Friday, November 06, 2015

Un Tour Del Bernabéu

Situated in Madrid’s smart Chamartín district is one of the world’s most impressive football stadia. El Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, named after its illustrious former president, opened in 1947 and holds a current capacity of 81,044. Home to Real Madrid, it has staged every major international tournament, including the World Cup (1982), Euros (1964) and four European Cup/Champions League Finals, the most recent being just five years ago.

As with most major football clubs these days, Real offers a full stadium tour to supporters and historians (Figures 88.1, 88.2, 88.3, 88.4 & 88.5). However, what sets Real apart, from all but an elite few, is a trophy cabinet which contains something other than a small carpet. In addition to five consecutive European Cup triumphs, Real boasts more major trophies than any other club in the world.

Figure 88.1: Bernabéu ticket office

Copyright © 2015 Paul Spradbery

Figure 88.2: Stadium tour ticket

Copyright © 2015 Paul Spradbery

Figure 88.3: Tour information leaflet

Copyright © 2015 Real Madrid CF

Figure 88.4: The view from Row Z

Copyright © 2015 Paul Spradbery

Figure 88.5: Stadium model on display

Copyright © 2015 Paul Spradbery

Its current manager, Rafael Benítez, used to live a couple of miles from me – in a much larger house – on the Wirral in England. Our daughters attended the same dancing school, and I found him to be polite and friendly whenever we met. For that reason alone, I am happy to see his club presently joint top of La Liga with their equally famous rivals, Barcelona. The next instalment of El Clásico takes place at the Bernabéu a fortnight tomorrow.

Copyright © 2015 Paul Spradbery

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