (Manchester United 2nd, and Barcelona 3rd). Real Madrid C.F. was the first football club ever to make more than 500 million Euros per season, obtaining that in 2011-12, at an estimated 514 million. Highest amount ever reached by a sports entity until then. Forbes rates Real Madrid the most valuable football team for the fourth year in a row, ahead of Barcelona and Manchester United, with a value of $3.645 Billion (2.52 billion Pounds Sterling), and annual revenue now at $694 million (480 million Pounds Sterling).


Los Blancos: desribes the club’s all white kit. It is one of the most iconic in world football. Los Merengues: similar to los blancos, it describes a Spanish dessert, usually white, made from whipped egg-whites and sugar, and served amongst the elites. Los Vikingos: when the transfer ban was lifted in the early 1970′s Real Madrid imported a healthy amount of Northern Europeans, therefore they got the appellation of Vikings. It also refers to their rapacious appetite for titles. Los Galacticos: describes their penchant for signing the biggest stars in the galaxy.

Through their non-profit Foundation, REAL MADRID CLUB DE FÚTBOL carries it’s brand and Club philosophy to different regions of the World, conducting important social work and cooperating for international development.








The city did not take on its current fatherly duties until the foundation of the RFEF in 1909. Yet the formation of football clubs in the Spanish capital began earlier with middle-class students and staff who had studied together overseas in England, at Oxford and Cambridge. One such team to emerge was Sky Foot-ball Club, who can rightly claim to have played a part in the formation of one of the world’s most illustrious sporting institutions. A club that now occupies more stellar surroundings – Real Madrid Club de Fútbol.

Juan Palacios cancelled his Sky subscription to co-found Madrid FC

Sky Foot-ball Club was formed in 1897 by students and staff at the elite Open Teaching College – La Institución Libre de Enseñanza – many who studied together at Oxford and Cambridge in the late 1890’s. The club played on wasteland in the area of Moncloa, but within two years, a faction led by the brothers Giralt and Juan Palacios had broken away to form Madrid Foot-ball Club. Madrid’s first pitch was a square of land on the corner of Calle Valázquez and Calle José Ortega y Gasset, which they named the Campo de Estrada after the marble merchant that owned the plot. Those early games were unofficial, friendly affairs but in March 1902 textile merchants Juan and Carlos Padrós ploughed money into the club and established its first constitution. This coincided with a move a few streets to the south east on to land next to the city’s old bullring. This enclosure went by the name of Campo de la Avenida de la Plaza de Toros and was part-owned by Queen Maria Cristina, to whom the club played an annual rent of 150 pesetas. What was officially a land-fill site was soon transformed into a level, roped-off dirt pitch with changing facilities at an adjoining tavern called La Taurina.

Campo de la Avenida de la Plaza de Toros

Madrid FC continued to play at the Campo de la Avenida de la Plaza de Toros over the next decade, although there are contemporary reports of some matches being played in front of the main grandstand at Madrid’s hippodrome. The club soon started to attract the best players from Madrid’s other amateur clubs and in 1903 reached the final of the first Copa del Rey, losing 3-2 to Athletic Club at Madrid’s hippodrome. After failing to reach the final stages in 1904, the club returned to the finals in 1905 and secured its first national trophy, beating Athletic Club and San Sebastián Recreation Club in a round robin tournament. This was the first of four consecutive victories in the Copa del Rey and established Madrid as Spain’s top side. With football growing in popularity in the Spanish capital, Madrid FC outgrew their home next to the bullring and from 1910 started to occasionally use a pitch on the corner of Calle O’Donnel & Calle Narváez.

On borrowed time – The Campo Plaza de Toros

This was only slightly better than the Plaza de Toros site, but in 1912 the club fully enclosed the ground and added a wooden fence around the dirt pitch. It was officially inaugurated on 31 October 1912 with a match against Sporting de Irun, which finished one a-piece. Madrid FC rented the stadium for 1,000 pesetas per annum from Laureano Camisón and spent 6,000 pesetas of their own money in 1914, when they built a short covered stand that housed 216 spectators. The Campo O’Donnell with its capacity of 5,000, was now the best stadium in Madrid, but as significant was the fact that among the volunteers that had helped with the build was one Santiago Bernabéu.

