Archive for ‘Real Madrid’

March 21, 2021

Real Madrid forever!!!!!!!!!!!!

And this a joyful post for me and lots of memories in my beloved Madrid and on the mythical stadium Santiago Bernabeu. I have done several posts on my team Real Madrid CF over the years in my blog, and I take this opportunity to update these old posts condense into one. I am having a thrill and hope you follow me along. Hala Madrid!!!

Of course, this is a club known for its football/soccer (sp. futbol) and basketball/(sp. baloncesto) but it also has several lower level farm teams such as the Cadete B, also, the Juvenil A . The Real Madrid C . The Alevin A ,the Benjamin B , and the Alevin B, the Cadete A , the Benjamín A. The Juvenil B  and the Infantiles A , and B. The team just below the main team is call Real Madrid Castilla . All these teams are collectively known as the Fàbrica or factory teams.

The French sports daily L’Equipe which was an integral part in the creation of the Champions league or as it was call before the Cup of Europe ,has just named the Real Madrid as the best team in the history of the competition. In the overall 56 editions of the Champions, Real Madrid is first ,followed by AC Milan, and Bayern Munich. The much publicize culés only arrives in fourth place. The top ten are Real Madrid 483 points, AC Milan 330, Bayern Munich 288,Barcelona 250,Liverpool 237,Manchester United 229, Ajax Amsterdam 220, Benfica 217, Juventus 215, Inter Milan 184 points. As of November 2017.  The magazine L’Equipe also created an all star selection of those that played in those Champions over the years. In this selection, there are two players that have wore the shirt of Real Madrid are Alfredo Di Stefano and Clarence Seedorf.

In another developement for the first time in 38 years the Real Madrid is wearing red shirts as second uniform or away games. Before it was in 1971 and 1973 my times of living in the city!!!!

The club is trying to improve the facilities in the training grounds at Valdebebas, now even a hotel for the players and staff is envision. This is a reality and the new Sports City is awesome, the stadium name after Alfredo Di Stefano historical in the fabolous history of the Real Madrid CF.

The next big project in union with the above is to renovate the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu  ! There since Dec 14, 1947 and already a FIFA top rated stadium as a five stars rating. One of the improvements will be the enlargement of the trophy room/museum (oh yes it will grow for sure::)) and the tour Bernabeu will be expanded inside facilities to see (already 750 000 persons paid visits per year). It will have a plaza in front of stadium on paseo de la castellana and another one by the current esquina del Bernabeu , which memorable will be demolish. A new underground parking for capacity of 1000 cars and improvement on the current one at padre Damian and concha Espina with 500 places. This is ongoing as I write and will be awesome!!!

The Liga starts, that is football for most ,soccer for some, and calcio for a few of you. This is Spain top division, commonly refere as the Liga Santander as sponsored by the big Spanish bank. The team is the glory of Spain and its history, 34 Liga championships speaks loud and clear in my book. However, a team such as this needs more , a lot more. The European Champions league is made for them, won it 13 times more than any,and its the team ultimate goal.

The official Real Madrid webpage on titles won in English: https://www.realmadrid.com/en/about-real-madrid/honours/football

Let me stop and tell you a bit about me and my Real Madrid: My first steps into the sports was while living in Madrid as a young boy of 10, there playing around the Elipa, met some young Spaniards who encourage me to try for the team.  At the Elipa played on the sport club of baseball for a club call, Real Madrid that at the time sponsored a team in the Madrid championship with 8 teams. Ins and outs of the politics of the system I end up playing in the formation training group for the Real Madrid at Casa de Campo fields. This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship (as Ricky said in Casablanca), actually it had grown stronger over the years, and now its a passion without limits. And I am glad that my sons had shown an interest in the club as well.  Leaving Madrid was of necessary for my parents, but been fortunate enough to come back often,and now living in France, my trips there are frequent. This allows to give me time to stay closer to my love,Real Madrid. It has given me the opportunity to stay closer to other fans with the same love,and to make new friends in Spain that have remain close over the years,sort like a family away from home. When lived here, I started out playing baseball for the Real Madrid at the Parque Municipal de la Elipa complex, remember taking the P13 bus (today is the 113) from Alcalà street to the Elipa. Today baseball is still played there and the seat of the Madrid baseball/softball federation. I am honorary member of five peñas or supporting group of the Real Madrid from Xove (Lugo) ,Albaicin,( Granada), and Malaga Spain with regular visits. The trips to the Santiago Bernabeu StadiumValdebebas Real Madrid Sports City,WiZink etc are annually and sometimes more; some times getting together with similar friends there in groups or individually. Nowdays, the facilities have nothing in common to those of earlier years. The moment I entered the casa de campo training site for the Real Madrid CF change my orientation of sports forever. My love for Real Madrid is huge, even my French dear late wife Martine , who was not into it , became a follower and even came with me to the Santiago Bernabeu and the old  vista alegre basketball arena for the games, it was good for both!!! It has been a wonderful journey with many friends in different parts of the world , just last year finished playing indoor soccer /fooball here in France on a Corporate league.

The city of Madrid on the Elipahttps://www.madrid.es/portales/munimadrid/es/Inicio/El-Ayuntamiento/Equipamientos-deportivos/Centros-deportivos-/Deportes/Tenis-de-mesa/Centro-Deportivo-Municipal-La-Elipa/?vgnextfmt=default&vgnextoid=f6b842be9971c010VgnVCM1000000b205a0aRCRD&vgnextchannel=37ec50ccf45c6310VgnVCM1000000b205a0aRCRD

For the historical keeper this was the team in the 2012-13 season for the Real Madrid : Casillas, Adán, and  Jesús as goalies, Defenders: Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Coentrão, Albiol, Arbeloa ,and Varane. Midfielders :Kaká, Özil, Xabi Alonso, Granero, Khedira, Lass, Callejón ,and Di María. Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Higuaín, and Morata.

This we have won 19 times but could be more if more importance is given to the old King’s Cup or Spanish Cup . Last wonderful time was in the Spanish King’s cup, we won again beating archrivals Barcelona (second in the Liga) 1X2 with the winning goal from Welsh international Gareth Bale. It was our 19th King’s Cup in history. Season 2013-2014.  Needless to say,in both football and basketball we are the winningest club both in the Spanish League (Santander)  and European titles( Champions).

And let me tell you a bit on the history of my Real Madrid CF!  The Real Madrid CF was actually born in 1902, and given the title of Real or Royal by King Alfonso XIII in 1920. Juan Padrós was elected the first ever club President and adopted a white uniform Carlos Padrós, the brother and also future President organized a tournament for the crowning of king Alfonso XIII, sort of the first national tournament called Madrid football association tournament and received popular support that made extends the tournament and later named Copa del Rey (King’s Cup) as it is still play today!

The initial club takes over the Moderno FC who was the winner of the first regional championship in 1903 and was renamed the Madrid Moderno FC. The team wins all these regional tournaments from 1905-08 as well as the Copa del Rey or King’s Cup. The management leaders of the club participated in the creation of the first Spanish football federation in 1909. At the same time that the club won the regional championships of 1910, 1913, 1916, 1917, 1918 and 1920, as well as the Copa del Rey in 1917.  Following the initiative of the English league, a national championship appears in 1926 with the approval of the Spanish federation in 1928; the first championship is held in 1929 with the first division teams of Athletic Bilbao, FC Barcelona ,Atlético de Madrid ,and the Real Madrid.

The abolition of the monarchy and the establishement of the Second Republic in 1931 enforced the club of retiring the Royal emblems logos and lose the title of Real becoming simply the Madrid Football Club. Finally, in the 1931-1932 season the club wins the national championship and all due to the amazing goalkeeper Ricardo Zamora, recruited in 1930. Later in 1959 his name is chosen to award the best goalkeeper in the Spanish first division. In 1934 and 1936,Real Madrid wins the Copa del Presidente de la República, ( the president of the republic cup) who replaced the Copa del Rey. The year 1936 was the last year playing of Ricardo Zamora with Madrid, and also, the tragic Spanish Civil War begins.

After the defeat of the Republicans by the Nationalist of Gen Francisco Franco,the club is giving back the title of royal or Real and the crown logo on their shirts. The football championship starts again ,and the club wins the 1943 Copa del Generalísimo (the king’s cup change to the general’s cup). By 1943 entered into the club the legendary figure of our new President Santiago Bernabéu ; he was a player in 1909 and played in first division as captain until 1927 (689 games and more than 340 goals), after passing to the technical team. The club lost a lot during the Spanish Civil War comparing to the Atlético Madrid (taken over by the army air force and renamed Athletico Aviación de Madrid). Bernabéu spent several months trying to rebuilt the Real Madrid.

