The Civil War broke out on 18 July 1936, and its effects on the Old Chamartín were significant, leaving it in a dreadful state. To repair the extensive damage it was necessary to invest an important sum of money. In October 1939 it was reopened for the first post-war derby, in which the Whites beat Atlético Madrid 2-1. The fans’ enthusiasm did not wane with the military conflict and the ground was at full capacity. After successive refurbishments, the stadium’s capacity was increased to 25,000 fans, but this was not sufficient to attend to the large demand.
Santiago Bernabéu, who for a long time dreamt of building a new stadium, made it a reality in 1943 when he ascended to the presidency. He began construction on a major project that some deemed overly-ambitious, a pharaonic stadium with capacity for 100,000 fans. An impressive stadium that would bear witness to some of the most brilliant pages in the history of Real Madrid. The New Chamartín Stadium became the best ground in Europe and one of the most modern in the world. It was inaugurated in December of 1947, with a victory over the Portuguese champions, Os Belenenses (3-1). Barinaga scored the first goal at the new stadium.