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Remembering the legendary Santiago Bernabeu

Santiago Bernabeu's philosophy influences Real Madrid's policy even in the 21st century
Santiago Bernabeu's philosophy influences Real Madrid's policy even in the 21st century
Mahnish Kashyap
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Estadio Santiago Bernabeu is going through a thorough renovation, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. Although renovation works are ongoing, Real Madrid moved back to play in the stadium for the 2021-22 season.

While we are quite aware of the developments in the stadium and the club, we should keep in mind that this is not just another stadium. It is much more than a stadium. Estadio Santiago Bernabeu represents the vision of the great President of Real Madrid - Santiago Bernabeu, the man after whom the stadium was named.

🆕🏟 Take a look at the plans for the new Santiago Bernabéu! #HalaMadrid https://t.co/ntXWHidlaa

Bernabeu reviving Real Madrid from its ruins:

Bernabeu restructured the administration of the club for smoother functioning.
Bernabeu restructured the administration of the club for smoother functioning.

After being elected President of Real Madrid, Bernabeu discovered that the club was essentially in shambles. The Spanish Civil War took a heavy toll on the city of Madrid and also on the club. Many people belonging to the old administration of Real Madrid were either killed or missing.

What further aggravated the problem was that the club sponsored by the establishment was Atletico Madrid, which received generous government funding. Competing against strong clubs like Atletico Madrid and Barcelona was very difficult in those days.

Santiago Bernabeu essentially pulled Real Madrid out of the crisis and helped bring it to the top footballing levels. He was a visionary. He dreamt of making Real Madrid the biggest club globally and backed up his visions with concrete action. He began by restructuring the club's administration to maximize efficiency, and this approach bore fruit.

Bernabeu's vision of creating the greatest football club

Bernabeu was obsessed with winning trophies. He didn't want to settle for anything less than being champions.
Bernabeu was obsessed with winning trophies. He didn't want to settle for anything less than being champions.

He made sure to make Real Madrid a truly global club by signing superstars from around the world. He signed superstars such as Alfredo di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas. This policy of signing superstars has had an impact on Real Madrid's philosophy even now.

Archives | Real Madrid president Santiago Bernabeu pinning club’s badge on the chest of Kwame Nkrumah (middle, all white) after the Spanish giants visited Ghana and were held by the Black Stars to a 3-3 draw in 1962. [@GhanaianMuseum] https://t.co/ObrKLXa92f

The concept of Galacticos - referring to the policy of Florentino Perez, which focuses on bringing in global football superstars is inspired by Santiago Bernabeu's approach. Bernabeu's message to the world was clear - we are Real Madrid, and we are the biggest of the lot.

Bernabeu's legacy in Real Madrid

Bernabeu changed the fortune of the club and was the chief architect of Real Madrid's European success.
Bernabeu changed the fortune of the club and was the chief architect of Real Madrid's European success.

Bernabeu's hard work and dedication to the club brought tremendous success, both domestically and on the European stage. Real Madrid won six European Cups during Bernabeu's tenure. He turned the fortunes of this failing club around and established it to be the biggest club of the time.

Bernabeu efficiently managed the economics of the club and used the generated revenue carefully to build a new stadium called the Chamartin Stadium. This stadium was later renamed Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. He demanded a high work ethic from his athletes. He tried to facilitate this by building a world-class training center called the Sports City.

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Bernabeu's legacy is intimately linked with the club and its philosophy. He set the benchmark for future presidents. He is the reason why the club is the biggest football club in the world. He is the inspiration for current club president Florentino Perez. Even the renovation of Estadio Santiago Bernabeu mirrors his emphasis on sophistication and the desire to be the best.

41st anniversary of Santiago Bernabéu's passing!One of the most important men in Real Madrid's history, Served as Real Madrid president for over three decades [35 years] and made the club a benchmark in world sports.❤️ Forever in our Hearts ❤️ https://t.co/u3qf8DBDB6

Edited by Henno van Deventer
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