There can be no doubting that Real Madrid in their second golden era, and now there is a figure to confirm it: Alfredo Di Stefano‘s side and the current team under Florentino Perez have both won 17 titles each.
This recent golden era for the club began with the signing of Cristiano Ronaldoin 2009, and both sides were built with a strong spine.
The team of Di Stefano had himself, Paco Gento, Jose Santamaria, Jose Maria Zarraga, Miguel Munoz and Ferenc Puskas, compared to Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.
The departure of the Portuguese superstar has not put an end to Real Madrid‘s winning cycle, as some had suggested after defeat to Atletico Madrid in the European Super Cup in August.
The Club World Cup has seen another title and confirmed the club’s winning abilities, picking up the title for a third consecutive year.
The arrival of Di Stefano in 1953 was a turning point in the club’s history as they brought one of the best players in history to the club, making a respectable team a winning one and playing in a brand new stadium, built in 1947, which was among the biggest in the world.
He pushed the side to the top in Spain, dominated the Copa de Espana and pushed the likes of Barcelona, Athletic Club and Atletico Madrid in the league, whilst also winning the first European Cup in 1956.
Seven decades later, the European Cup, now named the Champions League, is the tournament which belongs to Real Madrid.
In the 1950s, Madrid won the competition in five consecutive years; against Stade de Reims twice, Fiorentina, AC Milan and Eintracht Frankfurt.
The peak came in 1960, when they beat Frankfurt 7-3 in the final at Hampden Park, a few months before thrashing Penarol to win their first Intercontinental Cup.
Then there was an era of nothing, with the oasis of the sixth European title seeming a distant dream for 32 years of frustration and unfulfilled dreams.
It wasn’t until May 20, 1998, that the club regained that feeling with Pedja Mijatovic‘s famous goal in Amsterdam which put the club back on top.
Then came two more European Cups, making it three in five years, which started a new era with players like Raul Gonzalez, Fernando Hierro, Zinedine Zidane, Guti, Fernando Redondo and Manuel Sanchis.
In 2009, Florentino and Cristiano began another era, one of slow cooking, which began with a single goal as Sergio Ramos scored a goal equally as historic as Mijatovic‘s to equalize deep into injury time in Lisbon against their city rivals Atletico in 2014.
It set the club on their way to a 10th Champions League title – the famous ‘La Decima‘ – when it seemed impossible.
Since then, only Alvaro Morata‘s Juventus could stop Madrid in Europe, as an 11th title was secured against Atletico again in Milan, then a 12th against Juventus as Madrid sought revenge in Cardiff, and a 13th against Liverpool in Kiev last summer.
Each of the four has led to a Club World Cup win too, with wins against San Lorenzo, Kashima Antlers, Gremio and Al Ain.
In three of the four cases, a European Super Cup has been won, in addition to two LaLiga Santander titles and two Copa del Rey titles in the 2009-2018 era.
Madrid are now in an era of legends, an era which began in Paris with a first European title and has continued until Abu Dhabi; now, it will go on…