Wed 19 January 2022 | 5:30

Top facts about Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, the Spanish man-o'-war

As the Vikings sailed their longship and the English their warships, the Spanish brought their best weaponry on the board and created a man-o'-war to fight against the waves of the enemies and rogue tides. Welcome to top facts about Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, the Spanish man-o'-war.

The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, Spain, is a football stadium. Since its construction in 1947, it has been the home stadium of Real Madrid, with a current seating capacity of 81,044. After Camp Nou and Westfalenstadion, it is Spain's second-largest stadium and the third-largest home to a top-flight European team.

The most obvious fact of top facts about Santiago Bernabeu is that the stadium is one of the most famous football stadiums in the world, named for former Real Madrid president and footballer Santiago Bernabéu.

Four times, it has hosted the European Cup/UEFA Champions League final: in 1957, 1969, 1980, and 2010.

The Bernabéu also hosted the finals of the 1964 European Nations' Cup and the 1982 FIFA World Cup, making it Europe's first stadium to hold both a UEFA Euro final and a FIFA World Cup final.

Exploring and uncovering top facts about Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, the Spanish man-o'-war

In this article, we will read about the home of Real Madrid in full. We will start from its history and will make our way through its development and evolution into what it is today. We will also learn about the important games which have taken place in this amazing arena. Now without further ado let us hop into the top facts about Santiago Bernabeu Stadium article.

Santiago Bernabeu name origin

We will start with 

top facts about Santiago Bernabeu

 with name origin. Santiago Bernabéu de Yeste, a forward for

Real Madrid

, was a Spanish footballer. He was the club's president for 35 years, from 11 September 1943 to his death in 1978, and is largely recognized as one of the most influential characters in the club's history.

He attempted to construct what would become the stadium that bears his name today, which was at the time Europe's largest stadium, and was criticized for being "too big a stadium for such a small team." During these years, the Ciudad Deportiva was established so that the players could train without ruining the stadium's surface. 

Finally, he started on an ambitious policy of bringing in world-class players from other countries, the most notable of which was the acquisition of Alfredo Di Stéfano, and establishing the world's first completely global team.

Santiago Bernabeu history

As mentioned before, let us first get to its long history, and then we can get to the other parts of the top facts about Santiago Bernabeu article.

The Banco Mercantil e Industrial bank gave Santiago Bernabéu and Rafael Salgado credit on June 22, 1944, for the acquisition of land near the ancient Chamartn Stadium.

The architects Manuel Muoz Monasterio and Luis Alemany Soler were engaged on September 5, 1944, and the old stadium began to give way to the new one. The stadium's construction began on October 27, 1944.

The Nuevo Estadio Chamartn was launched on December 14, 1947, with a match between Real Madrid and

Os Belenenses

from Portugal, which Los Blancos won 3–1. The stadium's initial seating capacity was 75,145, with 27,645 seats (7,125 covered) and 47,500 standing people. Sabino Barinaga scored the first goal in the new stadium.


In 1955, the first significant refurbishment took place. The stadium was extended to accommodate 125,000 people on June 19 of that year. As a result, the coliseum in Madrid became the largest venue in the newly organized European Cup.

After a General Assembly of Members Compromisaros on January 4, 1955, it was determined that the stadium would be renamed in honor of club President Santiago Bernabéu.

Another one of top facts about Santiago bernabeu is that the floodlights were erected in March 1957 to facilitate midnight play. The new floodlights were formally launched in a game against Brazilian team

Sport Recife

on May 18, the same year, in which Real Madrid won 5–3.

The next major shifts did not occur until the early 1980s when Spain hosted the 1982 FIFA World Cup. The stadium needed to adapt to the changing times, therefore architects Rafael Luis Alemany and Manuel Salinas were chosen to renovate the stadium.

Luis Alemany Soler, who completed the initial construction project close to Muoz Monasterio, was the father of the brothers. The project lasted 16 months and cost 704 million pesetas ( US $4.7 million), with the City of Madrid paying 530 million pesetas.

