Real Madrid has one of the most storied histories in European football, and as a result, there has been a long list of historic matches. Which of those ranks among the most significant and best for Real Madrid fans, though? Here are our picks for five classic games that every supporter should know.
The First Copa del Rey Title (1905)
The Copa del Rey was introduced in 1903, and Real Madrid nearly secured the first-ever title but lost to Atletic Bilbao in the first go-around. Bilbao won the following year, as well, and they were going for a third straight to start the history of the Copa del Rey in 1905. However, Real Madrid was out for revenge.
After getting through Moncloa FC and San Sebastian Recreation Club without allowing a goal, the rematch was set in the finals. This time around, Real Madrid would win the Copa del Rey thanks to yet another shutout, defeating Bilbao 1-0 on a 70th-minute goal by Manuel Prast.
Meeting of the GOATS (2012 La Liga)
El Clasico is the matchup that all Real Madrid supporters wait for every year, and things certainly got kicked up a notch when it also meant a meeting between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the two greatest players of their generation. Perhaps the best match that was played between the two came in the seventh week of the La Liga season in 2012, with the match ending in a 2-2 draw.
All four goals were netted by the two superstars, with Ronaldo striking first in the 23rd minute. Messi would score the next two in the 31st and 61st minutes, but Ronaldo answered back in the 66th minute to force the draw. It was an epic showdown of two living legends at their best.
2002 Champions League Semis
The 2002 Champions League was certainly one to remember, even for the clubs who didn’t win. As for Real Madrid, the club advanced easily out of its group which also contained Panathinaikos, Sparta Prague, and Porto with five wins and a draw. In the quarterfinals, Real Madrid advanced past Bayern Munich thanks to a 2-0 victory in the second leg to give the club a 3-2 aggregate win.
The matchup was then set for Real Madrid to take on rival Barcelona, and Madrid would get the advantage with a 2-0 victory on the road in the first leg. In the second leg, Real Madrid took a 1-0 lead just before half to all but seal the victory in its first-ever Champions League meeting with Barcelona. Barca scored in the 49th minute, but it was too late, as Real Madrid advanced and went on to win the finals.
2014 Champions League Final
Coming into the 2014 UEFA Champions League, many figured that the winner of the tournament was going to come from the city of Madrid following the group stage. Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid ran through their groups, collecting 16 points in six matches while Madrid was grouped with Galatasaray, Juventus, and Copenhagen. In the round of 16, Real Madrid took care of business against Schalke 04, then dispatched two more German teams (Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich) in the quarters and semis.
After Atletico Madrid ran through Milan, Barcelona, and Chelsea, the stage was set for the two to face off in the Champions League Finals. On paper, the match looked like a drubbing in Real Madrid’s favor. However, Atletico Madrid scored in the 36th minute, and it remained 1-0 in their favor until Sergio Ramos forced extra time in the 93rd minute. Real Madrid scored three more times in extras to win the title 4-1.
The Drubbing of Barcelona (1943)
Massive wins against Barcelona don’t come very often, so it was definitely noteworthy when Real Madrid was able to beat Barca by not just a couple of goals, but a whopping 10. The match came as part of the 1943 Copa del Generalisimo. In the first round, Real Madrid had a huge 6-1 victory over UD Salamanca, then advanced on a tiebreaker against Espanol in the round of 16. After defeating Xerez CF 6-4 on aggregate, Real Madrid and Barcelona would square off in the semifinals.
Interestingly enough, Barca actually won the first match by a 3-0 margin. Things would change completely, however, as Real Madrid won by a score of 11-1 in the second leg. A lot of drama surrounded the match and was the start of the rivalry Pruden scored a hattrick for Real Madrid while Barinaga added another four. Despite the drubbing, Real Madrid would go on to lose 1-0 in the final to Atletico de Bilbao.