Real Madrid

Real Madrid Club de Futbol, or Real Madrid FC, as it's also known, is Spain's most successful soccer club, and according to the sport's worldwide governing body, or FIFA, it was also the world's most successful club in the twentieth century. Madrid is a city filled with things to do ranging from world-class museums to visiting the Palacio Real to taking in a soccer game by an internationally known team.

The awards list that this renowned team has managed to compile is impressive, and among other things, it includes a record amount of European Cups. The European Cup is awarded to the club that wins the prestigious UEFA Champion's League tournament. If you know anything about world soccer, you are well aware of this tournament's importance. The UEFA Champion's League final compares to the Super Bowl in terms of worldwide viewership, and every year, all the major soccer clubs in Europe hope to play in it. The Real Madrid Football Club is a perennial favorite to make it to the Champion's League final, and this has a lot to do with the year-in, year-out quality of the team's players.

Real Madrid players figure among the best players in the world, and they come from all over the globe. Much like the New York Yankees do in baseball, Real Madrid attracts some of the top talents in the soccer world, thanks largely in part to its rich history and its deep pockets. Some of the most famous Real Madrid players from past and present include Raul, who was born in Madrid and is the club's leading scorer, England's David Beckham, France's Zinedine Zidane, Brazil's Kaka, and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, to name a few. These are some of the more recent personalities who have figured on the squad sheet, and if you go back further, mention must be made of Alfredo di Stefano. Widely regarded as being one of the best soccer players of all time, Stefano, who was born in Argentina, helped the Real Madrid Football Club establish a period of dominance in the 1950s with his dazzling play.

One of the other Real Madrid players that deserves mention when talking about the club's rich history is Santiago Bernabeu Yeste. Born in 1895, Yeste joined Real Madrid as a player in 1911. In 1943, he became the club's President, and this was a post that he would maintain until his death in 1978. After taking up an administrative role, Santiago Bernabeu Yeste helped transform the Real Madrid Football Club into the Spanish and European powerhouse that it is today. To honor the man who helped the team achieve so much, Real Madrid named its Santiago Bernabeu Stadium after the legend.

One of the most prestigious soccer venues in the world, the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium can be found on Madrid's Paseo de la Castellana in the Chamartin District. Between the months of September and May, soccer fans who are enjoying Madrid vacations can hope to see a match at the renowned stadium, as this is when the team plays its home matches. Some of these matches are part of the highly esteemed Champion's League tournament, with the majority being Spanish League games. Home games are big time Madrid events, and you'll want to get your tickets well in advance if possible.

If you can't manage to get to an actual game at the famed Real Madrid Stadium, you might hope to catch one of the team's practice sessions. It's often possible to get a good look at the Real Madrid players if you attend one of the practice sessions that are open to the public. As for the location of the team's training facilities, they can be found out near the Barajas Airport in the town of Valdebebas. You can also try to catch a Real Madrid reserve team match at the training facility's 6,500-seat Alfredo di Stefano Stadium if you are a soccer fan.

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