Madrid is a premier cultural destination in Europe, where visitors can enjoy some of the most sumptuous cuisine, inspiring art, and the most evocative architecture of pretty much any European metropolitan area. Of course, some folks traveling to Spain may be looking to experience something a little bit more specific—say, perhaps, a game played by Atlético Madrid. That’s right—the capital city of Spain is a paradise for sports lovers, with some of the best football clubs in the world alongside plenty of other athletic competitions ranging from tennis to basketball. If you’re looking to explore the world of athletic accomplishment in Madrid, we’ve got a few suggestions for you. Our sports lover’s guide to Madrid includes the following sites, teams, and tournaments:
- Atlético Madrid & the Wanda Metopolitano
- Real Madrid CF and the Bernabéu
- Madrid Open
- Vuelta a España
- Real Madrid Baloncesto
Atlético Madrid & the Wanda MetopolitanoAtlético Madrid is one of two premier football clubs in the city of Madrid (with the other being their in-city competitors, Real Madrid—more on them below). They play their home games in the brand-new Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, after having played for generations in the Vicente Calderón Stadium. Atleti has had great success in European competition over the years, winning La Liga ten times, the Copa del Rey ten times, the Europa League three times, the UEFA Super Cup three times, and many other smaller titles and tournaments. Some of their most famous players (current and former) include Diego Costa, Antoine Griezmann, Fernando Torres, and Luis Aragonés.
Real Madrid CF and the BernabéuThe other primary football team in Madrid is the one and only Real Madrid CF. Their home stadium, the Bernabéu, is a popular place to tour, as many visitors love the opportunity to marvel at their many trophies and evidence of their great accomplishments. Real Madrid are arguably one of the best football teams in the world, winning record numbers of domestic and European titles including 33 La Liga titles, 19 Copa del Rey titles, 13 European Cup/UEFA Champions League titles, and many more. Their famous players include Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, and Alfredo Di Stéfano.
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Madrid OpenMadrid is also home to an ATP Masters tennis tournament, the Madrid Open. Welcoming both male and female tennis professionals, the Madrid Open is played on a clay court and takes place in the summer. It was originally an indoor hard-court tournament until 2009, when it switched to an outdoor red clay (with one notable year of unconventional blue clay). The best and brightest of the world’s tennis stars have played in this tournament, including Novak Djokovic, the undisputed master of clay courts Rafael Nadal, and the inimitable Roger Federer, who is the only player to win the Madrid Open on all three surfaces. For the women’s side, Serena Williams, Simona Halep, and Maria Sharapova have all won the tournament since its debut as a clay tournament in 2009.
Vuelta a EspañaA prestigious cycling tournament, the Vuelta a España is one of three global week-long Grand Tours. As part of the “Tour of Spain,” Madrid is the final stage of the tour. This multi-stage bicycle race was founded following on the success of the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia. The race was first held in 1935, and has been produced annually since 1955. The race is held each year during the second week of December.
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