Real Madrid has a special place in the world of football. There is no need to describe the unique football feats Real Madrid (as a club) has been able to achieve, but we’ll go ahead and describe them anyway.
Achievements in football as a club, fortunately, boils down to two trophies i.e the league and the UEFA Champions League.
Real Madrid has won La Liga a mammoth 32 times. It is true that Real Madrid has been able to La Liga only once in the last seven years with five going to Barcelona and one going to our good neighbours Atletico Madrid but that does not change the fact that Real Madrid had been a dominant force in La Liga for a very long time before.
Winning La Liga is probably the hardest thing to do in football nowadays because of one simple reason. That one simple reason is Barcelona. Real Madrid accumulated 94 points last season but that was only good enough for second place since Barcelona is a side that drops very few points in the league for whatever reason.
Anyway. Real Madrid is the club without which there would be no glory in winning La Liga. Champions League which Real Madrid has won 10 times would not be the same.
In fact, it was Real Madrid in the beginning which gave much attention to European football in the beginning and helped it to become what it is today.
It was Real Madrid who brought a lot of glamour and consequently, money in European and Spanish football.
There are very few football clubs in the world which arouse feelings of grandeur and glory the way Real Madrid does and for good reason.
Without Real Madrid, the football world wouldn’t be half as exciting as it is today. There are many reasons for that. Some of those reasons are pretty straight forward (like Real Madrid winning 5 Champions League trophies in a row which is something the mighty Guardiola’s Barcelona did not even come close to achieving) and will be pontificated on briefly.
Real Madrid Is The Only Club Which Doesn’t Play Just For The Win
That is not a big deal for many clubs (like Milan, Chelsea, Manchester United, to some extent Barcelona) but at Real Madrid it is absolutely vital that the club plays in a way that is in agreement with its history and philosophy.
That obviously doesn’t mean that Real Madrid does not like to win stuff, it does but what it does mean is that at Real Madrid, winning isn’t everything. Winning in style is everything.
There have been countless times when managers were sacked at Real Madrid for playing in a style which did not agree with the philosophy of the club and consequently got fired even though they won trophies. Examples include Fabio Capello (twice), Jose Mourinho etc etc.
At Real Madrid a manager has to make sure that the team plays in a way that is entertaining.
If you look at clubs across Europe (like Chelsea, Manchester United, Milan, Bayern Munich, Barcelona), one common theme that is abundant at every club is the mentality to win at any cost and by any means.
That does not work at Real Madrid. So when Real Madrid players pass to each other like Pique, Valdes and Puyol pass to each other for half of the game, they get hissed.
Jose Mourinho won 100 points in one season with Real Madrid but was sacked the very next season. Why?
Because at Real Madrid, dominance on the field is not an issue as long as the match provides what football is supposed to provide, entertainment.
Without Real Madrid, the philosophy of ‘playing for the fans’ would die.
This is also the reason why Real Madrid is still the most famous club in sports. It is not because Real Madrid is the most dominant team on the planet. It is because, Real Madrid is the soul of football.
Today’s football which relies heavily on statistics and analytics has become rather boring as is the case in England and BundesLiga. Compare Real Madrid with any other elite club and you would find that Real Madrid plays in a free roam manner.
Real Madrid Provides The Most Bang For The Buck
Real Madrid is the only club which wins but also loses and that is the beauty of it. You never know what you will get when you buy a ticket to a Real Madrid match.
Team like Chelsea, Manchester United and especially Bayern Munich either destroy the opposition within the few opening minutes (and thus the rest of the match becomes pointless to watch) or scrap it out with 1-0 wins (Manchester United under Alex Ferguson were notorious for grinding out 1-0 wins. That may be great for statistics and winning titles, but at Real Madrid that does not work).
Real Madrid on the other hand, rarely win their games 1-0. Real Madrid also doesn’t win with margins such as 7-0 or 5-0 or 4-0. The games in which Real Madrid dominates have score lines along the lines of 7-3, 3-1, 4-3 and sometimes even 11-2 and that ensures that fans (of both sides) get to watch an entertaining game and get to go home feeling that they got their money’s worth.
That is also the reason why teams are very interested to play against Real Madrid either at home or away because they know they have a chance of winning (obviously, they don’t because Real Madrid is the second most strongest team in La Liga) and hence their fans also look forward to the game.
With Barcelona, except against Real Madrid, 90 percent of the games are boring. Barcelona wins more like 5-0, 7-0, 3-0 and though that is sufficient to win matches and as a result trophies, it doesn’t go down well with fans, of both sides.
Barcelona fans, whether they realize it or not, would feel much better if Barcelona had to slug it out at home and away with lots of goals rather than roll over every team time and time again.
No matter how many times I try to watch Barcelona or Bayern Munich, I get this feeling of boredom. The matches are way too one sided. The most exciting result that is expected of a game with Barcelona and Bayern Munich is a draw (other possibilities include a win).
Add to that the fact that it is only Real Madrid which produces discussion on the pitch and off the pitch. Barcelona is almost non existent when it comes to presence in the media after the last press conference is over.
