The Spanish football club Real Madrid was originally founded in 1902 as the "Madrid Football Club". It became "real" ("royal" in Spanish) in 1920 when King Alfonso XIII granted the team this new name. During the Spanish Civil War though, up to 1941, it was known simply as Madrid F.C. The professional football team is based in Madrid and the players usually wear all-white uniforms thus giving them the nickname "Los Blancos" ("The Whites" in Spanish).
During the early years, Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey four times. In 1929, Real Madrid helped to found La Liga, or Primera Division, the top professional football association of the Spanish football league. By World War II, the popular Spanish club had two La Liga titles and seven Copa del Rey cups. The most successful period of the football club occurred under the presidency of Santiago Bernabéu Yeste in the 1950s. During this time they won the European Cup five times and four League championships. The 1970s were also dominated by Real Madrid, but by the beginning of the 1980s, the team seemed to have lost some of its spirit. Success returned by the mid-1980s with two UEFA Cups.
A historic record was accomplished during the 2013-2014 season when Real Madrid won their 10th European Cup and also managed to get the Copa del Rey. Last but not least, the 2016-2017 season was also very successful for Real Madrid because they won two important titles: La Liga and the UEFA Champions League.
Attaining such excellence is only possible when one has some of the best players in the world. Among others, some of the famous names that joined the ranks of Real Madrid over decades are Santiago Bernabéu Yeste, Adolphe Mengotti, Alfredo di Stéfano, Raymond Kopa, Ferenc Puskás, Francisco Gento, Butragueño, Michel, Hugo Sánchez, and Fernando Redondo. As of the 1990s, the Spanish football club began investing tremendously in attracting foreign players to the team. A team of superstars in the 2000s included such famous names as David Beckham, Luis Figo, Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Kaká, Cristiano Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos. These extremely well-paid footballers were nicknamed "Los Galácticos". Currently, former player Zinedine Zidane is the manager of Real Madrid.
Paying extremely high transfer fees and wages, as well as the costs of top installations, has its consequences. This is the reason why Real Madrid is also known for having huge debts. The club's debt by the end of the 2009-2010 season was estimated at 659.9 million euros. Back in 2015, the Spanish football club was considered to be worth 3.24 billion euros. The 2016-2017 season brought the club an annual revenue estimated at 674.6 million euros.
Real Madrid is probably one of the world's most famous football teams and this is why they have fans literally all over the world. The "whites" have 2,267 official fan clubs worldwide. It is important to note that official Real Madrid fan clubs must have at least 50 registered members. The first Real Madrid fan club was founded back in 1920. Outside of Spain, there is a total of 131 official fan clubs registered. The Real Madrid social media presence is also impressive: Around 23 million followers on Twitter, 47 million on Instagram and 96 million on Facebook.
The venue where football enthusiasts can meet to watch their favourite football club play in Madrid is the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. The Read Madrid official stadium was named after one of the club's president, and former player, Santiago Bernabéu, who prompted the construction of this stadium back in 1945. The capacity of the stadium reached 120,000 in 1953, but this had to be significantly reduced to meet UEFA regulations over the years. The current capacity is 81,044 spectators. The stadium is located in the Chamartín district of the capital city of Spain and it has its own metro station along line 10, conveniently called Santiago Bernabéu.