Madrid for True Football Fans

  • Estadio Wanda Metropolitano
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You won’t believe how vibrant Madrid can become on matchdays. The city has a long football history, which spans 100 years and is largely the history of its clubs: Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid and Rayo Vallecano, founded in 1902, 1903 and 1924, respectively.

Going across the city in a slanting line from north to south, you’re bound to encounter Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, at the heart of the Chamartín district, Atlético de Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium in the district of San Blas-Canillejas, and Vallecas stadium, a smaller field named after the working class district it stands on.

Football and food

Madrid’s passion for football is nurtured, in more than one way, at the city’s bars and restaurants. The establishments near the stadiums are certain to become packed with fans before, during and after games. And, when the time has come for the Champions League or Europa League tournaments, foreigners who’ve come to support their teams find their way into the many downtown beer bars in Sol and Barrio de las Letras (Literary Quarter).

Don’t be surprised to come across Real Madrid players or managers dining a few tables away from you at their restaurants of choice, Asador Donostiarra and Mesón Txistu. And, since there’s room for everyone in Madrid, communities of supporters of almost all the Spanish League teams are to be found in the city.

Some elite footballers have ventured into the gastronomic sector, participating in projects such as Naked & Sated, which has several restaurants in Madrid. One of the partners in this venture is Marcos Llorent, a player with Atlético de Madrid, along with the popular Chef Bosquet, whose philosophy focuses on healthy and quality food, for guilt-free enjoyment.

In addition, located in the neighbourhood of Chueca, with a terrace area in the Plaza de Pedro Zerolo, is Bombastic, a restaurant that has become a fashionable hot spot in the city, divided into two different sections. The partners in this restaurant business also include several footballers, including Marcos Llorente once again.

Celebrations

Team fans have managed to turn local monuments into traditional symbols of their clubs. If the team win a title, qualify for a championship or just give them any reason to celebrate, Real Madrid’s fans will gather at the Cibeles Fountain, while those of Atlético de Madrid will rally at the Neptuno Fountain and Rayo Vallecano fans – Rayistas will come together round the fountain outside the building of the Assembly of Madrid. And there’s a fourth meeting place for football fans: Plaza de Colón, where derby rivalries are set aside to celebrate the Spanish football team’s victories.

Fuente de Cibeles. El Madrid futbolero

Museums

The excitement of football forms part of the air that is breathed in the capital and those who come to Madrid are well aware of it. Football has even made a place for itself in the ranking of visitors to museums, and both the Bernabéu Tour and the Wanda Metropolitano Tour, with guided tours of their facilities, are receiving more and more visitors. If you want to buy an official product, you can do so at the museums as well as the Real Madrid stores (Arenal 6, Gran Vía 31 and Carmen 3), at those of Atlético de Madrid (Gran Vía 47) and Rayo Vallecano in Avenida de la Albufera, 114, as well as at the museums.

A visit to Madrid’s Wax Museum affords the unusual sight of Iker Casillas or Cristiano Ronaldo playing in the same pitch as Andrés Iniesta, David Villa and Fernando Torres. And if you’re willing to venture beyond city limits into the town of Las Rozas and its Football City, the Museum of the Spanish Football Team, guarded by a Modernist gate dating from 1900, will take you on a journey through the country’s football history, starting with glorious old-time players like Ricardo Zamora, Telmo Zarra, Ferran Olivella, José Ángel Iribar or Alfredo Di Stéfano and reaching up to the present-day stars of La Roja, as the national team is commonly dubbed.

Legends: The Temple of Football 

The original Legends: The Temple of Football  museum, designed for football fans, will open its doors in 2022. This space, located in the heart of Puerta del Sol, will offer a chronological journey through the history of this sport, using the most advanced technology, which will enable immersive experiences to be enjoyed and more than 4,000 historic objects to be seen.

You will be able to see the boots and balls used by the first world champions, as well as the kits of football stars, such as  Maradona, Pelé, Cruyff, Messi, Zidane, Iniesta, Paolo Rossi, Di Stefano or Cristiano Ronaldo, among others. 

Fitness clubs and gyms 

For fans of sports and physical fitness, Madrid offers spaces designed by elite footballers. This is the case of Sergio Ramos by John Reed, a space devoted to sports activity, by the footballer, Sergio Ramos, and the fitness guru, Rainer Schaller. Inspired by boutique style gyms, it has five areas: functional, running, boxing, strength training, agility and cardio.

On the other hand, CR7 Fitness by Crunch by the footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Crunch Fitness, one of the leading gym chains in the United States, offers a new gym concept. Its services include training areas, personal guidance with highly qualified trainers and professional sports nutrition. It is a centre that fosters physical activity for all types of people with a world renowned “no judgements” philosophy.

Cristiano Ronaldo also has his own hotel in the city, Pestana CR7 Gran Vía Madrid, located on the Gran Vía. It is a fully refurbished 1920 building where sport is ever present, in terms of its decor, with signed football shirts and images of footballers, and its facilities, as it has a fitness box or sports area. It also organises training programmes and sporting activities.

 

OTHER TEAMS FROM THE COMMUNITY OF MADRID

Two other Madrid teams, Getafe and Leganés. Their stadiums, 12 km from Puerta del Sol, are very well connected to the city of Madrid by public transport.

DON’T MISS

Madrid plays host to professional basketball games, high-performance athletics events and elite tennis championships.

Discover the best places for a run in Madrid (make sure your check our map!), and its most famous races. 

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