The march to glory begins. The Real Madrid recruits the Argentine forward Alfredo Di Stéfano and wins the Spanish championship in 1953 and Di Stéfano,finished as best goal scorer with 29 goals together with the young Francisco Gento. The Stadium is enlarged in 1954 to 125 000 persons and the team recruits another Argentine Héctor Rial, and again the championship is won with Di Stéfano scoring 25 goals. During the summer of 1955, the Real Madrid wins the Copa Latina that opposed the champions clubs of Spain, Italy, France, and Portugal beating in the final at the Paris Parc des Princes,the French club Stade de Reims.  In the 1955-1956 season was founded the first edition of the Cup of Europe, and the Real Madrid wins its first European championship beating the same Stade de Reims led by Raymond Kopa 4-3. A few weeks later the Real signs Raymond Kopa making a deadly attack with Di Stefano, Rial, and Gento. In the season 1957-1958,the Real Madrid signed the defender Uruguayan José Santamaría and in 1958 signed the Hungarian Ferenc Puskás that together with Gento, Kopa and Di Stéfano allows the club to win the European championships five times all together during this period.

In 1960, the Real Madrid wins the first Intercontinental Cup beating Peñarol of Uruguay winner of the Copa Libertadores,5×1. In 1966, Real Madrid wins its 6th European Cup!! The era of Santiago Bernabéu comes to an end on June 2,1978 with the passing of Don Santiago at age 82, just before the opening of the World Cup in Argentina . After 35 years as President of the club; the following year the club creates the Trofeo Bernabeu tournament that still is play today.  It begins a drought in European Cups with the Quinta del Buitre group from 1981-1990 with players such as Manolo Sanchís, Martín Vázquez, Míchel, Miguel Pardeza, and Emilio Butragueño (El buitre) and later the Mexicaine Hugo Sánchez blending veterans such as Juanito, Valdano ,and Santillana. The magnificent period includes two Champions of the UEFA Cup,1985-1986, five times the Liga national championship between 1986 and 1990 (a record),and one Cup of Spain in 1989. Only the European Cup escapes them.  The period 1991-2000, saw many dry hands and a period of adjustments to many coaches and presidents. Finally in 1998, under the new name of the competition from European Cup to Champions league (1992) ,and the Real Madrid wins its 7th beating Juventus 1X0 in the final ;later in December they win the Intercontinental Cup beating Vasco da Gama of Brazil.

From 2000 on the new President is Florentino Perez known for his big checks and gallactic players, such as Luís Figo, Zinédine Zidane,Ronaldo, David Beckham, Michael Owen, and Robinho. Winning again the Champions league of 2000 and 2002 as well as the Intercontinental of 2002, and the UEFA Supercup of 2002. Also, in 2006 Florentino Perez resigns first time.  The era 2006-2009 under President Ramon Calderon, on a disastrous period of not winning that caused his resignation and the retunr of Florentino Perez in June 2009. Cristiano Ronaldo is signed in 2009. Various coaches changes of not so good performances continues.  Finally, the era of Zinedine Zidane begins on January 2016. Winning the World Club championship ;also winning the Champions league three years in a row a record never before done, and hard to beat. Also, in 2017, later in August it wins the UEFA SuperCup also two times in a row!!! 6/8 titles for Zidane!!!! again in August they win the SuperCup of Spain , and later in December they win the World Club tournament to bring the total of 5 titles in 2017 out a possible 6, a record for the club.

In December 2000, the club is name by FIFA the best club of the 20C; and also received the order of merit by FIFA in 2004. Also, the IFFHS in Europe name it best club of the 20C in Europe!  Simply the best ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! On April 1st 2017 the Real Madrid CF became the first club with 100 millions fans in their Facebook page!!! My hangout when by the Bernabeu is the Real Cafe Bernabeu restaurant where you can see the field of play sitting in a nice table. webpage: https://realcafebernabeu.es/

This is the official Real Madrid CF webpage in English: https://www.realmadrid.com/en

And for me since 1972 the best sports daily is AS, and now gladly keep up online and on apps, their official page having English language and versions on several countries now including the USA! https://as.com/

If you want to follow the Liga in Spanish try here which I have in my links below my blog: Foro del Real Madridhttps://fororealmadrid.com/index.php

The Spanish La Liga Santander first division webpage: https://www.laliga.com/laliga-santander

The RFEF or Real Federacion Española de Fùtbol federation on the first division : https://www.rfef.es/competiciones/futbol-masculino/resultados/primera-division

Just last year we have started a women team as Real Madrid CF femenino or female and the team on its first year is doing well rank in 4th place as I write in the Liga Iberdrola, or Spain women’s first division: https://www.realmadrid.com/football/female-team

Follow the renovation of the best stadium in the world Santiago Bernabeu Madrid of the Real Madrid CF of course: https://www.realmadrid.com/en/bernabeu-stadium

There you go folks, wants to be the best, start by following the best ever in the history of football/soccer, my Real Madrid CF and join our family, its for life!!! Hala Madrid!!!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

December 29, 2020

Real Madrid CF, the world’s best!!

I wrote this article back in January 2011 in my blog, and need to update. Once in a while I dwell away from my travels and this is one big hobby of mine, a fanatic!!! The game of football/soccer/calcio has taken me to meet many good people over the years and visited many countries with stories of the game. Lucky me also played and socio member of the greatest club in history, the Real Madrid CF. Let me tell you the story ok; hope you enjoy as I.

I will be talking about something personal, it is my club since my 13 year!, and had written before but never really had the initiative to write something about its history and accomplishments until now. As written all over my blog and proud of ,I lived in Madrid for four years between 1970 to 1974, and played for the Real Madrid in baseball, volleyball ,and football/soccer in the infantil (12-13 yrs) division. Once a Madridista, always a Madridista to the grave. There is no other team club alike in the history of the game of football/soccer. Simply the best and still been recognised as such. Best Club of the 20 century by FIFA, best club of the 20 century by IFFHS in Europe, and recently voted by the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards as so far 2000-2020 best club of the 21 century!

I was just a young kid that was introduced to the organisation by a baseball umpire to play for their junior baseball team at the parque de la Elipa, from my home at Calle de Alcalà, Quintana neighborhood or barrio in the district of Ciudad Lineal;  it was just a bus P13 (now name the 113) to it. While there, friends used to go to see the team different sports, and  played, Ciudad Deportiva (the old one by the paseo de la Castellana now has four skyrises call the four towers.

While going to these games, some kids who were already on the different sports organisations and had played football with me in parks like parque Calero and Retiro ,asked me to come to the Ciudad Deportiva installations for a tryout that was open. With the help of my baseball contacts that included member “socios” of the Real Madrid football team I got my first tryouts. Before long, I too, was wearing the white shirt of the football team, and move up from benjamin to alevin status. Those were wonderful memories even if just what is left is memories. Never forget that day in 1972 when I first enter the Real Madrid CF . Unfortunately, times were different then and me poorer so no camera no pictures just memories in my mind forever.

From then on it has been a love affaire wherever I may be living, trying for all means to obtain news of the team, and enjoying every second of my visits to the city from 1977 on to today. I am active in several forums that talks about the team, and go to the stadium often in season to see football and basketball games from Vistalegre to Caja Magica to Valdebebas to Santiago Bernabeu, and now the Wizink Center. The old readers of Spain will know the trail!

A bit of history I like

The team was born out of educators who sat around and found a club in 1897 in the Vallecas barrio or neighborhood. Quickly it became more organised by several of the members of the team in 1901 and eventually  Julian Palacios as first President officially  registered the club in 1902 as the Madrid Foot-Ball Club. By 1920 the king Alfonso XIII give it the royal rank of Real or Royal as he was a follower too ::) ,and honorary member =socio. From June 1920 it became the Real Madrid CF that we know today. The team participated in the first Spanish league organised in 1929 finishing in second place.  The first league came on this period in the 1931-32 season, the first title !

The greatest period came after the Spanish Civil War when on September 15 , 1943 when ex player and ex coach ,Santiago Bernabeu was named President of the club. After organising an international tournament in Colombia in 1952, they saw what was in 1953 their greatest signing that of Alfredo Di Stefano( Argentina) , considered by many the world’s greatest player , as well as the Spanish Francisco “paco” Gento from Santander and the league championship came back to the Real Madrid in the 1953-54 season.  They were the start of an amazing run of Five European Cups in a row (record) .  With player like Amancio and Velazquez the club again wins the European Cup in 1966 while continuing to pile up Ligas and Cups at home, these were the Ye-Ye years . The sad news came in June 2nd 1978 with the passing of Don Santiago Bernabeu, (to note his wife was from Camagüey Cuba!)  the greatest president ever, and today the stadium bears his name as well as the metro stop to it on line 10.

