Real Madrid: 20 Reasons They Deserve to Be the La Liga BBVA Team of the Week

Roberto Alvarez-Galloso@AlvarezGallosoChief Writer IMarch 14, 2013

Real Madrid: 20 Reasons They Deserve to Be the La Liga BBVA Team of the Week

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    Real Madrid were selected to be the latest La Liga BBVA Team of the Week. The reasons range from its recent victory in the UEFA Champions League to its history.

    While there may be doubts about Real Madrid’s victory, the primary purpose is to celebrate the club. Real Madrid (like all La Liga clubs) deserve to have their history told to the world.

    The series dedicated to the La Liga teams served its purpose since last summer. Athletic Club Bilbao was the first team, and it is fitting that the series close with Real Madrid.

    The following slideshow will cover events that formed part of Los Galacticos. It will include the players and coaches that contributed to Real Madrid.

    It is hoped that the readers of this slideshow will appreciate the history of Real Madrid. An invitation is sent to the B/R readers to enjoy the slideshow.

20. The First Decade

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    The club celebrates its 111th anniversary this month, so it would be great to start this slideshow with the history of the club.

    In 1897, a group of university students found Football Club Sky. The club (the first in Madrid) was to evolve in what is now Real Madrid C.F.

    Julian Palacios was Sky's President until 1902 when he and some of the players decided to start their club. The group formed the Madrid Football Club and elected Juan Padros as their President.

    The seeds of the rivalry against FC Barcelona begins a few months after the founding of the club. The first signing for Real Madrid is Alfonso Albeniz from Barcelona.

    Real Madrid participate in matches against FC Barcelona, Athletic Club Bilbao, Moncloa and Gallia within the decade. Carlos Padros eventually takes over as Real Madrid President, and football grows in Spain.

    Carlos Padros participates in the foundation of FIFA. Adolfo Melendez takes over as Real Madrid President and is instrumental in the founding of the Spanish FA (later La Liga).

19. Santiago Bernabeu and the Stadium Named in His Honor

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    The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium is an institution at Real Madrid. It was dedicated originally as the Charmartin Stadium after World War II.

    The stadium was used to replace previous sites used by Los Galacticos such as Estrada and O'Donnell. Chamartin Stadium was renamed in honor of Santiago Bernabeu after his death in 1978.

    The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium was the site of the 1982 World Cup held in Spain.

    Santiago Bernabeu was part of a group of brothers who joined the club in the decade of the 1910s. Santiago Bernabeu started his career with the club at the age of 16 in 1912.

    During his debut, Santiago Bernabeu scored his first winning goal in a friendly against the rival English Sport Club. He remained with the club as a forward until the late 1920s.

    Santiago Bernabeu remained with the club in various functions including President. He was active in the construction of the stadium that bears his name.

    Unfortunately, he did not live to see the stadium used for the 1982 World Cup. Santiago Bernabeu, and the stadium that bears his name remain revered institutions to this day.

18. Ricardo Zamora

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    Ricardo Zamora (also known as The Divine One) was a goalkeeper for Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol. Zamora made his debut for Real Madrid in its match against Atletico Madrid in 1930.

    Zamora continued with Real Madrid until one month before the Spanish Civil War began in 1936. His last match was against FC Barcelona in Valencia.

    He left Spain during the Spanish Civil War and returned after the end of World War II. After World War II, Zamora became coach of teams such as Malaga, Celta Vigo, RCD Espanyol, Spain and Venezuela.

    Zamora's record with Real Madrid includes two League Championships and Spanish Cups. Zamora appeared in films during his career with Real Madrid.

    He died in 1978 yet his legacy in Spain lives on. Zamora was awarded posthumously the Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit.

17. Real Madrid C.F. vs F.C. Barcelona 1943

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    Real Madrid and FC Barcelona faced each other in the Spanish Cup semifinals of 1943. The first leg resulted in a victory for Barcelona at Las Corts Stadium.

    The second leg, which was held at Chamartin (now Santiago Bernabeu) stadium gave Real Madrid a stunning victory. The following results were:

    Spanish Cup semifinals first leg: FC Barcelona 3-0 Real Madrid

    Spanish Cup semifinals second leg: Real Madrid 11-1 FC Barcelona

16. Luis Molowny

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    Luis Molowny was a Real Madrid player originally from Tenerife in the Canary Islands. He played for Los Merengues from 1946 to 1957.

    During his spell as a player, Molowny was instrumental in Real Madrid winning two La Liga, one Copa del Rey (which was the Copa del Generalissimo at the time), as well as one European Cup trophies.

