20 May 2014

El Derbi Madrileño

When deciding what to write about this week for our Destination of the month, only one thing came to mind and it's happening this Saturday the 24th of May...El Derbi Madrileño.

Atletico Madrid will be playing against Real Madrid, which has obviously happened before (think of a Spanish version of a Manchester derby) but never has a UEFA Champions League Final consisted of two teams from the same city, so naturally tensions are high. The two teams first met in 1929 and since then, Real has been the favourite for all of their head-to-heads.


Atlético Madrid

Atlético was founded over 100 years ago under the name 'Athletic Club de Madrid'. Historically, the club has been linked to the working class of Madrid and some even say that it is "characterised by a sense of rebellion", even the location of their stadium, Vincente Caldéron,  in the south of the city near the river illustrates this aspect of the club. In recent times though this connotation has softened and the club has many different supporters. The club saw its golden years in the 1960's and 70's, however since Diego Simeone stepped in in 2011 Atlético has been very successful, their highlight being the end to the 14-year losing streak against Real in their 2013 Copa del Rey win.

Atlético may be the underdogs going into this match, but they are worthy finalists having just won La Liga and with manager Simeone being one win away from arguably one of the greatest single-season feats ever accomplished by a manager.

Real Madrid

Founded in 1902, Real's original name was 'Madrid Football Club'. On the opposite end of the scale to Atlético, Real was historically linked with the monarchy and upper classes, especially when King Alfonso XVIII bestowed the word Real (royal) to the club along with the royal crown in the emblem in 1920. However, as with Atlético's historical roots, these have faded and the club now has fans from all over the world. It is the world's richest club in terms of revenue and has always had a lot of success, particularly in the 1960's & 70's, when Atlético was the only team really challenging them.  Due to the team's reputation for success, there have been some important names throughout the club's history, particularly during the early 2000's in the 'Galácticos' period which saw players such as Zinédine Zidane, Ronaldo and David Beckham grace the pitch. The club's most recent manager, Ancelotti, went through with the much awaited transfer of Gareth Bale - reportedly a world record signing. 

Real's track record puts them as the clear favourite for this Derby, however they are facing a lot of pressure with a rejuvenated Atlético and the possibility of finally ending their 12 year wait to become the first club to achieve double figures in European cup wins.  

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