A lot of points were improved as a result of the changes. To begin, FIFA mandated that two-thirds of the sitting space be covered. Real Madrid, with the exception of the east side, constructed a roof over the perimeter of the first and second levels of seating.

The stadium's seating capacity was lowered from 120,000 to 98,000 people, with the new roof covering 24,550 of them. The project also included the refurbishment of the press spaces, locker rooms, access, and auxiliary facilities, as well as the installation of new electronic signs in the north and south ends.

Master plan

As the team grew in every way, there were discussions about making more alterations to the stadium. When Florentino Pérez took over as president of the club, he started a "master plan" with one objective in mind: to increase the comfort and quality of the Santiago Bernabéu's facilities while also increasing income.

Pérez spent €127 million over five years (2001–2006) expanding the stadium's east side, as well as adding a new façade on Father Damien Street, new boxes and VIP areas, new dressing rooms, a new stage in honor of the east side, a new press area (also on the east side), a new audio system, new bars, integration of heating in the stands, panoramic lifts, new restaurants, escalators in the tower access.

The Santiago Bernabéu's capacity was increased to 80,354 all-seated seats following the development of the lateral east side and the building of additional galleries.

Another one of the facts about Santiago Bernabeu is that it hosted the 1,000th match in 2007.

Furthermore, on November 14, 2007, UEFA granted the Santiago Bernabéu elite stadium designation, a month before the stadium's 60th anniversary. The stadium was upgraded to an elite venue by UEFA on October 24, the day a Champions League group stage match versus Olympiacos was played.

Before resigning in 2005, Pérez advocated the building of a retractable roof. Following Pérez's re-election as club president in 2009, it was stated that due to the club's financial predicament, the roof building was looking doubtful. Pérez, meanwhile, intends to rebuild Santiago Bernabéu, according to the Spanish sports weekly Marca.

According to the publication, the project's lead architect will be picked from a shortlist that includes Spanish architects Santiago Calatrava and Rafael Moneo, as well as Chinese-American Ieoh Ming Pei, a Pritzker Prize winner.

Most recent changes

We talked about the renovations done in the distant past but what about the most recent changes that this stadium underwent? Let us read all about that in this section of top facts about Santiago Bernabeu.

Around 1,000 seats were added in 2011, boosting the stadium's total capacity to 81,044.

Pérez revealed on October 16, 2013, that Real Madrid was attempting to sell the stadium's name rights and find a sponsor for the €400 million redevelopment project.

On January 31, 2014, German architects GMP released their suggested design for the stadium redevelopment. According to Spanish media sources, the striking design features a retractable roof, with the entire cost of roughly €400 million expected to be covered half from naming rights sales and half through a bond issuance to Real members.

"We aim to make the Santiago Bernabéu the finest stadium in the world," Pérez added. Real Madrid then signed a sponsorship deal with IPIC to help the club with the stadium's restoration. Pérez subsequently stated that the stadium will be renamed "IPIC Bernabeu" or "CEPSA Bernabeu" in accordance with the deal. The surface has been redone with Italian-made Mixto hybrid grass.

On April 3, 2017, Real Madrid and Microsoft released the first interactive audioguide for the Bernabéu Tour. In 2016, over 200,000 individuals visited the stadium, with over 60% of them being foreigners.

Future plans

The €525 million rehabilitation project was supposed to start in the summer of 2017, however, it started in 2019. With the installation of an extra tier, the capacity will be raised by about 4000, bringing it to just over 85000.

Additionally, the height will be extended by 10 meters, and a retractable roof, as well as a retractable pitch will be installed. The naming rights to the refurbished stadium are intended to be sold by the club.

The project will take three and a half years to complete (2019–2022).

To avoid interfering with the stadium's functioning during the football season, the remodeling crew uses Roman techniques to raise the roof. "The project is complicated since it will not halt the game, which complicates the construction and design, which includes a roof that encloses the whole stadium.

They're planning to use current technologies to lift the ceiling as the Romans did.

