This weekend prepare to get ANNIHILATED as Bass Pro Shops and Wal*Mart proudly present DC United vs. Real Madrid at FedEx Field. Featuring all your favorite players: Cristiano Ronaldo, Raul, Kaka, Emilioooo, Benny Olsen, Christian Gomez. And don't miss the second annual Barbeque Twinkie Cookoff! Tickets are just $55.00 and the first hundred fans through the gates get a free can of Natty Light! Tickets are available at ticketmaster or all Sonny's Barbeque locations through out the metro area. SUNDAY!! SUNDAY!! SUNDAY!! This weekend, be here or be queer!
At the start of 1897, young students at the Institución Libre de Enseñanza formed a sports group they named Football Club Sky. It was the direct precedent of Madrid Football Club. In 1902 Madrid Football Club was officially founded, presided over by board president Juan Padrós. Three years after the clubs founding, in 1905, Madrid FC defeated FC Barcelona 3-1 to win their first of four consecutive Copa del Rey titles. In 1920 the moniker 'Real' (spanish for Royal) was added to the club's name after huge footie fan King Alfonso the 13th granted it to the club. However, when Francisco Franco became dictator of Spain during the second Spanish Civil War the club removed the crown from the logo as well as dropped the 'Real' title being known only as Madrid CF until 1945. Real Madrid is a founding member of La Liga, Spain's top flight league. They are one of three clubs to never have been relegated along with Barcelona, and Athletic Bilbao.
Madrid, Spain is the country's largest city as well as the nation's capital. Real Madrid and their cross town rivals Athletico Madrid are the cities main sporting attractions. Madrid is also home to two basketball teams Real Madrid Baloncesto who've won 30 Spanish League titles, thanks to American Jeremiah Massey (from the D), as well as CB Estudiantes. The city of Madrid has produced a number of internationally renowned footballers including; current Liverpool goal keeper José Manuel Reina, Fernando 'El Nino' Torres, as well as Raúl González & Iker Casillas who were both awarded Lifetime Contracts by Real Madrid. Real Madrid CF have played their home matches at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium since 1947. The stadium has undergone numerous renovations since it's opening, at one point being able to accommodate over 125,000 fans, current capacity is 80,354. Estadia Santiago Bernabéu has also played host to three UEFA Cup Finals and one World Cup Final in 1982.
Nickname & Kit
Real Madrid is known as "los blancos" or 'the whites' given their home color jerseys. The original kits from 1902 featured an all white jersey with MCF (Madrid club de futbol) in royal blue. Ironically, Real Madrid's basketball team is also nicknamed "the whites". The Team's crest has always featured the interlocked letters of MCF and upon receiving the title 'Real" the crown was added. On November 23, 1947, in a game against Atletico Madrid Real Madrid became the first Spanish team to wear numbered shirts. The Spanish FA liked the initiative an decreed in 1948 that every team should have their players numbered in the range between 2 and 11.
Real Madrid was originally sponsored by Zanussian an Italian appliance manufacturer from 1982-1985, Parmalat from 1985-1992, and Teka from 1992-2001. In 2001 they signed a deal with mobile phone giant BenQ Siemens to be their lead sponsor. Following the bankrupcy of BenQ in 2007, bwin.com became presenting sponsor of the club. bwin.com is an online gaming site with spin offs such as pokerroom.com. Along with sponsoring Real Madrid, bwin is also the lead sponsor of AC Milan, Bayern Munich, FC Slovan Liberec (Czech Gambrinus liga), as well as sponsoring Portuguese Liga from 2006-2008.
Head to Head Record
In August of 2006, DC United and Real Madrid played to a 1-1 draw before a sellout crowd of over 66,000 fans at Seattle's Qwest Field. The match, which was part of pre-season friendlies for the La Liga giants, marks the only time the two clubs have faced each other. Real striker Antonio Cassano slipped a ball from Roberto Carlos past, then DC United keeper, Troy Perkins in the 22nd minute. However, none other than Alecko Eskandarian put away a ball from, Freddy 'the biggest little midget in the game' Adu, a mere three minutes later to pull United even. Despite Real Madrid taking advantage of the unlimited subs provided from the friendly match and changing their entire roster at half time, United held of Real Madrid the entire second half to secure the draw.
