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The story behind each crest of top European clubs

Soccer - UEFA Champions League Final 2011 - FC Barcelona vs. Manchester United : News Photo
Club crests have become a key component of marketing the clubs in the modern era
Modified 01 May 2017, 22:12 IST
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The history of every club in the world will be the subject of interest for its supporters, not just the formation of the club, but its relationship with the local area, how they came to wear the club colours and the significance.

That also extends to one of the most important facets of a club's brand; it’s crest or logo. Perhaps, more than anything else, the crest is something that binds players with their loyal followers. They talk of ‘playing for the badge’ and how often have we seen players kiss it after scoring.

It’s worn on the chest, normally the left side, and the reason for that is because it’s supposed to cover the heart vis a vis ‘the club in my heart.’

Some clubs, for marketing purposes or otherwise, change the crest on a semi-regular basis and are often accused of destroying a club’s heritage by the traditionalists.

Let’s take a look at the story of the crests from five of the biggest clubs in the world.

#1 Real Madrid

Real Madrid crests over the years (Courtesy: SoccerManiak)

Of all of the world’s top teams, Real Madrid not only have one of the most simplistic designs, but Los Blancos have barely changed it during their history. In fact, only twice in the last 76 years has there been any amendment to it.

The first logo, in 1902, was a simple MCF in a grand interlocking lettering style, standing for Madrid Club de Futbol. After six years a circle was added and the lettering placed within, giving most prominence to the letter M.


King Alfonso XIII gave the club his seal of approval during 1920 and thus Real (essentially ‘Royal’) Madrid was born. As such, the club were then allowed to have the crown adorning its logo and were then known as Real Madrid Club de Futbol.

In 1931, when the monarchy was deposed, the crown had to be removed, the name reverted to Madrid Club de Futbol and a mauve diagonal stripe was added to represent the Castilo region.

Just 10 years later, after the Spanish Civil War had finished, it changed again. This time, the crown was back, and for the first time in the club’s history, the badge was in full colour. Real Madrid Club de Futbol also returned as the official name.

Since then, only an emboldening of each facet of the badge and changing the mauve stripe to blue has occurred or, if you live in the middle east, the cross from the top of the crown is missing – for purposes of marketing on the shirt for those in the region that don’t believe in Christianity.

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Published 01 May 2017, 17:00 IST
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