Real Madrid is one of the most successful and famous football clubs in the world. They have won numerous domestic and international titles, including 14 UEFA Champions League titles. With such a successful history, it’s no surprise that they have developed rivalries with many other clubs. Here are some of Real Madrid’s most notable rivals:
The most famous and intense rivalry of Real Madrid is with Barcelona, the other giant of Spanish football. The two clubs are the most successful and influential in Spain, and their matches, known as El Clásico, are watched by millions of fans worldwide.
The rivalry has political, cultural, and historical dimensions, as Barcelona represents the Catalan region, which has a distinct identity and a history of oppression by the central government in Madrid. The first match between the two clubs was in 1902, when Real Madrid was still called Madrid CF, and Barcelona won 3-1. The rivalry has also featured some of the best players in history, such as Alfredo Di Stéfano, Ferenc Puskás, Johan Cruyff, Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Another important rivalry of Real Madrid is with Atlético Madrid, the other major club from the Spanish capital. The two clubs are neighbours and strong contrast in style, philosophy, and fan base. Real Madrid is seen as the more glamorous, wealthy, and successful club, while Atlético Madrid is seen as the more humble, hard-working, and passionate club.
The rivalry, known as El Derbi Madrileño, dates back to 1906 when Atlético Madrid was founded as a branch of Athletic Bilbao, a club from the Basque Country. The two clubs have also faced each other in many important matches, such as the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finals, both won by Real Madrid in extra time and penalties
Real Madrid’s rivalry with Athletic Bilbao is based on a long-standing rivalry between the Basque and Castilian regions of Spain. The two clubs have a history of fiercely competitive matches, and their rivalry has grown stronger.
Valencia is another club that has an intense rivalry with Real Madrid. The two clubs have a history of competing against each other in important matches, including in the UEFA Champions League final of 2000. Their rivalry has produced some exciting and memorable moments over the years.
Sevilla is another club with a rivalry with Real Madrid, although it is not as intense as some other rivalries on this list. The two clubs have competed against each other in many important matches, including in the UEFA Super Cup. The rivalry between Sevilla and Real Madrid is based on a competitive history of exciting matches.
Outside Spain – England and Europe
Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have faced each other in the UEFA Champions League more times than any other two clubs in the competition’s history. The two clubs have met 26 times in Europe’s premier club competition, with Real Madrid winning 13 of those encounters. Matches between these two giants of European football are always highly competitive and fiercely contested, as witnessed in 2007 and 2018.
Real Madrid and AC Milan have a long-standing rivalry that goes back several decades. The two clubs have faced each other numerous times in the Champions League, including three finals in the 1950s. Despite Real Madrid having the upper hand in their head-to-head record, AC Milan has managed to cause some upsets over the years, including a 5-0 victory in the 1989 European Cup semi-final.
Real Madrid and Liverpool have faced each other in the Champions League final twice in recent years, namely in 2018 and 2022, with Real Madrid coming out on both occasions. The two clubs have only met eight times, but their recent encounters have fueled the rivalry. Matches between the two clubs are always highly competitive and closely watched by fans worldwide.
Real Madrid has developed many fierce and intense rivalries throughout its history. Some of these rivalries are based on regional and political differences, while others are simply the result of competitive matches over the years. Regardless of the reason, the matches between Real Madrid and its rivals are always highly anticipated and full of excitement for fans around the world.