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Football (soccer) in Madrid: Real Madrid

Football (soccer) is without a doubt the most popular hobby in Madrid, and the one that rouses the most passion. Real Madrid is one of the most famous teams in the world. Three other teams are also well known in Madrid: Atlético de Madrid, Getafe and Rayo Vallecano. The football league lasts nine months, but the stadiums are open for visitors throughout the year. Santiago Bernabéu (Real Madrid’s field) is the most visited. The stadium has souvenir stores, a museum and a restaurant with views of the field. Tours of the inside of the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium are also available.

The Football League

Soccer (football) in Madrid: Real Madrid - Atlético de MadridThe four football teams of Madrid play in a national league that lasts nine months (September to June) and that is divided into various categories. The most well known are Primera and Segunda (First and Second). Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid and Getafe play in Primera. Rayo Vallecano plays in a lower category known as Segunda B.

Besides the national league, the Spanish teams compete in other national and European competitions. The Champions League (former Europe Cup that held games between the best European teams) is the most well-known competition and has one of the most prized trophies. Another important competition in Spain is the Copa del Rey. This is where the teams from the national league’s three primera categories compete against each other. Many of the players of the four Madrid teams also play on Spain’s national team.

Football Teams in Madrid

Madrid football (soccer): Real Madrid Soccer (football) in Madrid: Atlético de Madrid Soccer (football) in Madrid: Rayo Vallecano Madrid football (soccer): Getafe

The most popular teams in Madrid are Real Madrid, el Atlético de Madrid, el Getafe y el Rayo Vallecano.

Madrid football (soccer) game: Valencia - Atlético de MadridReal Madrid (1902) and Atlético de Madrid (1903) are the most traditional teams in Madrid. The Real Madrid fans are known as “madridistas” or “vikingos” and their uniform color is white. The followers of Atleti (Atlético de Madrid), are known as “colchoneros” or “rojiblancos” because of the white and red stripes of their uniforms. These two teams are the most important in the history of Madrid, while Getafe and Rayo Vallecano have gained importance toward the end of the last century.

Atlético del Madrid is not a very constant team, but has provided some surprised: in the last ten years it was able to win the League and the Copa del Rey in one season (something very complicated) and also drop down to Segunda before moving back to Primera. It has nine league championships, nine Copa del Rey titles and an International Cup title as well. The club also has smaller teams, such as Atlético B or the feminine team, that play in lower categories.

The stadium of Atlético del Madrid (Estadio Vicente Calderón. Paseo Virgen del Puerto 67. Tel. 902 260 403. Metro Pirámides) has a capacity of 54.851 spectators. Its interior holds official product stores, a bank branch, an insurance company, car repair and wash, travel agency and private rooms.

Rayo Vallecano usually plays in Segunda B, two categories lower than the primera division. Its players dress in white with a lightning bolt on the back of the jerseys. The team’s stadium, Estadio Teresa Rivero, is in the Vallecas neighborhood (Calle Payaso Fofó s/n. Metro Portazgo).

Getafe has their stadium, the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, located in the city of Getafe, 15 km to the south of Madrid. One can get to the location via the Red de Cercanías de Madrid. Their uniform has white and blue stripes.

Real Madrid: Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Official stores and ticket sales

Real Madrid: Estadio Santiago BernabéuReal Madrid (Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Calle Concha Espina 1. Metro Santiago Bernabéu) is the most well known team in Madrid. The club’s fame is due to its number of trophies. It has won more Copa de Europa championships than any other team in the world, with a total of nine. Real Madrid also has been champion of 30 national leagues and won the Copa del Rey 17 times. The eternal rival of Real Madrid the Barcelona Football Club, also known as Barca. The games between the teams usually are the most watched on a national level and the game tickets usually sell out in a few hours.

The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium organizes tours of the interior. The hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., except for game days when they close five hours before the beginning of the match. Tickets are sold at the Taquilla #10 (Ticket office #10). The price is 7€ for youth up to 14 years old and 9€ for adults.

The Santiago Bernabéu tour begins at the top of the stadium, from which one can enjoy an impressive panoramic view of the grounds with a capacity for 80,000 people. Afterward there is a visit to the Palco de Honor, a group of seats reserved for celebrities and VIP members. The third place along the tour is the technique zone, where the team benches and playing field are. Then the tour group heads to the Real Madrid Museum or Trophy Room, in which one cad admire the many team awards and get to know the history of the club through photographs. The final visit is the store, where one can purchase shirts, footwear, scarves and souvenirs.

Real Madrid: Santiago Bernabéu StadiumBesides the two stores located in the stadium, there is another official Real Madrid store on Calle del Carmen 3 (Metro Puerta del Sol). The official web site also offers the possibility of purchasing through the internet.

Real Madrid game tickets are sold daily during the season at the ticket offices at the stadium. TicketSpain has tickets to football games and to other shows as well. The site entradasmadrid provides the game schedule and availability for tickets and access to the stadium.

Another club attraction is the Real Madrid restaurant, Realcafé (Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, gate 30. Tel. 914 583 667). This restaurant is inside of the stadium and allows one to dine or have a drink while enjoying views of the field. The café has two different ambiences: the top section is elevated over the stadium seating, has an air conditioned terrace and is reserved for meals and dinners. The lower part is perfect for having a coffee or a drink. The specialties are the rice dishes, the seafood and the parrilla (grill) of meats. There is also a wide selection of international wines available. The cafeteria is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The restaurant is open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for meals and from 8 p.m. to midnight for dinners. On game days the restaurant is closed two hours prior until 90 minutes after the game. Reservations are recommended by calling 914 583 667 or through the Realcafé web site.

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