A club painting of the Campo O’Donnell

It was at the Campo O’Donnell where Bernabéu would make his name playing as an inside forward, however the success of the club’s early years proved to be more elusive. The formation of clubs such as Unión Sporting Club and Racing Club de Madrid diluted Madrid’s pool of talent and it took another five years for Madrid to win another national trophy. This came in a replayed final of the Copa del Rey at Barcelona’s Camp de la Indústria, where Arenas Club de Getxo were eventually defeated 2-1. A year later, Madrid FC returned to the final which was staged at their Campo O’Donnell, but a side that featured Santiago Bernabéu lost 0-2 to Real Union de Irun. In June 1920, the club sought and was granted royal patronage, thus becoming Real Madrid, but time was running out at the Campo O’Donnell, as the owner wanted to develop the land. Pressed into finding a quick solution, the club opted to move out of town to a newly built velodrome in the eastern suburb of Ciudad Lineal.

A packed Campo O’Donnell in its latter years

The Velodrome was owned by Arturo Soria who charged the club 1,500 pesetas per annum to use the 8,000 capacity arena. The stadium was full to capacity when Real Madrid beat Real Union 2-0 in their first match at the new ground on 29 April 1923. The stadium’s principle use was for cycling which meant that the spectators behind the goal were perched high on a bank, some 30 meters from the nearest action. It did however have a grass pitch, Real Madrid’s first and the suburb of Ciudad Lineal was reasonably well served by tram links. However the trek across town proved too tiresome for the majority of the club’s support and after a mere 12 months at the venue, the club moved to a more central location. The velodrome was purchased by the Plus Ultra insurance group in 1943, whose senior team eventually became Real Madrid’s reserve section in the 1950’s.


Lacking eastern promise – Playing at Ciudad Lineal 

Real Madrid was not content with renting and having purchased land in the northern Chamartín district of town, set about building a stadium. Architect José Maria Castell was commissioned to design a 15,000 capacity stadium and he did not disappoint, coming up with a typical “Estadio Inglés” (English Stadium). It featured three open banks of terracing and one covered grandstand, which held 4,000 and had a central pointed gable on its pitched roof. The Campo de Chamartín would not have looked out of place next to the great designs of Britain’s leading stadium architect Archibald Leitch. As if to underline the very Englishness of the new arena, English F.A. Cup-holders Newcastle United were invited to open the new stadium on 17 May 1924, and a sell-out crowd watched the locals prevail, winning 3-2 with Real Madrid’s Félix Pérez scoring the first goal at Chamartín.


Home in the country – Chamartín before the urban sprawl

The new stadium did not herald a new era of Real Madrid dominance. That would have to wait until the beginning of the 1930’s when, following the arrival of talismanic goalkeeper Ricardo Zamora from Español, the club won back-to-back league titles in 1931-33. Victory in the Copa del Rey followed in 1934, and a further appearance in the final came in 1936. However, with the clouds of Civil War gathering, the league was suspended. Real Madrid made attempts to join the Catalan Championship, but these were thwarted, so the club was effectively mothballed during the hostilities, which is more than can be said for the Campo de Chamartín. Close to the front-line, the main stand was broken up for fuel and the terracing and pitch all but destroyed. It took six months and 300,000 pesetas to restore the ground before football could resume on 22 October 1939, when Real Madrid beat Atlético Aviación by 2 goals to one in front of an increased capacity of 22,000.


In its Prime – Chamartín hosts the 1931 final of the Copa del Rey


The years following the Civil War were a barren period, but in 1943 Santiago Bernbéu began his reign as club president. Since retiring as a player, Bernabéu had studied to become a lawyer, but had also coached and served the club as secretary. One of his first acts was to propose the building of a new stadium, and the purchase of 5 hectares between the Campo de Chamartín and the Castellana, the main thoroughfare to the north of the city. It cost a mammoth 3 million pesetas, but Bernabéu had a plan for Spain’s first super stadium, and saw great promise on the north end of Madrid. He broke the first ground himself, in October 1944. On this site, at a staggering cost of 38 million pesetas, Real Madrid would build the new Estadio Chamartín. Such was the close proximity of the new stadium that the north-west corner of the existing stand encroached onto the east side of the new build. This meant that the club had to vacate the Campo de Chamartín so that work could be completed on the new arena. Real Madrid played their final game at the old Chamartín on 15 May 1946, a 4-5 defeat to CD Málaga, before spending just over a year as guests of Atléti at the Estadio Metropolitano.