    Molowny later became coach of Los Merengues during the 1970s and 80s. While coach, Real Madrid won two Copa Del Rey, two European Championships and three La Liga trophies.

15. Ferenc Puskas

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    Ferenc Puskas was a legend in Real Madrid originally from Hungary. Puskas was in Spain when his country underwent a revolution in 1956.

    Puskas asked for political asylum that same year and signed with Los Merengues in 1957. Puskas managed to collaborate with Alfredo Di Stefano for sensational matches with his new club.

    An example of one of these matches was the 1960 European Cup. It was celebrated at Hamden Park before 135,000 spectators. The final score was Real Madrid 7-3 Eintracht.

    When Puskas left Real Madrid in 1966, he had a scoring rate of 512 goals within 528 matches. Puskas was instrumental in Los Galacticos winning three European and five La Liga titles.

    Puskas remains one of the leading goalscorers for Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League. He is currently in third place behind Alfredo Di Stefano and Raul Gonzalez.

    Puskas died in 2006 after a battle with Alzheimer's Disease.

14. Alfredo Di Stefano

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    Alfredo Di Stefano was born in Argentina in 1926 and signed with Real Madrid in 1953. According to the Real Madrid website, Di Stefano scored 418 goals within 510 matches.

    Di Stefano was instrumental in Real Madrid obtaining important victories in La Liga, European Cup, Spanish Cup and the Carranza Trophy. Real Madrid during Di Stefano's era obtained the Benito Villamarin Cup and the Intercontinental Cup.

    Di Stefano was awarded the Ballon d'Or trophy in 1957 and 1959 for his efforts with Real Madrid. Di Stefano later played for RCD Espanyol.

    He later continued as manager and one of the most influential figures in Real Madrid. According to (in Spanish), Di Stefano defended Jose Mourinho's term as manager.

    Di Stefano is currently in second place as one of the leading goalscorers for Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.

    Di Stefano has been an Honorary President of Real Madrid since 2000.

13. Rafael Lesmes

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    Rafael Lesmes was a defender for Real Madrid from 1952 to 1960. The native of Ceuta (a Spanish Enclave in Morocco) shared the field with Alfredo Di Stefano, Marquitos and Paco Gento.

    Lesmes was instrumental (along with fellow teammates) in Real Madrid's winning the European Championship. He was also instrumental in Los Galacticos' victories in La Liga.

    Lesmes died at the age of 85 in 2012.

12. Paco Gento

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    Paco Gento spent nearly two decades playing for Real Madrid. During his career with Los Merengues, he won various trophies for the club such as the Spanish, European and Intercontinental Cup.

    Gento is the recipient of the Medalla de Madrid, Isabel La Catolica and Cruz de Cisneros for his contributions to football. He received eight Sporting Merit medals in the gold, silver and bronze category.

    He later went from player to Real Madrid Ambassador.

    Paco Gento can be seen approximately between the one- and two-minute marks in this YouTube video courtesy of Real Madrid C.F. Alfredo Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas are included in the presentation.

11. Marquitos

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    Marquitos was one of Real Madrid's defenders during the 1950s and 60s. He participated in the golden age of Real Madrid with Ferenc Puskas, Alfredo Di Stefano and Paco Gento.

    He died in 2012 at the age of 78.

10. Jose Antonio Camacho

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    Jose Antonio Camacho was a Real Madrid defender from 1973 to 1989. Camacho excelled in defense while with Los Galacticos.

    The Real Madrid website praised Camacho for his tenacity, discipline, and velocity in handling the ball. Camacho eventually became coach of Rayo Vallecano, Sevilla and Espanyol.

    Recently, Camacho was named coach of the Chinese National Football Team in preparation for the 2014 World Cup.

9. Emilio Butragueno

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    Emilio Butragueno was a Real Madrid forward from 1982 to 1995. Butragueno (according to the Real Madrid website) was associated with being a gentleman and with honor.

    He was instrumental (along with Hugo Sanchez of Mexico) in winning the UEFA Cup two consecutive times. According to UEFA, he participated in Real Madrid's victory over a scoreless Wacker in 1984.

    Butragueno is currently Real Madrid's director. He commented recently about Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United and Real Madrid, which was published in The Telegraph.

8. Hugo Sanchez

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    Hugo Sanchez was a forward for Real Madrid from 1985 to 1992. Sanchez was among the first Mexican football players to play in Spain.

