Let me guess, one of the first ideas that comes to mind when talking about Madrid is football (soccer) and all that it entails, teams, its fans, the competitions and its celebrations. Men’s football is the king of sports or entertainment in Spain, it has millions of followers.
The most important competition is LA LIGA that includes several divisions, the most important is the 1st Division which this year and because of its sponsor is called La Liga Santander.
—It starts in mid-August and ends in mid-May —says Paloma efficiently.
—There are 20 Spanish teams participating —adds Almudena.
—Of which no less than 4 are from Madrid.
—OK, name them, I know you’re looking forward to it —jokes Almu.
—Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, Getafe and Leganés —Palo replies quickly.
—League matches are usually held on weekends.
Each team has its own stadium, training area and even stores where to buy their shirts and other merchandising. The two main stadiums are the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium (Real Madrid) and the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium (Atlético de Madrid).
—Don’t forget to mention that Wanda is the new stadium of Atlético —proposes Palo.
—True! Until very recently its stadium was the Vicente Calderón to which its followers were very fond —Almu points melancholic, showing her “colchonero” heart.
—It should also be noted that the Bernabéu is in the middle of Castellana and on match days, the traffic of the whole area suffers.
—In addition, each stadium has its own tour to visit it and some even good restaurants facing the field.
—And you can buy the tickets (for the matches and for the tour) on their websites.
The other two Madrid stadiums of 1st Division teams (La Liga Santander) are the Butarque Municipal Stadium (Leganés) and the Alfonso Pérez Coliseum (Getafe).
Another football competition is the COPA DEL REY. All First and Second Division teams (20 and 22 respectively), 24 Second Division B teams and 19 Third Division teams participate in this competition. First Division teams do not enter the competition until the round of sixteenth finals.
—It starts in September and ends at the end of May.
—The bulk of the competition is played in two-party playoffs, except for the first three rounds, when only the Second Division, Second Division B and Third Division teams enter the competition, which is played in a single match basis.
—The venue of the final is not known until well into the season, a fact that often brings controversy depending on which teams continue to play the competition. This year’s final will be on April 18th 2020.
—The matches are held during the week.
And then there is the SUPERCOPA that brings the champion of La Liga and the champion of la Copa del Rey together. It’s an annual competition scheduled at the end of August and means the beginning of the football season in Spain.
—It’s not a competition like the previous ones, it’s just a match.
—Until the 1995 edition if a team won the titles of League and Cup, directly won the Supercopa.
—However, since 1996, if a team makes “doblete”, the title is disputed between the double champion and the second at Copa del Rey championship.
For the first time, Supercopa 2019 final was held in Jedah (Saudi Arabia) between Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid. Guess which one won…
The winners of these national competitions participate in other European and International competitions such as the Champions League and the Europe League. And, of course, some matches from these European leagues are also held in Madrid. The European team that has won more Champions Leagues is Real Madrid that already has 13. Do you think it will get the 14 this 2020?
And where do the Madrid teams celebrate their victories? The two main teams have their emblematic places: Madrid goes to Cibeles and Atlético to Neptuno. But the truth is that the first team to celebrate their titles in Cibeles was Atlético de Madrid.
—Exactly! When they won the 1962 Copa —Almu remembers with emotion.
—Then began a habit that Real Madrid copied and during the 70’s and 80’s were celebrated in the same place victories of Real Madrid and Atlético.
—They copied and perfected! Because the achievement of five leagues in a row by Real Madrid between the years 85 and 90 made Cibeles identified with the “madridistas” —slips in Palo proud of her team.
—So in 1991 the “atléticos” decided to move their celebrations a few meters away, to Neptuno and completely disassociated themselves from Cibeles.
To be a total Madrid native you only need to find out why Real Madrid fans are known as “blancos”, “merengues” or “vikingos” while Atlético de Madrid fans are known as “rojiblancos”, “colchoneros” or “indios” … certainly, some denominations are easier to figure out than others.
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