– Built in the classic English style –



The new stadium starts to take shape
The Campo de Chamartín was raised to the ground during the summer of 1946, just as the first trophy of the Bernabéu era had been secured with a 3-1 victory over Valencia in the Copa de Generalisimo. No trace of the old stadium remained when the Nuevo Estadio Chamartín opened its doors for the first time on 14 December 1947. As we now know, Santiago Bernabéu’s gamble proved to be an inspired move.



 The dream of Santiago Bernabéu: Nuevo Chamartín
Back in 1947, when the Nuevo Chamartín (now called Estadio Santiago Bernabéu) opened its doors for the first time, Real Madrid was already a powerful club, but not the club with more titles. Real Madrid had achieved 2 Ligas in the times of the II República in the 1930s and 8 Copas, while Athletic has won 5 Ligas and 17 Copas, being the most important club until this date. The importance of the Nuevo Chamartín in the future victories and current status of Real Madrid is enormous and everything was a dream of their legendary and visionary president Santiago Bernabéu.
Santiago Bernabéu was born in Almansa (Albacete) in 1895 and grew up in a middle-class family. Being five years old, his family moved to Madrid. His first team was Real Gimnástica de Madrid, an already disappeared football club of the capital of Spain, where he started to play as forward, but he moved to Madrid CF (without the Real title yet) soon, the team of his brother Antonio, one of the founder members of the club.
After three years in the youth system, he made his debut in the first team in 1913, being 18 years old. Santiago Bernabéu played for Real Madrid until 1927, scoring 69 goals in 78 games. After his retirement, Santiago Bernabéu started to study law, but he never worked as lawyer, since he preferred to work in different positions inside the club, starting as part of the technical staff to end up as Secretary of the Board of the club from 1929 to 1935, when he resigned for his opposition to the new president Rafael Sánchez Guerra, although he stayed as member of the Board.
Since the times of the II República, Santiago Bernabéu had shown his political sympathies for the conservative right-wing party (CEDA) and, when the Civil War started, he looked for shelter in the French Embassy for his sympathies for the rebels led by Franco in a still democratic republican Madrid. Bernabéu went into exile, but in the last years of the Spanish Civil War he joined the army of the General Franco in the front of Catalonia (Cataluña).
After the war, he got a job in the tax administration and recovered his place in the Board of Real Madrid. On the 15th of September, 1943, Santiago Bernabéu was named the 21st president of the club. Real Madrid had been playing in a stadium with a capacity for 15,000 fans located in the lands of Chamartín de la Rosa since 1924, back then an independent village (now a district) in the north of Madrid. But the massive development of football in Spain during the following decades and the poor state of the facilities after the Civil War (the stadium was used to classify prisoners) made Santiago Bernabéu propose a new stadium as a main column of his new project.
Back in 1934, Santiago Bernabéu visualized the Paseo de la Castellana (one of the main avenues which connects the historical downtown with the north of the city) as a main artery of the future Madrid and expressed his worries about the future of the old stadium of Chamartín, which was going to get suffocated in the future development of the city. In 1943, in his first speech, the president Bernabéu stated:
“Sirs, we need a bigger stadium and we are going to do it.”
Only one year later, the club bought the lands for 3 million pesetas (18,000 euros of those times), which were located next to the old stadium of Chamartín, and opened a contest of projects that was won by Manuel Muñoz and Luis Alemany, who proposed a stadium with a capacity for more than 100,000 fans.
The construction was not easy, the project was labeled as mammoth and it was very difficult to find financial help to fund the building projects. Finally, the Banco Mercantil e Industrial gave Bernabéu the loan they needed to start the construction of the stadium in April 1945. But the club also had to overcome other problems, like the lack of concrete and steel or even seeds for the grass. Finally, when the construction of the first phase of the stadium was complete, the Nuevo Chamartín opened the doors in December 1947 in a friendly game against Os Beleneses. In those days, the facility counted on a capacity for 75,145 fans, 27,645 of them enjoyed seats (7,125 covered) and 47,500 standing (2,000 covered).