To adhere to the athletic calendar, they will elevate the inner ring by string-pulling using hydraulic jacks, bridge technology, and ski lifts in a short amount of time over the summer "Tristán López Chicheri, the renovation's project manager, said After the Royal Spanish Football Federation banned La Liga due to the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020, Real Madrid chose to speed up the repairs.

The expedition includes inner work that rendered the surface unfit, forcing Real Madrid to relocate their matches till the conclusion of the 2020–21 season to the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium.

With several attractions planned, Chicheri hopes that the makeover would draw people to the stadium all year. More restaurants, a shopping center, and a hotel are planned for the stadium, with some rooms offering views of the pitch.

The "future digital stadium" will have a retractable roof and a 360-degree screen. "It will be utilized not just on matchdays — there are venues like the Bernabéu in the heart of the city, and it is a tragedy that they have no life beyond 35–40 matches a year," Chicheri remarked.

Santiago Bernabeu structure

For those who have not seen this magnificent stadium, we will describe it in this section of 

top facts about Santiago Bernabeu


The Real Madrid board of directors has chosen L35, one of Spain's major architectural firms, to redesign the renowned Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in collaboration with GMP Architekten, the world's leading stadium specialist, and Ribas&Ribas, a hotel specialized architectural company.

Although the new envelope can be fashioned whichever it pleases, its geometry is not random. The curving volumes may change how light is reflected, while the indicated lines represent energy and drive.

The stadium volume adapts to the software underlying it, rising or contracting without losing unity or character, while visually dominating its surroundings.

Through its dynamic pattern, the vented cladding material is meant to let or obstruct sunlight. The skin design is based on lines, which allows for a relatively easy construction procedure despite the high-tech component and enables for huge parts to be shop-assembled.

The new roof is built with beauty and economy from a structural standpoint. The existing concrete columns are neatly supported by a compression beam. The inner ring is supported by strained cables and is supported by the outer ring. The entire roof is hoisted into place and placed on the pitch.

Here is another fact of the top facts about Santiago Bernabeu. This famous soccer stadium's gleaming mesh façade reflects its surroundings while also conveying an air of openness and providing a glimpse of the stadium's interior. Because of its durability, flexibility, and ease of maintenance, the architects chose Escale 7 x 1 stainless steel spiral mesh.

Santiago Bernabeu important matches

Many major games have taken place in this amazing stadium, and now we are going to take a look at the most important matches that have been played in this arena in this section of top facts about Santiago Bernabeu.

The European Nations' Cup, which Spain hosted in 1964, included three matches at Santiago Bernabéu: one qualifying match and two main tournament matches, including the final. Spain was featured in all three matches.

The match took place at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid between the 1960 victors, the Soviet Union, and the hosts, Spain. Chus Pereda and Marcelino scored the goals that gave


a 2–1 victory. For the Soviet Union, Galimzyan Khusainov scored.

The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium hosted four matches at the 1982 World Cup in Spain: three in the second round (West Germany–England, West Germany–Spain, and Spain–England), as well as the final between West Germany and



It was a football match between Italy and West Germany in the 1982 FIFA World Cup Final. It was the first broadcast on July 11, 1982.

Paolo Rossi scored first, knocking home a bouncing Claudio Gentile cross from the right from close range, after a scoreless first half in which

Antonio Cabrini

blasted a penalty low and wide to the right of the goal.

Marco Tardelli then scored from the edge of the box with a low left-footed shot, before Alessandro Altobelli made it 3–0 with a low left-footed goal at the conclusion of a counterattack by the winger Bruno Conti.

Italy's advantage looked to be secure, prompting Italian President Sandro Pertini to shake his finger at the cameras from the stands in a cheeky 'not going to catch us now' gesture.

Germany struck in the 83rd minute when

Paul Breitner

sent a low shot from the right side past the goalie, but Italy held on to win their first World Cup trophy in 44 years and their third overall with a 3–1 triumph.

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top facts about Santiago Bernabeu


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