Friday, February 8, 2008

Estadio Santiago Bernabéu

The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium was inaugurated on 14 December 1947 with a match between Real Madrid and Portuguese club Os Belenenses. The stadium was considered the best and most modern football venue of the times, and it's first expansion in 1954 also made it the biggest in the world. The history of the stadium developed in unison with an extraordinary team of champions, whose list of honours managed to match the greatness of this superb stage. They are the golden years that fulfilled every supporter's dreams: the best team playing in the best stadium.

At this point, it is fair to acknowledge the importance of one person, a symbol of Real Madrid, a visionary who was ahead of his time, a person whose faith firmly led and commanded this magnificent project, developing it successfully. The man was Santiago Bernabéu, after whom the White Coliseum was named. His grandiose vision of a stadium that could hold the ever-growing Real Madrid fanbase -a pipe dream in many people's heads- came to fruition thanks to his undeniable effort and leadership.

The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium has hosted an endless number of first-line sporting and social events, among which the following stand out: the Final of the 2nd European Cup won by Real Madrid (1957); the Final of the Eurocup (1964); the Commemorative celebrations of the Stadium's 25th anniversary(1972); the Commemorative celebrations of Real Madrid's 75th anniversary (1977); the Final of the Spain 1982 World Cup; Pope John Paul II's 100,000+ gathering with the Spanish youth (1982). Additionally, the Santiago Bernabéu has played host to several finals of the Spanish Cup.

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