The Santiago Bernabeu soccer stadium in Madrid is the home of one of the top sports teams in the world: Real Madrid. This imposing coliseum is located in the modern heart of the city, right on the Castellana, Madrid’s main artery. The Stadium is named after Real Madrid’s first great super star and is one of the most visited attractions in Madrid.
Mr. Santiago Bernabéu de Yeste was born in Albacete in 1895. He began his career as a goal keeper but transitioned to the forward position. He joined Real Madrid’s first team in 1914 (which was then named the Madrid Foot-ball Club), and he was an immediate success. He became the teams leading scorer and the perfect running mate for Real Madrid’s other super star René Petit. Bernabeu played until 1927 for Real Madrid. He retired as the Clubs highest scorer and as one of the teams toughest players. During his time as a player the team won 10 titles and he would go on to the clubs front office.
Bernabéu held the position of team director for 35 years, the longest tenure of any Real Madrid director. During his time at the Helm the team won 16 Spanish league titles, 6 Spanish cup titles and 6 European cups and becoming one of the top teams in Europe. The club also excelled in basketball during this period wining 19 Spanish league titles and 6 European cups. But, perhaps, Bernabeu’s most lasting contribution to the history of the Real Madrid Football Club was the construction of the stadium that carries his name.
On 22 June 1944, the Banco Mercantil and the Industrial bank granted credit to Santiago Bernabéu and Rafael Salgado for the purchase a piece of real estate near the old Chamartin stadium where the team had always played. On 5 September 1944, architects Manuel Muñoz Monasterio and Luis Alemany Soler were hired to design the new stadium and the broke ground finally in October of the same year.
The new stadium was finalized in December of 1947 and was appropietly named the Nuevo Estadio Chamartín or New Chamartín Stadium. The stadium was inaugurated on 14 December 1947 with a match between Real Madrid and the Portuguese side Os Belenenses, which resulted in a 3–1 victory for Los Blancos (Real Madrid). The initial capacity of this new soccer cathedral was of 75,145 spectators, 27,645 seated and 47,500 standing.
The stadium currently holds 81,044 fans and easily the largest in the Community of Madrid.
The Santiago Bernabéu is one of the world’s most famous football venues, if not the most famous. It has hosted the final of the European Cup/UEFA Champions League on four occasions and the final matches for the 1964 European Nations’ Cup and the 1982 FIFA World Cup, were also held at the Bernabéu, making it the first stadium in Europe to host both a UEFA Euro final and a FIFA World Cup final. It is also one of Madrid’s most popular land marks. Real Madrid has offered tours of the stadium for over 20 years now and over 15 million people have visited the Mecca of “Madridismo” over that time.
Location and tour
This tour is one of the coolest things to do in Madrid during your stay. The Santiago Bernabeu stadium is located in the center of the Paseo de la Castellana, in Azca in the Chamartin neighborhood. Originally, it used to be called Chamartin Stadium. This stadium was inaugurated approximately 60 years ago and today it is considered an elite stadium by the Uefa to host all types of events and competitions related to soccer.