Footballographies: football club tutorials.
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol. In 1897 students of the Institución Libre
de Enseñanza started up a club called Sky Football, commonly known as La Sociedad – The
Society. But a disagreement amongst members caused some to break off to form a ‘New
Society’: Nueva Sociedad de Football, and in 1902 this became Madrid Football Club.
Madrid F.C. had early success in the regional championships and in the Copa del Rey and
this came to the attention of the king himself, Alfonso XIII, who bestowed on the club the
title of ‘Real’ in 1920. But the arrival of the Second Spanish Republic
in 1931 meant the abolishment of the monarchy and the loss of the title ‘Real’. The
Republic was ended by the Spanish Civil War and the eventual victory of Francisco Franco
who would reinstall the royal family. Real Madrid returned but not as an English ‘Football
Club’ but as a Spanish ‘Club de Fútbol’. During Franco’s dictatorship power was centralised
in the capital city and Real did not openly reject the regime, unlike Athletic Bilbao
and Barcelona who both suffered as a result. It was during that dictatorship that Real
went on to dominate in Europe and, like many leaders, Franco wanted to align himself to
sporting success, associating the club with Castilian pride.
Real’s glory days came under the presidency of former striker Santiago Bernabéu, who
built a new stadium, La Castellana, which took his name in 1955. It was a suitable home
for “Los Blancos”, so named as they have always worn white. The club are sometimes
known as “Los Merengues” after the all white desert, meringue, and have been referred
to as “Los Galácticos” due to their star names.
What do you think of the term “Los Galácticos”?