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One of the most famous football clubs in the world, Real Madrid has won a massive variety of titles in their time.
The club was founded back in 1902 and has gone on to win La Liga titles, Copa del Rey trophies, European cups, UEFA cups and the Champions League.
One of the biggest clubs in Spain, Real Madrid CF has seen some incredibly famous faces pass through its ranks, including the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Roberto Carlos, Raúl González, Kaká, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
Currently first in La Liga, and with a huge upcoming UEFA Cup game against Manchester City, many fans are wondering about the club’s name and its origins.
What does ‘real’ mean in Spanish?
‘Real’ literally translates into English as ‘Royal’ and is pronounced ‘rey-al.’
Why are some Spanish teams called ‘Real’?
As the translation might suggest, the royal family bestowed the prefix ‘Royal’ upon some Spanish football clubs.
In the case of Real Madrid, they competed as Madrid Football Club for almost the first two decades of their existence.
In 1920, King Alfonso XIII bestowed them the title of ‘real’ – a name they retain today. The connection is also visible in their logo, which comprises of a crown and several colours that are traditionally associated with Spanish royalty, like gold, blue and red.
Several other Spanish football teams came to be known as ‘Real’, including Real Sociedad, Real Unión and Real Betis.
Villareal drew their name from their hometown, which was founded by royalty – hence the ‘real’ association.
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Source: Metro Sport