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1981-1990

The 80s were dominated by a brilliant generation of youth-team players. ‘Vulture's Cohort’, led by Emilio Butragueño, made Real Madrid into one of the best teams in history. The goals of Hugo Sánchez also played an important role in this successful decade. The Whites won the first two UEFA Cups with some historic comebacks in Europe and magical nights in the Bernabéu.

Puedes ver el detalle de cada década en nuestro Timeline en Facebook.

In 1983, Castilla was crowned champion of the Segunda División under the orders of Amancio and with some stunning performances from five players: Pardeza, Sanchís, Míchel, Martín Vázquez and Butragueño. These gems from the academy were a real discovery and Di Stéfano did not hesitate to prepare them for the first team. The group made its breakthrough in 1985, winning five consecutive La Ligas and setting important records, such as the competition's top goal-scorer with 107.
 
Mexican striker Hugo Sánchez had a lot to do with this success. Together with veterans Juanito, Valdano and Santillana, he formed a 'Cohort' that was close to perfection. In his seven seasons in white he scored 251 goals, and was the league's top goal-scorer in four of them. His famous front-flip celebrations are burned into the retinas of Madrid fans.
 
In this decade Real Madrid also won its first UEFA title. It came in the 1984-85 season, in a two-legged final where they beat Videoton, a little-known team who had knocked out PSG, Partizán Belgrade and Manchester United. In the following campaign, the Whites successfully defended their title thanks to an unbelievable comeback. After losing the first leg 5-1 to Borussia Mönchengladbach, they won an epic tie in the return match with two goals from Valdano and another brace from Santillana to reach the quarters (4-0).

1981 - 1990
  1. FIFTH CONSECUTIVE LEAGUE TITLE

    Agustín, in the presence of Ramón Mendoza, lifts another championship title

  2. PACO BUYO, A WHITE LEGEND BETWEEN THE STICKS

    The Galician goalkeeper was one of the key reasons for Real Madrid’s success during the 1980s and 90s

  3. LEAGUE LEADERS FROM START TO FINISH

    Leo Beenhakker’s team tops the league during the whole season and is proclaimed champion with four matches left to play

  4. A DERBY FULL OF CONTROVERSY

    The clash between Real Madrid and Atlético during the 1988-1989 season ended with the Whites winning

A historical Liga

The 1986-87 season of the league was the longest in history, as the traditional two-match system underwent changes and a playoff match was added. Butragueño's creativity, a solid defence, Buyo's consistency between the sticks and Hugo Sánchez's goals gave Real Madrid the title with one match to spare. The Mexican player was chosen by the first-division players as the season's best footballer and he was the championship's top goal-scorer with 34.

A historical Liga

Victory in ‘the match of silence’

The draw for the first round of the European Cup in the 1987-88 season threw up a clash between Madrid and a Napoli that included Maradona. The Whites were forced to play the first-leg match at home and behind closed doors. Beenhakker took the opportunity to prepare in match conditions and Real Madrid played two games in the Santiago Bernabéu against a Castilla side wearing the colours of the Italian team. These practice runs paid off and the Madrid side beat Napoli in ‘the match of silence’ (2-0). In the absence of the fans, the club put up flags and banners and the members of the board left their box to cheer on the team from the sidelines. 

The decade's best team in Europe

Despite not winning a European Cup in the 80s, the Whites still gave people something to talk about in the Old Continent and the magazine France Football called Real Madrid the best European team of the decade. Alfredo Di Stéfano was presented with the Super Ballon d'Or as the best player of the last 30 years.


HONOURS
UEFA Cups - 2

UEFA Cups

2
Ligas - 5

Ligas

5
Copas del Rey - 2

Copas del Rey

2
League Cup - 1

League Cup

1
Spanish Super Cups - 3

Spanish Super Cups

3
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