Back in 1947, the Nuevo Chamartín was a unique stadium in Spain compared with other stadiums. Les Corts, the home of FC Barcelona was a big but old stadium that had reached its limits in 60,000 locations in 1943, and San Mamés (Athletic) could surpass the 50,000 locations after the renewal finished in 1952. The new home of Real Madrid was modern and its design allowed future renewals to increase its capacity.

In the following years, the club started the 2nd phase of the stadium, which was already used by the team. In June 1954, the club finished the construction of the stadium, which had a capacity for 125,000 fans (7,149 seats covered; 24,079 seats non covered; 19,000 covered stands and 74,772 uncovered stands). At that point, the Nuevo Chamartín was the biggest in Europe and the innovations in architecture (like the “Y” form of the beams) were remarkable.

In 1955, the Assembly of Socios (membership) gave a new name (the current name) to the stadium: Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Since the end of the construction of the stadium, Real Madrid started their dominance in Spain, winning 18 Ligas and 6 European Cups in the following 25 years, until the death of Santiago Bernabéu. These figures showed how important this stadium was in the success of Real Madrid in the second part of the 20th century.




In the following decades, the stadium did not change much. Probably, the most remarkable event was the illumination, which began working in 1957, allowing games to be played at night. During the 50s and the following decades, the Santiago Bernabéu stadium hosted the European Cup of Nations in 1964, 3 European Cup finals (1957, 1969 and 1980) and an endless list of Copa finals.

The World Cup of 1982 in Spain was the reason for the next series of important changes in the stadium. Since 1954, the Santiago Bernabéu had changed little and the modern stadium of the 50s had generated questions about it’s future. The Club president, Santiago Bernabéu proposed the construction of a new stadium in the mid 70s, since the maintenance was very expensive, given the lack of changes in the previous decades. The project faced some legal problems that did not allow the idea to proceed, and finally, in the early 80s, the club decided to adapt the stadium to the new times.



In its regulations, FIFA forced the World Cup final stadium to have seats in at least half its capacity and two thirds of the seats had to be covered. For this reason, a roof had to be built, covering the perimeter of the first and second ring, except the East lateral zone. The construction of the roof and the new seats reduced capacity from 125,000 to 90,800 spectators. Other new aspects of the stadium were the renewal of the facade, the new electronic scoreboards in the north and south stands and the new press zones, locker-rooms, access and surroundings. The cost of the renewal was 704 million Pesetas (500 of them paid by Real Madrid).




In the mid 80s, UEFA set important safety norms after the tragedy of Heysel and an increase of hooliganism in European football. The stadiums were forced to create independent access to different locations inside the stadium and install seats for the entire capacity of the stadium. These measures reduced capacity significantly in the stadium, given the many standing sections of the Bernabéu. Then president Ramón Mendoza commenced efforts to increase capacity, which started in 1992 and finished in 1994 and cost 5,000 million pesetas (30 million euros), and had an important impact in the club’s income. The program consisted of a third ring in the West lateral stand and renovating the stands behind the goals. 20,200 seats locations were created, with an 87 degree inclination to ensure good vision. Four towers were also built to hold the new stands and the external height grew from 22 to 45 meters. The final capacity was 106,000, which was later reduced to 74,328 seats when then president Lorenzo Sanz finally conformed with the new all seat UEFA rules.

Already in the early 2000s, in the first stage of the presidency of Florentino Pérez, the club announced the “Director Plan of the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu”, which aimed to improve the comfort of the stadium, the quality of the facilities and to maximize the income generated by the stadium. 127 million were invested to increase the capacity of the stadium and the stadium facade, along side other minor renewals (locker rooms, VIP zones, restaurants, macro-store, etc.). The final and current capacity of the stadium is 85,454 – all seated.


