The “Galactico” era may be over following the departure of David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and Luís Figo, but Real Madrid remains one of the most glamorous teams in club football with an ample quota of superstars including the world’s most expensive player, Cristiano Ronaldo. The nine-time winners of the European Cup and thirty-one-time Spanish champions play at the Bernabéu, venue of the 1982 World Cup final and a ground that ranks as one of the world’s most fabled sporting arenas.
Tickets to games – which have become more difficult to get hold of in recent years – cost from €40 up to €300 for big matches and usually go on sale in the week before a game; Real runs a telephone and online booking service (t902 324 324, wrealmadrid.com – see section titled “proximo partido” for online bookings). They can be purchased by credit card on the ticket line or online for all but the biggest matches. You can also get them through online ticket agency wservicaixa.com. Pick the tickets up from Servicaixa cashpoints (11am–8pm) or the automatic tills in the shopping centre at the corner of the Bernabéu (Las Esquina del Bernabéu) on the day of the match. If you don’t get lucky, you can still catch a glimpse of the hallowed turf by taking the stadium tour.
The capital is also home to another of the country’s biggest teams, Atlético Madrid (t902 530 500, wclubatleticodemadrid.com; tickets from around €30, bought via the website or wservicaixa.com), who play at the Estadio Vicente Calderón in the south of the city (mPirámides). The more modest Getafe (t916 959 771, wgetafecf.com; tickets from around €30 available via wentradas.com) and Rayo Vallecano (t914 782 253, wrayovallecano.es) are both based in working-class suburbs of the city.