The team follow with the 80’s “la Quinta del Buitre” nickname given to Emilio Butragueño as well as Mexican Hugo Sanchez (Hugol), and many more Ligas however no European Cup. The team from the farm system delighted many and remains one of the most popular periods in the club history even without winning an European championship.  The team continue to wins Ligas in the 90’s with the incorporation of perennial and crowd favorite Raul Gonzalez Blanco, probably the best player ever from the farm system. Finally in 1998 , the team came back to win again its trophy , the European Cup now call Champions league. In 1999 the great coach and former player Vicente del Bosque arrive promoting to the first team the legendary goalkeeper Iker Casillas ,and with it winning again the Champions league in 2000.

With the election of 2000, a new president came into being the entrepreneur Florentino Perez, ;this was the so call Galactic era, where millionaires dotting shorts and representing the Real Madrid razzle dazzle the world without any title in Europe but huge pay checks from uncle Florentino (too enterprise and little football not my favorite) . Leagues or ligas were won but not sufficient due to the expenditures made. Another Champions league was won in 2002 with player like Figo, Zidane,Ronaldo, and Beckham. The chosen successor made it look like an election was Ramon Calderon who created many administrative problems for the club,and was made to resigned in 2009. Ironically, it was Florentino Perez who replaced him single handily without opposition due to no changes in the club by laws where the rich wins, and the second Galactic era began with signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, the signing from England of Spaniard Xabi Alonso and from France Karim Benzema all very expensive contracts and no titles.

The 2010-2013 seasons of Real Madrid were under new coach Jose Mourinho allows the club to play La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League after a white season. However, only winning the Copa del Rey or King’s Cup. The 2013-2015 were under coach Carlo Ancelotti, Rafa Benitez 2015-2016, Zinadine Zidane 2016-2018 (from France and 3 consecutive Champions league, a record!) ,then Julen Lopetegui, Santiago Solari and finally back to Zinadine Zidane from 2019 to present.

Nevertheless, the club is the most winning club in the history of the sport in Spain and abroad regardless of the so call media frenzy of popular teams with a lot less history due to ever increasing publicity and media manipulation.  The Santiago Bernabeu stadium was built in 1947, with a capacity of  80 354 spectators today. The new Real Madrid sport city or Ciudad Deportiva is today at Valdebebas just outside Madrid and the basketball arena is the WiZink Center (before Caja Magica and before Vistalegre). See my posts on them, the Santiago Bernabeu stadium is now undergoing a huge renovation which will include amongst other things a covered declinable roof!

The club has participated in all 88 season of Spanish first division football, and has won 34 Ligas, by far the most. The player who has obtained the most titles with the club are Francisco Gento 23, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo 22, and Manuel Sanchis with 21 titles, and the player with most games is Raul Gonzalez Blanco with 741 games and then Iker Casillas with 725 games. The best scorer has been Cristiano Ronaldo with 450 goals, and then Raul with 323 goals. The most games by an international player is still Karim Benzema so far 529 games all inclusive. I must add Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, and Karim Benzema are still playing on the club!

These are the Real Madrid CF club titles:

Spanish Liga Champions (34): 1931/32, 1932/33, 1953/54, 1954/55,1956/57, 1957/58, 1960/61, 1961/62, 1962/63, 1963/64, 1964/65, 1966/67, 1967/68, 1968/69, 1971/72, 1974/75, 1975/76, 1977/78, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1985/86, 1986/87, 1987/88, 1988/89, 1989/90, 1994/95, 1996/97, 2000/01, 2002/03, 2006/07, 2007/08.2012/13; 2017/18 and 2019/20.

Vice Champion of the Liga  (23): 1928/29, 1933/34, 1934/35, 1935/36, 1941/42, 1944/45, 1958/59, 1959/60, 1965/66, 1980/81, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1991/92, 1992/93, 1998/99, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2009/10. 2011/12   2013/14 2015/16; 2016/17.

Copa del Rey or Kings Cup or Spain (19): 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1917, 1934, 1936, 1946, 1947, 1962, 1970, 1974, 1975, 1980, 1982, 1989, 1993.2011. 2014.

Vice Champions of the Kings Cup or Spain (20): 1903, 1916, 1918, 1924, 1929,1930,1933,1940,1943,1958, 1959/60, 1960/61, 1967/68, 1978/79 , 1983, 1990, 1992, 2001, 2003. 2013.

Super Cup of Spain (11): 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2008. 2012.2017.2020.

vice Champion Super Cup of Spain (5): 1982, 1995, 2007, 2011; 2014.

League Cup (1): 1985.  vice Champion League Cup  (1): 1983.  Eva Duarte Cup (1):1947.

Regional Championships and Community trophies (23) 1904/05, 1905/06, 1906/07, 1907/08, 1909/10, 1912/13, 1915/16, 1916/17, 1917/18, 1919/20, 1921/22,1922/23,1923/24, 1926/26, 1927/28 ,1929/30,1930/31, 1932/33, 1933/34, 1934/35, 1935/36.

On the International scene just the same as good thank you!

Champions League  (13): 1955-56, 1956-57, 1957-58, 1958-59, 1959-60, 1965-66, 1997-98, 1999-00, 2001-02. 2013/14 ; 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18.

vice Champions Champions League (3) 1962 , 1964 ; 1981

 UEFA Cup (2): 1984/85, 1985/86.

Super Cup of UEFA (4): 2002, 2014;2016; 2017. Vice Champions Super Cup of UEFA (3) 1998 , 2000, 2018.

Intercontinental Cup (3): 1960,1998,2002.  Vice Champion Intercontinental Cup  (2): 1966,2000

World Club Champions FIFA (4) 2014 2016 2017 2018

Vice Champion European Cup of Cups  (2): 1971,1983

Ibero American Cup  (1): 1994. Latin Cup(2): 1955, 1957.  Club Small World Cup  (2): 1952, 1956.

The team has an immense farm system factory or Fàbrica, that allows to maintain teams in many divisions and with excellent championship records as well such as the Real Madrid-Castilla, and  teams in every division of Spain. It ,also has an excellent basketball section with 9 times champions of Europe. They played in the ACB league.

A bit of history on the Real Madrid basketball section. My second team ::)

The Real Madrid basketball section was born on March 8, 1931 following an advertisement in a Spanish daily, ABC, inviting all gentlemen interested in playing basketball to join the club. Raimundo Saporta is part of a commission, also comprising the Yugoslav Borislav Stanković, the French Robert Busnel, the Czech Miloslav Kriz and the Soviet Nikolai Semasko, who during the European Championships in 1957, invited the national federations to participate in their national champions in a competition which began in 1958 and for which the newspaper L’Équipe (France) provided the trophy. This is the Basketball version of the Champions league of football.

Some of the better known players at least to me were Clifford Luyk who wore the white jersey from 1961 to 1978 and took part in Real Madrid first six triumphs on the European scene. Another American, Wayne Brabender, the Spanish pivot Fernando Martín Espina , and Emiliano Rodríguez. There are newer players today like Sergio Llul, Felipe Reyes, Carroll, Randolph , and Tavares. As far as coaches, my favorites were Pedro Ferrándiz, who coached the club for four periods, from 1955 to 1957, then from 1959 to 1962, 1964 to 1965 and finally from 1966 to 1975, is the coach who has contributed the most to enriching the list. Under his leadership, Real won four Champion Clubs’ Cups in 1965, 1967, 1968 and 1974. eleven championship titles and eleven Spanish cups. Lolo Sainz (1975-1994) , Ettore Messina, and the current Pablo Laso.

These are the Real Madrid CF basketball club titles:

Spanish League Champion (35): 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1993, 1994, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019

Spanish Cup Champion (28): Copa del Generalísimo: 1951, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, Copa del Rey, King’s Cup: 1977, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1993, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2020.

Champions of the Spanish Supercup (7): 1985, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Champion of the European Champion Clubs’ Cup – Euroleague: 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1974, 1978, 1980, 1995, 2015, 2018.

Intercontinental Cup /World Cup Champion: 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981; 2015

ULEB Cup champion: 2007.  Saporta ReCopa of Europe Champion: 1984, 1989, 1992, 1997.  Korać Cup  champion: 1988. Champion of the Latina Cup: 1952-1953.  Champion of Torneo Internacional ACB: 1984, 1988, 1989.

And the story does not stop here, the sky is the limit, we want them all!!! You want to see the best football/soccer, basketball in Europe come to Madrid, Spain and see my Real Madrid CF!!! Enjoy the this post, and the many others on my team in my blog!

