You may not be a huge sports fan or not a bit interested about its players, but when in Madrid, you might want to consider getting to know the most popular sport in the city as well as its most popular team – football and the Real Madrid.

Football is a team sport which generally involves kicking a ball using the foot and manipulating it with the use of all parts of the body except the hand in order to score a goal. Not to be confused with American football, football, specifically association football is what the American’s call as soccer. The sport requires each team to have between 11 and 18 players to play in a clearly defined area (mostly in a field). In order to score, each team will have to battle moving the ball to the end field of its opposing team where its goal keeper awaits.

Although the sport’s name can be generally assumed to be in reference to the act of kicking the ball, its etymology actually has a historical explanation. It goes back to the time in medieval Europe where the peasants play on foot contrary to the horse-riding sports played by the aristocrats.

In Madrid and generally all over Spain, football is the most popular sport. Like in Brazil, most of the people are huge and avid fans of the sport, and thus, it is expected to get to see many teams to play in the city whether in amateur and professional football.

In the field of professional football, the most famous team that brings the city’s name is the Royal Madrid Football Club or simply, the Real Madrid. Founded in 1902, the word “Real” in the club’s name refers to the Spanish word “Royal” as was given to them by King Alfonso XIII in 1920 along with the royal crown placed on its emblem. The club has a long-standing rivalry with Barcelona’s FC Barcelona.

When it comes to its players, probably the most famous football player that has played for the Real Madrid is David Beckham (currently playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy). Playing from 2003-2007, Beckham has made 116 appearances for the club and bagged a total of 13 goals. Next to Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo would also have to be the biggest star kicking for Real Madrid. The Portuguese national team’s captain as well, Ronaldo’s move to the Real Madrid from Manchester United made him the most expensive football player in history.

Whether or not you are interested in sports, catching a football match in Madrid would make any vacation to the city more unforgettable.

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