The best players, a well-stocked trophy cabinet and supporters all around the world. Real Madrid is one of the biggest clubs in football and has a stadium that matches that status: Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. An impressive stadium where a lot of history has been written.

“Santiago Bernabéu is the best stadium I’ve played in. I enjoy every second on the field. ”
– Luka Modrić, Real Madrid player.

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Santiago Bernabéu reaches to the sky

Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is located in the heart of Madrid. The 45-meter-high stadium towers above the apartments that surround it. If you walk towards the stadium from the Santiago Bernabéu metro stop and look up from the ground to the roof of the stadium, the imposing building doesn’t seem to end. Real Madrid’s house reaches to the sky.

On the inside, Santiago Bernabéu is just as impressive, especially during matches when 81,044 supporters passionately encourage their club. The Madridistas sing to their team for ninety minutes, respond to every chance and tackle, and let the stadium boil, fueled by their Spanish temperament.

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Why is the stadium called Santiago Bernabéu?

The Real Madrid stadium is named after former President Santiago Bernabéu, who brought the club to the world top. After being a player, captain, technical director and head coach at the club, he became chairman of The Whites in 1943. Under his leadership, the current Madrid stadium was built, which was first called Nuevo Estadio Chamartín, named after the previous stadium.

President Bernabéu redesigned the club and contracted class players such as Alfredo Di Stéfano and Ferenc Puskás. In the 1950s Real Madrid became the best club in Europe. The Spaniards won the European Cup 1, the predecessor of the Champions League, five times in a row. In the 35 years in which Bernabéu was chairman, Real Madrid also became national champion sixteen times. Bernabéu held the position until his death in 1978 and is remembered because the stadium bears his name.

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Special matches on this field

The individual actions of Cristiano Ronaldo, the technical highlights of Zinedine Zidane and the goals of Alfredo Di Stéfano. The season tickets holders of Real Madrid have been spoiled enormously over the years. History has been written several times on the field of Santiago Bernabéu. For example, when Real Madrid won the European Cup 1 of 1957, in its own stadium and with 125,000 visitors on the stands.

In 1964 Spain won the European Championship final in Bernabéu and in 1982 Italy celebrated the World Cup title here. In 2010 the Champions League finale between Bayern München and Internazionale was played on this field, won by the Italian side.

One of Real Madrid’s most notable matches is the 10-2 victory over fellow townman Rayo Vallecano in 2015. First Vallecano got the lead, but then Gareth Bale scored four times, Karim Benzema three times and Cristiano Ronaldo twice.

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Abu Dhabi Bernabéu?

The best club in the world should have the best stadium in the world. That is the ambition of the current chairman Florentino Pérez. The renovation of Santiago Bernabéu started in 2019. The stadium will have a retractable roof and will look substantially different on the outside. There will also be new shops, restaurants, a roof terrace and a 360-degree screen inside the stadium. During the renovation, which will be completed in 2023, Real Madrid will continue to play in Santiago Bernabéu.

The name of the stadium might change in the near future. President Pérez wants to generate more income by adding a sponsor name. For example, there were rumours about a possible Abu Dhabi Bernabéu. The commercial madness in football combined with the history of the club.

Thirteen Champions League cups

Real Madrid has a rich history and likes to show it in the stadium. All prizes from club history are neatly presented in the Santiago Bernabéu Museum, with the thirteen Champions League cups conquered. Fans from all over the world come to the Madrid to have their photo taken with the main trophies during the stadium tour. As a visitor you also get a look in the dressing room, you can walk by the field and in the ‘Best Club in History’ museum you get to hear again why Real Madrid is, according to many football fans, the best club in the world.

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