17 January 2008
By Álvaro Velasco
Photos by Realmadrid.com
Translation by Matthew Goltz
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have met 141 times in La Liga action, nearly 50% of which have been won by the Whites. From the first ever showdowns to Raúl's first appearance, from the glorious 50's to the golden 70's, the derby is always one for the ages.
Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, and Barcelona are the only three teams never relegated to Second Division. Atletico Madrid has participated in Spain's top flight 70 different seasons, by which there have been 141 derbies in the Spanish capital. Real Madrid have won 75 of those confrontations, while Atletico just 35. The sides have drawn 31 different times.
The first offical League clash between the cross-town rivals took place on 24 February 1929. Real Madrid won 2-1 but, more importantly, it was the birth of one of the most contested rivalries in the world of football.
A Red-and-White nightmare named Di Stéfano
Victories went both ways during Real Madrid's first golden era. On 1 January 1953, the Whites defeated Atletico 3-4, and Di Stéfano was credited with a hat-trick. Don Alfredo scored thirteen goals against the arch rival throughout his La Liga career; a total nightmare for the Colchonero defense.
The 70's also witnessed entertaining matches, with Amancio, Santillana, and Del Bosque on one end of the pitch, Garate, Pereira, and Rubén Cano the other. Many more names can fill this brilliant decade for Atletico, who reached a European Cup final, won Leagues, and took home an InterContinental Cup. They were the transition years, the years that color television in Spain allowed people to feel more free.
The Quinta del Buitre and Paulo Futre
The 80's belonged to the Quinta del Buitre... And Hugo Sánchez, who played next to the Manzanares before switching to Chamartín. In 1986 the Mexican scored a goal for the Red-and-Whites in a 0-4 thrashing in the Bernabéu. The following year he scored in the Calderón while wearing a white kit. Jesús Gil and Paulo Futre landed at Atletico's doorstep in the 80's, while Real Madrid went on to win five straight La Liga titles.
The appearance of Raúl González Blanco
The 90's rolled around and Atletico Madrid won the King's Cup in the Bernabéu. Real Madrid was undergoing change after the Quinta del Buitre disbanded, but one name made a splash: Raúl González Blanco. He got his start in the Colchonero youth system, but destiny led him to Real Madrid. He's won everything ever since, and he's scored ten goals against the arch rival.
The new millenium marked Atletico's two-season stint in Second Division. What's more, the Red-and-Whites haven't defeated Real Madrid in eight straight years. The derby is forever linked to the modern history of Spain. We can only hope the relationship lasts well into the future.