Named the best club of the 20th Century by FIFA, Real Madrid has a few trophies laying around. Among their honors are: 31 La Liga titles (most recently in 2007-2008), 17 Copa del Rey titles (comprable to England's FA Cup, most recently in 2007-2008), 8 Supercopa de España titles (most recent 2008), a record 9 UEFA Champions League titles (lastly in 2001-2002), 3 Intercontinental Cups (recently in2002), 2 UEFA Cups (84-85, 85-86), 1 European Super Cup (2002), and 19 now defunct Campeonato Regional Centro titles. They also have 150+ trophies from assorted friendly matches and rivalries.
Despite a 17 game unbeaten streak that saw Real Madrid get 49 points out of a possible 51, Juande Ramos was let go by Real Madrid following a 6-2 defeat away to Barcelona and a four game losing streak to end the 2008-2009 season. Manuel Pellegrini was named manager on June 1, 2009 after Real paid a 4 million euro termination fee to Villareal to acquire his services. Pellegrini played with the Chilean national team as well as spending his entire career with C.F. Universidad Catolica of the Chilean Premier League. He has been a coach in top flight leagues since 1988 spending time heading River Plate, Villareal, as well as returning to Club Deportivo Universidad Católica as manager.
The Italian term "ultra" is commonly translated to the English term "hooligan," but this ignores several important distinctions. Hooligan owes its name to a disreputable London-based Irish family from the end of the nineteenth century. The most hard core Real fans are the 'Ultra Sur', headed by Jose Luis Ochaita. The fanatics, who share their axe emblem with the international Hammerskin white supremacist movement, are feared even among the most extreme elements of Europe's soccer hooligans. Even if the mighty Hammers' Inner City Firm joined forces with Milwall's Bushwackers they couldn't come close to the Ultra Surs. Ochaita was arrested in Germany in the late 1990's for waving Nazi flags, and also banned from matches for three years for attacking a referee in Spain. Despite this he has been welcomed by both the Real Madrid players and board of directors. In 2005, after a game in which the Ultras Sur had been seen waving racist banners, Real Madrid's Roberto Carlos was seen giving Ochaita his jersey following the conclusion of the match. The supporters are so revered by the club that they keep their own office in Madrid's Bernabéu Stadium in which they store pamphlets, drums, megaphones, and flags bearing General Franco's shield and other neo-Nazi symbols. After home matches, they have been known to organize hunts of blacks, prostitutes, tramps, gays, and supporters of other clubs. Among their favored chants is: "Six million Jews to the gas chambers."
A veritable list of who's who among the footie world when you talk about notable former Real players including: Ronaldo, Robinho, Zé Roberto, Michael Owen, David 'golden balls' Beckham, Fabio Cannavaro, Zinedine Zidane, and Luís Figo to name a few. Most recently they made international headlines after signing 2008 FIFA player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo to a six year deal that is rumored to be worth €13 million per season, and also include a €1 billion buy-out clause. Their current roster includes: former AC Milan midfielder Kaká, dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, Madrid native 'Guti Haz', as well as Portugese defender Pepe.
Predicting how United will play this year has been dificult. From match to match and even from half to half, they can look poised to win the league, or mediocre at best. Given the fact that United has 6 matches in the next 30 days, and this is a friendly, you could say they won't put too much heart into the game. At the same time this is a great chance to win over potential footie fans by getting a result in front of 55,000+ fans. However, Real Madrid is way too talented to not win this, even given the fact that they face Toronto on Friday night before traveling to DC for Sunday's match (they're staying here by the way if any of you fan boys want to stalk them) they should easily dominate this game. I'll give DC one goal off a Gomez free kick.
Prediction: Real Madrid 27 - DC United 1