Real Madrid, by its nature, the subject of every other headline in the news round the year. Either the manager is getting sacked after winning a double or a player exodus happens on a moment’s notice. That is what breathes life into the footballing world.
No other club provides that. It is only at Real Madrid that you get so much chaos and so much instability and yet, somehow the players pull themselves together to get results on the pitch.
Most other clubs play it safe by submitting to the demands of its shareholders, its owners or even its fans by not buying/selling too much. Keeping the team stable and hence unremarkable.
At Real Madrid, no matter how good the team is one season, it is almost a given that we’ll see some changes come the next season. That builds up excitement for the new season.
Players leaving and coming creates an environment of uncertainty which provides fans with much content so stay engaged with the club.
Compare that with Barcelona and all you get every season is one or two additions to the squad with the core of the team intact. That may be good (and has been providing a good return) in a sporting perspective but it doesn’t provide much to the fans who want constant feeling of ‘the new’.
At Barcelona, it is almost a given of who would be leading the attack and who would be leading in defense. At Real Madrid, one year Ronaldo scores 61 goals and the next season fans find out that the manager has decided to make Bale the central player instead of sticking with Ronaldo even though Ronaldo delivered like no one else in the game the season before.
That action, as crazy as it seems, provides the kind of frenzied drama that people look for. No other club in the world can afford to cater to its fans the way Real Madrid can and does.
Real Madrid won the 10nth Champions League a couple of season ago with Ancelotti. But what happened the season after that happened? The core of the team was gone. Alonso was gone, Di Maria was sold off and Casillas was voted off of club’s roster. Ancelotti got the sack too.
If it had been Barcelona, no one would have been fired lest Barcelona would lose its hard earned winning combination. At Real Madrid, no one cared about that. What the Real Madrid management did care about was the philosophy of the club.
New players must give way to old players no matter what. That is also the reason why you don’t see players retiring at Real Madrid that often. It is not in the club’s blood, its culture.45
Teams like Manchester United and Barcelona (along with Milan and Bayern) have the same core year after year and that might win you titles but as fans, that is not the best experience. The best experience is when you don’t know who you would see on the field playing for Real Madrid.
That ambivalence and confusion provides buzz fans are looking are when they look up Real Madrid on the internet or in the news.
Barcelona is consistent. That creates a feeling of monotony in it’s on field performance which renders the club mundane. Real Madrid provides the ups and downs which acts as a emotion stimulus when it wins game it is expected to lose and loses games it is expected to win.
Real Madrid is the only club in the world whose president gets interrogated at an airport because his name matches with someone suspected of criminal activities. Ramon Calderon it was, while he was visiting US some years ago. Where else do you find this in the footballing world?
The closest any club comes to making that sort of drama is AC Milan, whose honorary president Silvio Berlusconi was convicted a couple of years ago on charges of corruption (what type of corruption you ask? Better google that).
Real Madrid Is The Only Club Where The Best Players Play Out of Position.
The best player in the world play for Real Madrid. You name one and there is a good chance that player would have played for Real Madrid (if he was good that is) at some point in his career (since very few get to stay at Real Madrid till they hang up their boots).
If you want to see a coterie of the very best player in the world playing together, then Real Madrid is the place to go. That is, if we are talking about the very best attacking players.
And that is another reason why Real Madrid if a gift to the world of football by itself without any big name players.
Real Madrid signs the best attacking players. Not the best defensive players. You would not find the world’s best midfielders play for Real Madrid.
Real Madrid, as is the case currently, plays with the best attackers the world has to offer. But that urge to have the best players on the Real Madrid squad doesn’t extend towards the defense or even the midfield.
Real Madrid has a great attack, mediocre defense and an in-between midfield. That is a combination that begs for attacking flair football which the world wants to see.
Compare that with Chelsea and you have players who are defenders first and attackers later.
With Barcelona, it is again boring. Barcelona signs the best player in the world for every position whether it be from another club or from its much fabled youth academy.
Again that might be salubrious if you want to win titles by routing teams again and again but not so advantageous if you want to provide the fans some uncertainty which leads to excitement.
Real Madrid signs players irrespective of whether it needs them or not. That may be foolish for some but for Real Madrid management, it is part of the philosophy at the club. New players, for the new season. And more often than not, more new attacking players.
As a result of that culture, now hardly anyone can predict the starting line up of Real Madrid before any match. You have Jese, Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, James, Isco, Kovacic, Kroos, Modric and Casemiro fighting for six places on the pitch.
Barcelona on the other hand, is predictable. Everyone knows that barring injuries or suspensions, it would be Messi, Suarez and Neymar up top. Busquets, Iniesta and Rakitic in the middle and Alves, Pique, Mascherano and Alba at the back.
One piece of mystery Barcelona does administer is that of selecting the goalkeeper.
Real Madrid is the club which gave European football its charisma, allurement and prestige because it did things that weren’t written in a rule book.
With, on average, one manager for one season policy Real Madrid is the club that commits to diversion and delight in a manner that no other club can.
Is it any wonder why FIFA recognized these peculiarities and conferred the title of “Club of the Century” to Real Madrid?