News and opinions
15 August 2012
This Sunday the official season for Real Madrid's 2012/2013 campaign begins full of expectation with their first Liga match. The Santiago Bernabéu will once again open its gates after farewelling the team last season with a spectacular party in celebration of their brilliantly achieved 32nd national championship. The Whites will kick off the tournament with a high profile match against Valencia, who qualified third last year and against whom Real Madrid will play the first day of the championship for the eighth time in history. Of the previous seven matches, the Whites won five and were defeated twice.
Five of the seven occasions in which Real Madrid has played on the first day against Valencia were home games, four of which resulted in victory for the Whites and one in defeat. The first time the two teams went head to head in the inaugural match of the championship was in the 1954/1955 campaign. Valencia won 1-2 thanks to goals from Wilkes and Seguí against Rial's goal for Real Madrid. The second time was in the 1970/1971 campaign in which two goals from Pirri secured the Whites' win in the Bernabéu.
In the 1974/1975 campaign victory eluded the Valencians in their home stadium despite Keita scoring the first goal, with Martínez and Netzer scoring twice for Real Madrid. In the 70s there were two more Liga debut matches against Valencia. The first, in the 1978/1979 campaign, was a home win for the Whites by 2-1 thanks to goals from Pirri and Stielike. The second was in the 1979/1980 campaign and was played in the same venue with a 3-1 victory thanks to a brace from Cunningham and a goal from Santillana.
The last two inaugural clashes were in consecutive seasons. In the first, a home game in the 2000/2001 campaign, Real Madrid beat them 2-1 with goals from Raúl and Figo, whereas they lost the match of the following campaign, an away game that ended 1-0 after a goal from Angulo. This will be the eighth time that both teams kick off la Liga with a showdown on the first day. Real Madrid is the team that has won the tournament most times with nine titles to its name.