    Sanchez played for the La Liga teams Rayo Vallecano and Atletico Madrid. During his time in Spain, Sanchez was the top scorer in La Liga five consecutive times for Atletico and Real Madrid.

    Sanchez was awarded the 1989/90 Golden Boot for his impressive goal against Logrones. Sanchez was remembered for his bicycle kicks and for doing somersaults after scoring.

    He currently plays midfield for Mexican League team Santos Lagunab as reported by

7. Guti

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    Guti was one of Real Madrid's midfielders from 1995 to 2010. Guti scored 77 goals in 542 matches for Los Galacticos.

    Guti was captain and led Real Madrid to victories in La Liga and the Spanish and European Supercups. Guti was instrumental in Los Blancos' victories in the Intercontinental Cup.

    In an interview with Marca h/t to FIFA, Guti announced his retirement from football in 2012.

6. Roberto Carlos

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    Brazilian defender Roberto Carlos was with Real Madrid from 1996 to 2007. He scored 71 goals within 582 matches for Los Merengues.

    Roberto Carlos was instrumental in Real Madrid's three-time victory in the UEFA Champions League. Real Madrid won the La Liga title four times during his stay in Spain.

    Roberto Carlos left Real Madrid and signed with Fenerbahce SK before returning to Brazil. In Brazil, he signed with Corinthians before moving to Russia.

    In Russia, Roberto Carlos signed a contract with Anzhi Makhachkala.

5. Vicente Del Bosque

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    Vicente Del Bosque was a Real Madrid defensive midfielder from 1968 to 1984. He participated in Real Madrid's victory in the Spanish Cup and La Liga.

    Del Bosque scored 37 goals within 335 matches for Los Merengues. He later became a member of Real Madrid's coaching staff until 2003.

    Del Bosque is currently Spain's coach leading the country to the World Cup and Euros. He was recently awarded the 2013 FIFA Coach of the Year.

4. Jose Mourinho

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    Jose Mourinho lead Real Madrid to victory in La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup. Mourinho received the FIFA World Coach of the Year Award in 2010.

    He is the recipient of the IFFHS Best Coach Award three times within a decade. He was inducted into the League Managers Association Hall of Fame in 2010.

3. David Beckham

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    David Beckham scored 20 goals within 158 matches for Real Madrid. Real Madrid praised him for his dedication to football and as a professional.

    During his Real Madrid years, Beckham won one La Liga and Spanish Super Copa trophy.

    Beckham went on to sign with the LA Galaxy and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

2. Iker Casillas

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    Iker Casillas is a part of Real Madrid since his beginnings in their youth system. Casillas made his debut in with Real Madrid in its 1999 match against Athletic Club Bilbao.

    The result was a draw with two points for each team. Casillas received numerous awards such as Best Goalkeeper Of The Year from FIFA, UEFA and IFFHS in 2008 and 2009.

    Casillas received the adidas Golden Glove in 2010 and the Bravo Trophy in 2000. He was instrumental in Real Madrid's participation in the UEFA Champions League, La Liga, Spanish Super Cup and the Intercontinental Cup.

    He participated in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2012 Euros. His ability to deflect attempted goals from Italy saved Spain during the Euros.

    Casillas was instrumental in saving Spain before the start of the 2012 Euros. He did this by neutralizing existing tensions between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona players in the Spanish squad.

    According to the Real Madrid website, Casillas said that his work in based in being humble. The sports world needs more people like him.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

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    Real Madrid have not been the same since the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United. Since his arrival in 2009, Ronaldo left his footprints in Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and beyond.

    According to an article published on the Real Madrid website, Ronaldo is the leading goalscorer for Portugal. Ronaldo broke Eusebio's previous record of 47 goals in the UEFA Champions League (UCL) match against Manchester United.

    Ronaldo is trailing Puskas as one of the leading goalscorers of Real Madrid in the UCL. Real Madrid reports that Ronaldo managed to score two goals or more in 32.2 percent of 41 La Liga matches he participted in.

    Ronaldo was instrumental in Real Madrid's victories in La Liga, the Spanish Super Cup and the Copa Del Rey. It may not be surprising what will transpire with Ronaldo and Real Madrid in the remaining La Liga season.

    My thanks to the B/R readers for their time spent with this slideshow. An attempt has been made to document Real Madrid's history using its website (some of it in Spanish) and UEFA as reference.

    What is important is informing the world (outside of Spain, Latin America and the US Latin Community) about La Liga and its clubs. It was an honor and privilege to document the rich history of the La Liga clubs.

    My best wishes until the next time.