03 March 2012
Realmadrid.com / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Real Madrid celebrate its 110th anniversary currently topping the league table and playing the Champions League Last 16. The club has become a leading sports entity since its foundation in 1902 and was awarded FIFA's Best Club of the 20th Century. The academy, basketball section and Foundation are sections besides the first football team that make the club proud.
Innovation, quality, sportsmanship, success... These are just a few of the words one can use to describe the history of Real Madrid since the club's foundation on 6 March 1902. The first Board of Directors was officially named on that date when the club was known as Madrid Foot Ball Club, and Juan Padros was elected as its first official President. Nevertheless, Juan Palacios is regarded as the club's first president for heading the entity before it was 'legalised'. The team's official kit consisting of white shirts and trousers was specified in the articles of the foundation document.
Real Madrid has played a vital role in the history of football. It was already a pioneer back in 1904 by participating in the foundation of FIFA, and many years later was one of the entities that created the European Cup, the most important competition at club level in the world. Real have won the title up to nine times, more than any other side in the continent. They are also the most honoured side in Spain with 31 league titles, and their incredible track record also includes three Intercontinental Cups, two UEFA Cups, one European Super Cup, 18 Copa del Rey trophies, eight Spanish Super Cups and one Spanish League Cup.
The many titles it has won, the values it embodies and the overall impact it has had in the world of football earned the entity FIFA's Best Club of the 20th Century award in 2000. This club has thrilled and continues to inspire its fans thanks to the efforts of legends like Di Stefano, Puskas, Gento, Amancio, Juanito, Butragueño, Raul, Zidane, Casillas and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Real Madrid City at Valdebebas is one of the things Madridismo is most proud of. The club's older sports city at Paseo de la Castellana had been a state-of-the-art facility in the 1960s, and the new one at Valdebebas is a leading worldwide example of what a sports facility should be. Regarded as one of the best facilities in the planet since its opening in September 2005, Real Madrid City has been evolving throughout the years and is currently the home of the 13 teams of the academy from the Under-9s to Castilla. It is also the first team's main training facility.
Valdebebas also features the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium, named after the great Real Madrid legend. It is where Castilla play their home games. The academy has always been a key element of the club and it has spawned great players, such as the Quinta del Buitre (Butragueño's Five), Raul and Casillas. The academy features quality players into whom the club's sports and human values are instilled.
Throughout its history, Real Madrid has had sections devoted to other sports, such as athletics, swimming and weight lifting, but the one that has endured to this day is the basketball section. The club's basketball team is also the most honoured side in Europe with eight European Cups under its belt, as well as 30 Spanish league titles. The team also has 23 Copa del Rey trophies (the latest won less than a month ago against Barcelona), four European Cup Winners' Cup, one Korac Cup and one ULEB Cup, amongst other accolades.