Some webpages to help you recognise the wonderful history of the Real Madrid clubs are

The official Real Madrid club webpagehttps://www.realmadrid.com/en

If you want to be part of the family, then become a Madridista here : https://www.realmadrid.com/aficion/madridistas/internacionales

If you want to shop online or find the store in Madrid webpage: http://www.realmadridshop.com/stores/realmadrid/default.aspx

The usual layout for ticketing was to go on avenida Concha Espina puerta or door 55 or the calle Carmen 3 near Sol in city center, metro sol. It will be interesting to know how the store at the stadium will be once completely renovated as ongoing.

If you want to buy official ticket online ahead of games and pick up yours at the stadium, very easy then see the official webpage: https://www.realmadrid.com/en/tickets

If you want to discuss in Spanish the latest trends in Spanish football and especially the Real Madrid join me in this forum Foro Real Madrid at webpage: https://fororealmadrid.com/index.php

For the best sport journal in Spain and extensive coverage of football following since 1972,  see AS (you can have it in English too go to sports heading top right) webpage:http://www.as.com/

There you go folks, now I feel better,updated and clear text me think for you. Enjoy the post and more so the Real Madrid CF!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

December 28, 2020

What else can I tell you on Madrid!

Oh that is a repeated line but first time on the title hehehe! Yes Madrid is sublime what more can I say? You know it if reading my posts in my blog. By the way, thanks for reading me over the last 10 years some of you and welcome the newer readers. Let me tell you an update older post on my Madrid or what else can I tell you on Madrid! I will tell you and see the pictures in individual posts unless not.

Indeed, this if you have been reading my posts , Madrid is the city I lived (1970’s) and enjoyed the times the most as it was early teens years fun and youthful wandering around the city ,and experiencing the first rays of love. The city that , so lucky, have been able to come back many times ,sometimes 3 times per year and every year since…2003. The city that only upon entering the youthfulness come back to me like a ray of force, the force is with me!!!  I came upon Madrid on several occasions on my last vacation trip to Spain last month of August; it was hot as much as 41C or 106F! ,but so what, it did not feel anything ,really. We just had bottle water with us and we cruise walking all over, some spots new to my family and all memorable places to me. I like to share many of these with you on this post. What else can I tell you on Madrid…!!!!!

We came by our car into the heart of the city this time and parked at the parking Descalzas Reales next to the grand Monastery of the Descalzas Reales; a must to see while your first time in Madrid.  Near see the wonderful architecture of the Casa de las Alhajas in Plaza San Martin, if you want a great family event in a historical place ,get on calle Maestro Victoria and  while at it , do some shopping in El Corte Inglés dept store !!

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Right around here at Calle Maestro Victoria see the quaint architecturally beautiful building of the Casa del Libro or bookstore of Madrid, the one to go with branches in the city and elsewhere in Spain. My favorite book store coming here since 1971!!! Do not forget or fear walking in Madrid is full of surprises, great architecture and the best movida lively street scene in Europe! See Calle Princesa, there is another El Corte Inglés dept store here; come back to Calle Arenal (Pasadizo de San Ginés) to eat your churros at Chocolateria San Ginés as my family has done for generations there.  Another memorable place keep coming back to see even if not enough time to go back in is the wild discotheque or teatro Joy Eslava on Calle Arenal. To think that this was a simple community theater where plays were done and dances held for teens and now has become of the leading dance places in Madrid and Spain very chic is unbelievable.

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See the wonderful building of the Air Force building (Ejercito del Aire) by Moncloa up Calle Princesa and marvel at it’s architecture and the little airplane in front! You should check out past the Faro de Moncloa (post coming up) the wonderful Museo de América, a museum on all Spain relates to Latin America and our cultures, a must for any but especially for those of Hispanic heritage.

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Why not walk on the marvelous beautiful Gran Via a  marvel of construction since the 1930’s. And a stop at Plaza de España simply for its great monument to Miguel Cervantes Saavedra the author of Don Quijote is a must. Walk from there to Cuesta de Santo Domingo , Plaza de Santo Domingo, and the see as in Plaza de España the great metro/subway/tube entrances!

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See the wonderful architecture of a little square Plaza de Santa Cruz, great buildings and good ambiance around it, and continue to the eternal Plaza Mayor! Nothing can be said enough of this major square of Madrid! Here at plaza mayor see some of the businesses of generations of Madrileños and my family favorites, I came here as a teen and later many times even to buy hats for my grandfather!  Such eternals as Casa Yustas, La Favorita, El Gran Bazar, and the restaurant first took my girlfriend then wife in Madrid, Las Cuevas de Luis Candela past the Arco de Cuchilleros! And repeat visits over the years; memories forever here of my dear late wife Martine!!!

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Move on to another very popular and the center of Spain, at Puerta del Sol; unique place and a must; here you have the Casa de Diego another generational store. And the Magroño honey eating bear the symbol of Madrid. Nearby is the Real Madrid store we like to go at Calle de el Carmen.

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For the nights and arts , the Teatro Real (Royal Theater) , celebrating 200 years in 2017, and the Real Cinema (Royal Cinema) now inactive, at plaza Isabel II , both good to see and the theater is a must;and many memories for me especially in the Real Cinema, even if now only sporadic plays are shown and no movies. It had closed by April 2019 and was demolished in summer of 2020. Sadly another historic building gone from Madrid!

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Cannot be in Madrid without stopping by the Santiago Bernabeu stadium of  my forever team: Real Madrid FC, simply the best ever, Hala Madrid!!!. The la Esquina del Bernabeu with its shops and restaurants. And of course, a drink at least at the Real Café Bernabeu is a must. The Esquina del Bernabeu is been demolished in the new renovation complex of a covered stadium Santiago Bernabeu. Something had to pay and the shopping complex is it.

Ah yes of course, we ate something other than drinking lol!!! We have some delicious refreshing Horchata at a kiosk in the Plaza Mayor. This is a drink originally from the Valencia area consisting of water, sugar,and chufas ( a plant  tigernuts) and generally mix in with cinnamon or lemon and of course plenty of ice. And for a more formal light lunch in the heat we went to 100 Montaditos resto on Calle Princesa,7  , small sandwiches with omelette chorizos hams etc potato chips and plenty of cold beers!!! This is a wonderful inexpensive chain very lively place!

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In all, another wonderful memorable trip to my Madrid, never tired of seeing you, and remember that we lovers of the city know very well that ; from Madrid to Heaven, and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day!!! Hope you enjoy the post.

And remember,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

December 7, 2020

Madrid and my Bernabeu and Elipa!!

So now looking at these older posts nostalgia has sets in. Many memorable moments with family there, here, everywhere Madrid is more than a city I told you! And there are within some special places dear to my life. I like to tell you a bit more on the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and the sports complex of La Elipa!!!

Two memorable parks of my youth one and of always the other, without them Madrid will be just another city in my world map. I grew up there, playing baseball in the Elipa and part of the Real Madrid organization in Benjamin division at casa de Campo, the old training and field grounds ,then became a Madridista for life and Bernabeu is my second home.

Another chance to be by Madrid and of course, could not resist in stopping by even if there were no games just been around these places is special to me. Lucky enough to be able to be back and see them often. The temperature was nice and sunny around the 23C (73F)  in the afternoons and going down to 10C  (50F) in the evenings. A nice way to walk the city.

I first went to the Elipa park or the Parque Municipal de la Elipa; this is part of my district where I used to lived in the 70’s. It is surrounded in the north by El Carmen neighborhood , east by the cementary La Almudena  , to the south by the neighborhood of Moratalaz, and to the west the avenida de la Paz or the beltway M-30 . It is part of the neighborhood of Ventas, where the bullfight arena monumental is located,and the district is Ciudad Lineal , my residency district of old in Madrid.

I always came here by bus in my times it was the P13 and with the new EMT Madrid transport of modern Spain, the numbers were change,and now is the line 113. In 2007, (finally) ,they open a metro line 2 La Elipa , that is at the intersection of the streets avenida del Marqués de Corbera and calle Santa Felicidad.

I played for a team sponsored by the Real Madrid FC organization with the same name in a league of about 8 teams, most of the equipement was provided by the US air force base at Torrejon de Ardoz. Some of the teams I remember other than mine were, the Rayo Vallecano, Atlético de Madrid, Condepols, Piratas, Abraham Lincoln school, and the US air base team. The Spanish were learning the sport of Baseball and it was fun to be able to teach as well as played. They used to translate literally the English name and call it pelota de base or baseball!!!

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Today the Madrid baseball/softball federation is base at La Elipa with a training school and the sports field has been enlarged to offer programs in Basketball, Baseball, Football, indoor football, musculation and gym, swimming, padel, tennis, table tenis,and Volleyball. Also, a batting cage for practices batting the baseball,and nudist zone. 