Santiago Bernabéu Stadium






Estudio Lamela was commissioned by Real Madrid to develop an important project involving the enclosure of the façade and the roof of the east side of the stadium adjacent to Calle Padre Damián as well as the restoration and functional relocation of the interior spaces. The proposal submitted sought to solve the functional needs of the Club as well as give a contemporary and state of the art image to a Club which sees itself as being very much at the forefront of XXI Century stadium design.


The project “New East Side of the Bernabeu” dealt with the extension of the rows of seats in the third circle of the East Side increasing the number of seats in order to achieve a capacity of 80,000. Furthermore, it is intended to cover the seats with a light roof which will enclose the stadium. There is a huge façade made up of metallic mesh where images can be projected onto, which gives a uniformity and continuity to the East Side between the towers. These will be reinforced to give structural support to the huge lattice roof. Further refurbishment is planned in order to create new areas with boxes to lodge all the installations of the new development. Under these rows of seats the President’s Box will be relocated along with the VIP areas, boxes, catering areas and the area for the press.

This project is the culmination of several schemes Real Madrid F. C. has undertaken in recent years in order to modernize its Stadium. At the beginning of the 90s, Lamela Arquitectos carried the huge extension and refurbishment of the two far ends of the ground as well as the stand, which faces the Castellana.

They also brought their knowledge, understanding and experience in the development not only of this project but the ambitious project for the New Sports City “Real Madrid” at Valdebebas. 


Recently, information about another renewal of the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu surfaced. According to this news, president Florentino Pérez wants to propose the biggest renewal of the stadium since its construction. The renewal, which would need approval of the Assembly of Socios and the City Council of Madrid, is very ambitious. Florentino Pérez plans to accomplish with his dream: the construction of a futuristic roof which would cover the whole stadium.

The project consists in the renewal of the facade of the main tribune, located in Paseo de la Castellana, in order to build facilities for a shopping mall with stores and restaurants, a parking and a hotel with suites that would allow its visitors to watch the game from the room. The whole stadium would be totally covered by a roof which would allow the installation of heating in the entire stadium. According to this news, the architect would be the American Frank Gehry,  who designed Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum. Florentino Pérez aims to increase the revenue of the stadium to 200 million euros per year.

This project would be the fulfillment of the dream Santiago Bernabéu once had in the early 40s. Back then, empty lands surrounded the city, today the stadium is located in the financial and business center of the city. The Santiago Bernabéu stadium was a reference point since its early days and the club has decided to continue with this tradition. A temple of football that saw the best players of the planet during the last 65 years. A stadium that never gets old. The madridistas will enjoy a “new” Bernabéu, keeping the tradition and the history of an eternal stadium.







FROM  5,000 to 10,000  MORE SEATS.




If Real Madrid is able push through its planned stadium expansion, the Bernabéu will become the third largest ‘5-star’ stadium in the world. The aim is for the new ground to seat 93,000 fans, putting it behind only the Camp Nou (98,772) and the Azteca Stadium (105,000).

The Madrid fortress would thus outstrip all the world’s other major grounds. The new Wembley houses 90,000, and is followed in capacity by the San Siro (87,500), the Olympic Stadium in Rome (85,000), the Soccer City Stadium (84,490), the Stade de France (81,000) and Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park (80,552).

‘Los Blancos’ are determined to add 10,000 extra seats in the new stadium, which will also feature a retractable roof and a new electronic panel system. Other details are still to be determined, including the best way for the club to foot the bill for the redevelopment. Some of the proposals incorporate a much more exclusive and luxurious VIP area like the one at the new Wembley, which generates €10 million a year.

The other main source of revenue will be the surrounding shopping centre, as the agreement with Madrid City Council means the club will be able to make use of extra space in the area around Paseo de la Castellana. The cost of the stadium will be between €200m and €250m with the hope of paying that off within 5 years. Getting full value out of these new commercial areas will be vital in the club’s bid to write off the cost.




Santiago Bernabéu Stadium