1955 · 1956

The First European Cup
A legend is born

The great comeback

4 Real Madrid vs. 3 Stade de Reims

Real Madrid Stade de Reims

The European Cup was officially inaugurated on the 4th of September 1955. The idea, which was spawned by French newspaper L'Equipe and supported by UEFA, was to host a competition in which the best teams on the continent would meet every year.

Real Madrid, a club that whole-heartedly backed the competition from its initial phases, was the first champion of the tournament. After getting past Servette, Partizán and AC Milan, José Villalonga's men took on French side Stade de Reims in the final.

Set up as a clash between Di Stéfano and Kopa, two legends of European football, the fight for the title was a memorable affair. Madrid had to come from behind after going 0-2 behind in the first ten minutes, and were forced to react again when the French side scored at the start of the second half (2-3). Marquitos and Héctor Rial both found the back of the net (4-3) in the final stages of the game. The first step in Real Madrid's dominant run in the European Cup was taken.


Parc Des Princes

Paris, France
  • Alonso

  • Lesmes

  • Marquitos

  • Atienza

  • Muñoz

  • Zarraga

  • Gento

  • Rial

  • Di Stéfano

  • Marsal

  • Joseíto

Arthur Ellis



Real Madrid

Alonso, Atienza, Marquitos, Lesmes, Muñoz, Zárraga, Joseito, Marsal, Di Stéfano, Rial and Gento. Coach: José Villalonga.

Stade de Reims

Jacquet, Zimny, Jonquet, Giraudo, Leblond, Siatka, Hidalgo, Glovacki, Kopa, Bliard, Templin.


0-1 (min.6): Leblond. 0-2 (min10): Templin. 1-2 (min.14): Di Stéfano. 2-2 (min.30): Rial. 2-3 (min.62): Hidalgo. 3-3 (min.67): Marquitos. 4-3 (min.79): Rial.


Games won
Goals scored
Goals conceded
Top scorers: Rial and Di Stéfano
Real Madrid Stade de Reims


The European Cup was created in 1955 at the proposal of Gabriel Hanot, editor of L’Equipe.

Alfredo Di Stéfano and Héctor Rial were Real Madrid’s top goal-scorers in that edition with 5 each.

“We have simply done our duty”, said Santiago Bernabéu after winning the first European Cup.