For the nostalgia, I walked from my hotel along calle del Pez Volador and calle del Dr Esquerdo along parque de Roma, you see the Spain tower of television and radio RTVE, a sight indeed, and then crossing the passarelle bridge over the beltway M-30 (that was just finished when I left Madrid in 1974 ), and into the street on the other side turning left you go to a traffic circle and then see the signs for La Elipa ,follow it and you are there in 15 minutes! A memorable trip I can show my sons in August which we will be back and can show in person. memories forever of my Madrid!!!

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Of course, on the way back with time between flights, left Madrid T4 terminal to go and pay a visit to the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu and a chance to have lunch by there. The Real Café Bernabéu was closed for lunch already so headed for the restaurant TGIF  (which i have been before) in the La Esquina del Bernabeu building by the plaza del Sagrado Corazon,and avenida Concha Espina. This Esquina or corner area is been torn down as I write to create a new complex and a covered roof Bernabeu stadium! Photos for the memories!!!

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The TGIFridays restaurant was great as usual and I ask to hurry up as needed to get back to the airport and they did it very fast, my burger, bacon and fries and a jarra or pint of Mahou Cinco Estrellas Madrid beer; all with a nice view of the square or plaza Sagrado Corazon. The resto has closed due to the Bernabeu stadium renovations. 

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I have been to the stadium several times over my life and never enough. I always dream of living not far from it and just spend my times there , around and inside…. It is what the true fan wish for all our lives.  Did you know that Don Santiago Bernabéu’s  mother was Cuban from Camagüey? And that he had no child from his wife (since 1940 who died in 1987) Maria Valenciano!

When I go , (and this will change next year with the new renovations) always go for the Fondo Sur (south) bleechers by the avenida Concha Espina, you can have the Fondo norte (north) by the calle Rafael Salgado, lateral Este (East) by calle Pedro Damiàn, and lateral Oeste (West) by Paseo de la Castellana. A quick walk around of the stadium before buying your ticket will give an idea.  There are four towers around the stadium with tower A between fondo sur and lateral este , tower B  between fondo sur and lateral oeste,tower C between lateral oeste and fondo norte and tower D between fondo norte and lateral este. You then have zones, in each section divided in six levels from those in the fondos closest to the field, to tribuna, and antitheater’s or theaters three laterals and four fondo with the fourth fondo the most far away from the field.

To read your ticket see the numbers : you have the puerta or gate to get in, then the color to show the section ,like mine are Red for fondo sur.Green is fondo norte, Purple for laterals and Blue for the tribunes and preferential seating.  Then the ticket show the vomitorios or exit lanes, this is the passage that takes you to the bleacher’s and tribunes, antitheater etc by which you walk to leave the stadium once the game is over.

Then, you go for your sector seating, this is a 3 digit number on your ticket usually with a letter. Once you reach inside passing before reaching the bleacher’s you need to go to your sector; these are divided in lanes or aisles so the even numbers are on your right and the odd numbers on your left; easy up to now ::) The first number means your level up the ladder in the stadium zone you purchase, the second number  and third pinpoint the seat so the first number may means high level, the second number tribune, and the third number a antitheater. If a first time, can be confusing but there is always personnel around to help you find your seat at all times.  Finally, there is your seat number indicated on the ticket and on each chair! easy I said.

Now arriving in Madrid ,how to get to the stadium? again easy all roads lead to Bernabéu! I have use them all and the car is still best ::) Only you need to be there early underground parking available or nearby. Then, you can walk from your hotel -2km is a good walking distance here go ahead! Then ,for the more social transport folks there is the cercanias or suburban trains, where you will reach the station Nuevos Ministerios from C-1, C-3, C-4, C-7  or C-10 trains. Afterward you can walk about 10 minutes . You have last I counted 7 bus lines passing by the stadium such as No. 14, 27, 40, 43, 120, 147 ,and  150. And of course, the metro/subway/tube on line 10 Santiago Bernabéu go up on the stadium exit , then once out turn to your right and see the Stadium!!! If you arrive from other city in Spain usually by Atocha then take line 1 metro to stop Tribunal, and the the above mentioned line 10. Ahh tickets to the game , the official Real Madrid site is the best .

If you are looking for a hotel for a game there, or just to see Madrid away from the tourist hordes, than I recommend the one I have always use when in town for a game ,and not with family; Holiday Inn Plaza de Carlos Trias Bertrán, 4. webpage: http://www.hotelmadridhi.com/ 

Of course, I am biased but to eat go to other than the above mentioned places you have the La Esquina Asador Sidreria and Zen Market in the Real Madrid complex.  In all, near the Nuevos Ministerios transports hub you have an El Corté Inglés department store and an FNAC electronics/books/Cd music etc store. Closer to the stadium you have the AZCA  or Moda complex of stores. see their posts in my blog.

In all, this is Madrid, and with the famous Bernabéu in tow and the true local Elipa to see the real living of the locals, you will have the best of both worlds and appreciate Madrid even more. Hope you enjoyed the post as I did!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

November 24, 2020

Madrid ,is more than a word for me!!!

So continuing my updates, refreshing text, and new links I bring you to one that I have many many posts in my blog. This is my wonderful city of Madrid. I will leave you the pictures for the specific posts and will only show here those that I could not find posted elsewhere. Hope you enjoy this wonderful city ,capital of the kingdom of Spain! My Madrid is more than a word for me!!

Well Madrid for me is everything to come back to Spain for it. If you have read my posts/blog you know I used to lived in Madrid and visit several times a year now usually alone. Later came with family on several occasions and show them my love for the city they later claim the same. As our vacation time in Spain began, there is no way I would skip Madrid and even arriving the first thought was to come here and visit again. Madrid I never get tired of visiting, long story going back to my early teen years living there. Lucky enough to visited several times even more than once in the year. This time with the entire family was even more memorable.

We drove from Las Majadas ,province of Cuenca , Castilla La Mancha region on the A40 connecting at Tarancon with the A3 to Madrid and parking on the Atocha train station Saba parking lot. Then, we were all over walking at first, from Atocha to calle Atocha to the Plaza Mayor and onwards to Calle Arenal, Preciados, Carmen and back to Calle Bailén and the Royal Palace and Cathedral of Almudena!!

By Calle Arenal we past the old archives building of Madrid dating from the 17C. The Palacio Real is always wonderful to see even if been there several times, the Cathedral of Almudena is a wonderful monument that was seen again, and onwards along calle Bailén on the other side to the Basilica of San Francisco el Grande.

On Calle Atocha got in finally into the Church parroquia Santa Cruz , a wonderful Church that in the past had been close when passing by , this time it was fully open and wonderful.  I took the kids to my all time favorite since even younger than they, Chocolateria San Ginés, in my youth used to come here after the dance club next door ; Joy Eslava, which at the time was a community dance hall and theater, later becoming a chic discothéque. I past by it too. San Ginés is the famous churros con chocolate racion or the porros a bigger size churro. A must in Madrid!  We did went shopping at El Corte Inglés by calle Preciados 3 and had our lunch in the 7th floor cafeteria ,and later stop by my favorite store, the official Real Madrid store at Calle Carmen off Sol. We did shopping here too and got a nice beer mug ::)

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We came back to the Plaza Mayor a must to visit while in Madrid , always a happening ; see the Plaza del Callao and the famous cinema there, and got around the Teatro Real or royal theater, and the Puerta del Sol square.  We passed by the mercado de la Cebada market and the famous theater La Latina. A visit to the mercado San Miguel is a must and see the beautiful building of the museum of Anthropology and the Ministry of Agriculture. Down to the Puerta de Toledo where we took the C2 bus to get back after a long exhaustive day of walking to all the wonderful Madrid Streets always telling my sons where their Dad had walked before even younger than they! A nice neat family experience.

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We came back next day, but this time we headed to Cibeles and found parking in Recoletos underground garage just next to Plaza de Cibeles, very central and nice. We then as usual set out on foot to see the city.

Of course, when we parked at Recoletos (Paseo de) , we immediately took a look at the Fuente de Cibeles that was undergoing renovation/cleaning and the Palacio de las Cibeles, the old city hall of Madrid and now a great place to see and climb to the top for great views of the city.  At the corner you can see the Casa de America a cultural center sharing the heritage of Spain and the Americas, all in the Plaza de la Cibeles.

Of course, we ate all sorts of ice creams and sodas along the way and water from mini grocery stores, but the nice sit in was near my old neighborhood on a new outfit call Audrey Brunch & Coffee, Calle Alcalà 183.  This is a new place, nice clean and friendly full of locals in non tourist area. We had our chorizo sandwich and fanta lemon here as well as coffees and sweets to load up on the sugar content and survive the 35C weather in the city.

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A bit further walking and you reach my Puerta de Alcalà, the great gate of Madrid and I lived closed to it for four years! And from there, you go in to the fame Parque del Buen Retiro park another must and always a must for me, a wonderful memories of youth and still feeling Young just stepping into the park. ear here, in Calle Alcalà just across from the Retiro park before arriving at the Puerta de Alcalà lies the Church of San Manuel y San Benito where my mom used to take me as a boy. It is still nostalgic to see it and remind if need to of my mother again, always in my mind even if already 13 years of her passing.

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One park that used to be my hangout and so far until now no pictures is the parque Eva Peron off the Plaza Manuel Becerra. There is a Church parroquia de la Covadonga right there too.  There is one by Doctor Esquerdo going towards Plaza Conde de Casal and another one by Menendez Pelayo and Calle del Alcalde Sainz de Baranda across from Retiro park, this is the Cerveceria Cruz Blanca, is another of the typical one in my Madrid away from tourist central. Right diagonally from the brewery restaurant and before crossing the street to Retiro park there is a nice archicturally done Church the Parroquia del Santisimo Sacramento. 

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In no particular order, we had to go see the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium of my lifetime team Real Madrid FC, and had a beer and tapas at the Real Café Bernabeu with wonderful views of the stadium field.

Of course , we walked a lot see Madrid soak up its air, feel the city , once again is beyond words for me. We took the metro this time from the fame  Plaza de España to the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. line 10.

We had the opportunity to try the bus network taken bus 21 from Plaza de Toros (Ventas) to Paseo Rosales .This get you a nice overall view of the city and go from the wonderful historical Plaza de Toros very near of my old home to Paseo Rosales and the Teléferico (cable car) and the Temple of Debod Egyptian gift to Spain.

I used to hang around the Plaza de Toros when as an early teen lived here and always a pilgrimage to this cultural and historical mecca of Spain. The teléferico or cable car, my mother used to take me to the Casa de Campo attraction park and the temple de Debod a gift of Egypt to Spain for helping in the flooding of the Aswan Dam. The temple sits on the Cuartel  de la Montana park, and old establishement military base during the Spanish Civil War and now practically part of the Parque del Oeste along Paseo del Pintor Rosales.

And we took bus 14 from Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to paseo de Recoletos parking spot to recover our car.  Oh well once again, had to leave my Madrid. I never get tired of visiting even repeat places. I have lived/worked in 5 countries, visited 81 countries and countless cities of our world but Madrid is touching, virus like proportions, again I never get tired of visiting it.

The tourist office of Madrid for reference: https://www.esmadrid.com/en

I have no words Madrid is more than a city to me, it is part of my life and a happy nice life indeed; always Madrid or From Madrid to Heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day !!!

Hope you enjoy the tour of my Madrid, and remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

November 18, 2020

Once again Madrid ,always heaven on earth!!!

And I continue my zesty quest to update my older posts with revise up to date text and links. I will put pictures if not seen elsewhere in my blog, that is the idea. Hope you enjoy these old posts as much as I do writing them. And food for thought for my new readers. Thanks in advance !

And of course, once again Madrid, always heaven on earth ,yes indeed!

Madrid the city of my youthful movida and lucky enough to visit often nowdays; this time was a short 3 days but did I had fun as always!!

Landing in T4 Adolfo Suàrez Madrid-Barajas airport on Iberia; and taken that quick trip on the metro line 8 to Colombia connecting with the line 9 to Sanz de Baranda and my hotel as usual lately the Ayre Gran Colon Hotel. webpage: https://www.ayrehoteles.com/en/hotels/ayre-gran-hotel-colon/

It was a Saturday so the night of Bruce Springteen concert at the Bernabeu stadium, he was staying in the Westin Palace,the hotel of my business conference and all was busy trying to get a glimpse in vain. lol!!

I took the plunge to go out at night walked those wonderful lively great Madrid night time always busy never a dull moment. Madrid just breathing its air feels great, rejuvenating, stronger; I walked all over km after km it was fantastic. Stopping here and then for a caña or jarra (bigger glass of beer) looking for that Mahou or Meau!

Getting my typical real souvenirs at Arte Toledano in Paseo del Prado, you find the finest of Toledo and Madrid here with medieval armor museum and ceramics, portraits etc gifts for all tastes and genuine Spanish. Unfortunately, now closed! Here just for the memories.

Took a look at Atocha train station always imposing from the Glorieta del Emperador Carlos V, and the many restaurants around it. It was the train station closest to my piso or apartment when living here and a must to stop by.

In my walks I past by the Fuente de las Cibeles and Fuente Neptuno the main venues in victory for the Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid, respectively. On Sunday took part in the outside festivities of the  King’s Cup or Copa del Rey, between Sevilla and Barcelona at the Calderon stadium. Sevilla maravilla was short and Barcelona won but the ambiance was great. A point to make is seeing all those Catalans taken pictures in front of the Congreso de los Diputados (Spanish parliament) lol! And the great statue to Miguel Cervantes de Saavedra the writer of Don Quijote!!! It shows you is not all what the media points out.

Moving along in my walks passing the Cine Ideal ,founded in 1916 in the site of the convent of the Footed Trinity  or Convento de los Trinitarios Calzados; later in 1932 was adapted to do teatrical shows and Spanish Zarzuelas theater plays , and finally in 1990 came back as a cinema. My mother used to bring me here as a kid !!! It is at calle del Doctor Cortezo, near the Plaza de Jacinto Benavente, but you can see it from Calle Mayor! Just for my memories webpage: https://www.yelmocines.es/cartelera/madrid/ideal

And walked by the Teatro Calderon who was built in 1917; before it was call Teatro Odéon,   located at Calle Atocha, 18 just in front of the Plaza de Jacinto Benavente. Theater and Spanish Zarzuela with performers like Plàcido Domingo! webpage: https://teatrocalderon.es/

You see wonderful architecture and places to see Madrid from above and eating out right on Calle Alcalà like the Instituto Cervantes, a wonderful place to expose the Spanish language and culture all over the world; the building is a fantastic architecture marvel. For info webpage: https://www.cervantes.es/sobre_instituto_cervantes/informacion.htm

You go on to the Plaza de España and the complex in honor of Miguel Cervantes Saavedra the writer of Don Quijote and the elements of Sancho Panza on one side and Dulcinea on the other. The Plaza de Oriente with its marvelous Teatro Real; actually a bit further back in the Plaza de Isabel II.

Not to forget the small quaint medievel Plaza de la Villa off Calle Mayor, this is the govt city hall annex of the city of Madrid. You can see here the Casa Lujanes with its tower, Casa de Cisneros ,and Casa de la Villa where the city hall is located ,with the statue to Alvaro de Bazan, hero of Lepanto amongst others.

Just a wonderful town, a must to see in Europe, the No 2 most visited country in the world according to UN WTO statistics, and well deserved. See it to believe it. From Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day!

As an anecdote while doing this trip, my team the Real Madrid became last night the winner in penalties kicks of the 11th Champions league title, the most in history, the greatest of all time. Hala Madrid !!! for eternity. The French coach Zinadine Zidane became the first Frenchmen to ever won the Champions as player and coach! Real Madrid webpage for reference: https://www.realmadrid.com/en

The city of Madrid tourist officehttps://www.esmadrid.com/en

So now you have it and me updated on my beloved dear Madrid. Looking forward to be back once allowed by the virus. Stay safe you all and again thanks for reading me!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

November 6, 2020

My nostalgic Madrid!!!

Again, this is my black and white series as I like to call them, revising and updating old posts in my blog for a new life. The pictures are in the individual posts on the things to see. I feel attach to them and need to bring them to the light. What better to do so than on my huge Madrid!!!

Yes, something I need to write about. I lived in Madrid from 1970-1974, there other times other periods, harder times for all. However, my love for the city has not waned in all these years. I am an appreciative person , and remember kindly all the good times of my life. Madrid is a big part of it.

When a young boy I had the inmense luck of playing for the Real Madrid organisation, first in baseball then in football/soccer. Real Madrid has remained my team of my life, Hala Madrid to all!!!  I used to lived at Calle de Alcalà ,331; 2do A, Buzon 67 Madrid 28027, right by the exit of metro line 5 Quintana corner with Calle de la Argentina. Many memories too intense to write all about it. I came from one dictatorship to another, and it was tough. We were dissidents in both right or left, they are not good.

This street or calle de Alcala has 10,5 km long from the Puerta del Sol to the Ave de la Hispanidad,passing by the best of Madrid. Yes, it was and always will be MY street. For those who knows,  I lived in working class Madrid away from tourist center, right in with the locals, and the experience was great, and is each time on the city. Thanks God it has been often after I left it in 1974. Who has not heard of this song Los Nardos from the movie Las Leandras with Rocio Durcal in 1969 “Por la calle de Alcalá…….”

While there, one of my anecdotes tells all was to go play baseball, we went to the field at the Parque de la Elipa, no metro then, just by bus, the P13, it was a glorious ride of youth chasing the girls going to the park as a means of entertainement in those days. (see post). I left Madrid for New Jersey, USA , and then Florida USA, where I spent most of my life. After many years, I try to remember the bus line and had in my mind the P13. However, Madrid and Spain had change since the 70’s , overall for the better. When I got back in 1990 , the bus line was no longer there,and could not find it. Then; one day trying to find information on the general strike in the city I stumbled into a wiki page that talk about a bus line 113. Well to my surprise this bus line 113 is the new number for the P13 after the creation of the Madrid bus system EMT!!! Amazing that I found it, after so many years, now that I know the numbers change, maybe I can have some fun looking up old bus lines while I was living there lol!! The P13 was nice, now the service of the 113 is even larger, and there is even a metro Elipa now there on line 2.  So glad Elipa is advancing, and glad the old P13 is still alive in the 113!

Madrid to heavens and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day! Hala Madrid!! We win most often the best football club in history with 13 Champions titles and 34 national titles most than anybody else. Club of the 20C by FIFA and European club of the 20C by IFFHS!!!

But wait a minute, not just my story! Calle de Alcalà has a long history and wonderful things to see along its long way. I love history, so will like to tell you a bit of history I like. Hope you enjoy it.

The street began in the early 15C on the old road to Alcalá de Henares ,and reaching to Aragón,and was call then calle de los  Olivares  (olive trees street) ,the street was started by masons, horseshoe artists, and carriage rentals with mules, and was the beginning of the diligences or people mover in the whole of Spain!! When Madrid became the capital of Spain in 1561, more luxurious mansions and palaces were built on it.

Given way to the Puerta del Sol, until 1856  was the site of the Church and Hospital of  Buen Suceso, founded by king  Carlos I ;later it was the Hotel París, the most elegant of Madrid at that time, and on the bottom floor it was the venerable Café de la Montaña, now all gone. At the corner with the calle de Sevilla, it was La Equitativa insurance company building built between 1882-1891  you see the facade with heads of elephants under the balcony of the first floor  crown with a small tower and clock; in 1920 the Banco Español de Crédito purchase the building.

Continue on and see the old Customs or Aduanas building, and continue to see the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, built in 1724-1725; follow this up with the Casino de Madrid built in 1905-1910  in the old building of the palacio de Villarroel.  See the emblematic building of Madrid, in the corner with Caballero de Gracia,and beginning of the Gran Vía, see the French style palace of Union and Fénix, finished in 1910 . Its cupola a city landmark today ,used to be crowned with a ave fénix  symbolising the old company ,but in 1975, when the new company took over was change to a victoria style statue, this is the company or building  Metrópolis.

Moving right alont on old Madrid, as you crossed the Gran Vía and calle del Marqués de Valdeiglesias, you found the  Casa del Párroco, first building done between 1910-1912,as part of the public works to do the Gran Vía.  Just after you have the old theater or Teatro Apolo,considered a cathedral of the small art, capacity for 2,500 persons and built in 1873. Here was first played the greatest zarzuelas in history such as La verbena de la Paloma (1894), La Revoltosa (1898), and Doña Francisquita (1923). It closed in 1929, after being purchased by the bank Banco de Vizcaya for its headquarters in Madrid.  Going on the sidewalk to the right crossing the calle de Sevilla,you first see a building for the Banco de Bilbao built between 1920-1923.

You follow wandering the street and see the old Education ministry building or Ministerio de Educación, built in  1929 ,and it has a beautiful room or salon de Goya, and a completer gallery of pictures of all its ministries.  Another emblematic building and great for snack and coffee, is the El Círculo de Bellas Artes done in Calle de Alcalà by 1921-1926 You are about to reach Cibeles, and on the right you see the Banco de España built between  1882-1891. Right by the angle to  calle del Barquillo,in a former palace now you find the Instituto Cervantes. Right after at the old palace of Buenavista you now see the Cuartel General del Ejército de Tierra (headquarters of the Army).

You then reach the plaza de Cibeles, done under king Carlos III, with a nice perpective of the Puerta de Alcala. You have here the old Palacio de Linares built in 1873, today the wonderful Casa de América, to the left, and the palacio de Comunicaciones ,(old post office of Spain) today is the seat of the Mayor’s office to the right, built in 1905-1918. On the left sidewalk you see the reopen by 1994 and a different business there (El Secreto del Lobo resto) at the old  Cervecería de Correos, that have the peña or gathering group of  Federico García Lorca, and the Café Lión, with its famous crypt of La Ballena Alegre (happy whale) that have frequent visits by many  great names of Spain such as  Valle-Inclán, Penagos, Bergamín and Francisco Ayala;as well as politicals such as Azaña, Calvo Sotelo , José Antonio Primo de Rivera, and after the Civil War, such as  Dámaso Alonso and Vicente Aleixandre…It closed in 1993. And to the right you see the wonderful gardens Parque del Buen Retiro.

The Puerta de Alcalá, yes we arrive at the grand daddy for me, need to be here always visit by, the Church of San Manuel y San Benito, built in 1911.  The Puerta de Alcala was done under king Carlos III in 1778 by Sabatini. At the entrance to what today is calle de Serrano, an old execution site of the Holy Seat, was the old primitive first bullfight arena of Madrid done in 1799. The current plaza Monumental de Las Ventas,was built in neomudéjar style in 1931. Around it many wonderful bars such as La Tienta, La Divisa, La Monumental, Los Timbales(my all time favorite in the area), El Albero, and Los Tarantos. Awesome and more local away from the Centro!!!

A bit after by metro Quintana you have my hangout when in Madrid at Docamar, since 1963 ,the best patatas bravas in Madrid !!! And the calle de Alcalá continues it crosses the beltway road M-30, and goes across the districts of Ciudad Lineal (Quintana is one neighborhood) and San Blas ,finally ends running parallel to the avenida de América,in the interchange Eisenhower,where the road A-2 (carretera de Barcelona) and road  M-14 (avenida de la Hispanidad to the Aeropuerto Adolfo Suàrez Madrid-Barajas  crossed. And yes, you can link up to the airport or even to France from here. Awesome!!!!

The long link of the city of Madrid on transports:traffic in Spanish: https://www.madrid.es/portales/munimadrid/es/Inicio/Movilidad-y-transportes/?vgnextfmt=default&vgnextchannel=220e31d3b28fe410VgnVCM1000000b205a0aRCRD&vgnextoid=220e31d3b28fe410VgnVCM1000000b205a0aRCRD

The much shorter tourist office of Madrid in English: https://www.esmadrid.com/en

The tourist office of the Community of Madrid regional govt in Spanish: https://www.comunidad.madrid/cultura/patrimonio-cultural/conoce-patrimonio

You have the idea, Madrid is awesome and worth every centime/penny to come and see and see it again as there is a world there To Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day! Yes!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

October 17, 2020

Real Madrid CF!

Do I need to say more? This is the ultimate in the history of the game of football/soccer/calcio in the world. I am a proud Madridista! Its been a while, it is time I talk about my other love!

I will be talking about something personal, it is my club since youth years, and needs update in my blog. I think at this moment it would be very opportune to re tell you about it. I lived in Madrid for four years between 1970 to 1974, and played for the Real Madrid in baseball,volleyball ,and football/soccer in the Alavin division. Once a Madridista, always a Madridista to the grave. There is no other team club alike in the history of the game of football/soccer. Hala Madrid!!!!

La Liga (the league as its call in Spain), has been different this year. Due to the virus it was stopped for a while and recently re started.  Last year the Real Madrid won its 34th league title (most in Spain) and arrive to the quarter finals of the Champions league (which we lead with 13 wins). This year we are to a good start even with injured players we are in first place with 10 points in 4 matches. We will be playing the “clasico” game against our eternal rivals on 24 October at 16h away.

I am not going to tell you about the history as plenty in my blog on it so read on.

The official Real Madrid CF webpage in English here: https://www.realmadrid.com/en

My main source of news on the team is from the Spanish sports newspaper AS, which I am reading since 1972! Their page is here and finally in English too: https://en.as.com/

You can see previous games and leyends games at Real Madrid TV here: https://www.realmadrid.com/fr/real-madrid-tv

For shopping Real Madrid official items you have an online store here: https://shop.realmadrid.com/?lang=es

Over the radio my favorite is Cadena SER and the Carrusel Deportivo provides lively themes on the sports , teams, players ,and just gossips. Their webpage here : https://cadenaser.com/programa/carrusel_deportivo/

Another favorite program of Cadena SER is the Larguero, the webpage here: https://cadenaser.com/programa/el_larguero/

However, more than the club this post is on the stadium. The legendary Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Paseo de la Castellana, metro line 10 Santiago Bernabeu is getting a complete facelift.

mad real madrid estadio santiago bernabeu emblem feb13

The stadium expansion and restructuring project, by 2022, sought to increase the capacity by 8,000 seats, the restructuring of the stands, the complete lining of the stadium by means of a retractable roof, a shopping center and underground parking lots. This overhaul, for a budget of around 500 million euros, includes the installation of a roof, a new metal envelope made of steel strips and a luminous ring-shaped display board, visible 360 degrees from the stands. The club’s museum will be enlarged and new dining and shopping areas will be created. The number of seats in the stadium is not expected to change, around 81,000.

The New Bernabéu will feature access points which will ensure quicker and easier entry, with the towers allowing for a large number of people to access and leave the stadium quicker even on the busiest nights.   The underground carpark, located where the former shopping center La Esquina del Bernabéu  (Bernabeu corner many memories here sad to see it go but modern times are a must) used to be. The carpark will have five levels, two more than the previous one, with 500 parking places including places for the Real Madrid team bus and the visiting team’s bus. The adjacent building which once housed the club offices and Adidas store has been completely demolished. In its place, a new, three-storey office complex will be built – which will extend along the whole of the Calle Padre Damián side of the stadium.

mad TGIF la esquina del bernabeu entrance apr17

One feature of the future stadium that is now visible is the metal structure belonging to the new towers on the Paseo de la Castellana. Equipped with ramps, escalators and lifts, the new towers will replace the current B and C towers and will serve to make the flow of spectators more fluid. They will also serve an architectural purpose, given that they will provide structural support for the new roof.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

You can see the videos of its construction sequence here: https://www.realmadrid.com/en/bernabeu-stadium

Its “socios” (supporters-shareholders), adopted a long-term loan of at least 525 million euros last September. This loan will cost the club around 25 million euros per year and the completed stadium will generate 150 million euros in additional income per year. Real has returned to the top of the ranking of football clubs with the most income in the world, according to the firm Deloitte.

You can get tours of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium info here: https://www.realmadrid.com/tour-bernabeu

You can see the tourist office of Madrid on the Santiago Bernabeu stadium here: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/santiago-bernabeu-stadium

And there you have it all on the best in the world! Real Madrid!!! Hala Madrid!!! we say. If you want an experience on football/soccer than come here and see feel enjoy the best! Hope you like the post as I did telling you about it!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

September 28, 2019

Restaurant: Real Café Bernabeu, Madrid!

So, therefore, after posting about the monuments and sights of my beloved Madrid will go into the places of shopping and restaurant with a series Restaurant: XXX Madrid or Shopping: XXX Madrid. Hope you enjoy them and do try them when visiting Madrid the food and shopping is an experience to behold in lovely Madrid. For lack of creativity ,I will copy this first paragraph into the subsequents posts! ::)

Well if you have been following my blog, you know I am a lifelong Madridista fan of the Real Madrid CF, the greatest of all time!!!! and of course have written several posts on it in my blog. On every visit to Madrid we cannot missed been at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium and have at least a glass here at the wonderful Real Café Bernabeu. So will be brief on this post::)

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Let me start briefly by showing a couple of my previous posts on the Real Madrid CF and the Real Café Bernabeu and me in Madrid!

My previous post Madrid and the Bernabeu

My previous post Real Madrid CF always on the move

The Real Café Bernabeu restaurant is located on the premises of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium itself and has 1,200 square meters of living space with stunning views from inside to the stadium!

My story this time is we arrive without reservations and my sons were worry not to be allowed in, and the front desk guy asked us if had reservations! I just simply show my Madridista credentials and he yelled back he is one of us!! immediately a table was setup see picture and we had prime view of the stadium again: it goes without saying Real Madrid all the way!!

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In it you will find a bar area, located on the ground floor, with capacity to accommodate 150 people. In it you can have a drink or a soda while listening to good music and enjoy a modern and exclusive atmosphere. And on the first floor (2nd fl US), it has an impressive glass of 80 meters that allows you to see the stands and the pitch, where diners can enjoy this privileged view, while having a cocktail, a snack or enjoying a delicious meal. The Real Café Bernabeu offers a carefully renovated traditional cuisine accompanied by an extensive wine list.   In summer the terrace of Real Café Bernabéu opens from 10h and is one of the best options for a drink in Madrid. There is a valet service.

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Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here and you must lol!

Official unique Real Café Bernabeu site

Official Real Madrid CF site on the Real Cafe Bernabeu

Official tourist office of Madrid on the Real Cafe Bernabeu

And there you go a dandy full throttle place to be chic and sporty sitting with the best is always royal like Real, at the Real Café Bernabeu in the cathedral of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium! Enjoy it

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

September 2, 2019

Basketball and Real Madrid!

Well on my recent trip to my beloved Madrid i had to bring my boys to the Real Madrid environment that I grew up with. Mind you all my 3 boys follow the team as well and load it up on shirts etc at the official store by Calle del Carmen near Sol!

However, what I seems to missed for them was the basketball side of Real Madrid, almost as good as the football/soccer side.  For the record here is the official webpage on the Basketball section: Official Real Madrid basketball/baloncesto

The team plays in the Liga Endesa as sponsor carries the name or the ACB, that was created in 1983. The team was born in March 22, 1931! I follow the team since the 1970’s at the time of Emiliano Rodriguez, Clifford Luyk, Wayne Brabender, and Juan Antonio Corbalàn! My favorite coaches were Raimundo Saporte,  Pedro Ferrandiz, Lolo Saenz who I keep a personal contact over the years!, and the current one Pablo Laso!

I started watching the games in the early 70’s at the Pabéllon de la Ciudad Deportiva (Sports City) that held games from 1966 to 1986.  Afterward was name the Pabellon Raimundo Soporta. Today there are four buildings towers there name Cuatro Torres business area or CTBA( four towers).For reference these are  the Espace tower at  224 meters; Cristal tower at 249 meters which has a hotel as well, the PwC tower 236 meters ,and the Cepsa tower at 250 meters (highest of Madrid and Spain). More info on the Madrid tourist office here: TOurist office of Madrid on the Cuatro Torres

Later the team move to Palacio Vista Alegre (that was an old bullfight arena) in 2004-2010 where I came to see them many times even with my dear late wife Martine! And now still use for concerts, events etc; more here: Official Palacio de Vista Alegre

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madrid

Finally, the current home is WiZink Center and doing so since 2011! under various names until the current one in 2016. This is at Avenida Felipe II and Plaza Salvador Dali , near metro Goya line 2 and 4 as well as O’Donnell line 6 circular line. Of course, this is a multi use center with many concerts etc but basketball is official home, the schedules are here: Official WiZink center schedules basketball

madrid

Madrid

statue call the Dolmen of Dali

The basketball section has won many titles over the year been on the same level as the football/soccer team; these are:

Winner of the European Champion Clubs’ Cup – Euroleague: 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1974, 1978, 1980, 1995, 2015, 2018 (10).  Winner of ULEB Cup: 2007. Winner of the Saporta Cup: 1984, 1989, 1992, 1997.  Winner of the Korać Cup: 1988. Winner of the Intercontinental Cup: 1976, 1977, 1978, 2015.  Winner of the World Club Championship: 1981
Winner of the Latina Cup: 1952-1953.  Winner of Torneo Internacional ACB: 1984, 1988, 1989.

And on the national level:  Spanish Champion (35): 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1993, 1994, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019
Winner of the Spanish Cup (27): Under the name Copa del Generalísimo: 1951, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975,
Under the name Copa del Rey, King’s Cup: 1977, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1993, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. And  the Winner of the Spanish Supercup (5): 1985, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018.

There are tournament schedule for Sept 21th and onwards with the official Endesa league starting in Sept 27th vs Badalona. Currently there is the World Basketball Championship in China where Spain is one of the favorites. The Euroleague opens on October 21th vs Fenerbahçe of Turkey. The Supercup of Spain pitting the EuroCup winner Valencia or Montakit Fuenlabrada winner vs Real Madrid regular league Champions is schedule for Sept 21th.

In all, it’s wonderful to be part of this Real Madrid organisation since early teens years and forever; do come on over and see a game while in Madrid!!! Hala Madrid!!! These are new pictures others are spread out in other previous posts!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

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