Real Madrid basketball celebrates its 90th birthday

Pedro Ferrándiz, Lolo Sainz and Pablo Laso group 69 of the 91 titles in the section among the three. Clifford Luyk, the most important player in the club's history.


Real Madrid basketball, the most recognized FIBA basketball club, turns 90 this Monday after two decades in which it has recovered, with Pablo Laso on the bench, the splendor of yesteryear after a journey through the desert that began at the end last century and lasted until the arrival of the coach from Vitoria in 2011. Nine decades of history in which he has won 91 titles, not counting the Latin Cup, the 11 Castile championships or the 25 Christmas tournaments, to which the FIBA gave official protection until 1980.

The 10 European Cups (a competition that was not created until 1958, a year after the Spanish League) place him at the forefront of the continental record, also the four Recopas, the 1988 Korac Cup with Petrovic as the enemy for the last time and the ULEB (current Eurocup) of 2007. Whenever he did not participate in the first European tournament, he reached the final in the second or third.

Raimundo Saporta, president Santiago Bernabéu's right-hand man, was a decisive figure in the growth of merengue basketball and a key driver of the European Cup that has brought so much glory to the club. Since 1929, Basket-Ball had been practiced in the Real Madrid environment, but the documented beginning is marked by an advertisement published by Ángel Cabrera (player, coach and promoter) in the newspaper ABC on March 8, 1931, in which in the club's secretariat he mentioned "all the gentlemen interested in the practice of this sport." The following Sunday, March 15, he had scheduled a training and selection match.

The team achieved its first championship in Castilla in 1933, the first Cup in 1951, the League in 1957 and the European Cup in 1964, with Joaquín Hernández as coach, although the determining figure of those years, until his retirement from the benches in 1975, would be Pedro Ferrándiz (27 titles). Then Lolo Sainz would succeed him until 1989 (22) and now Laso (20). Among the three technicians, 69 of the 91 conquests.

Of the hundreds of players, center Clifford Luyk (33 trophies plus another four as a coach) marked a before and after in Spanish basketball and is probably the most important in the club's history. But the list of talented players who have left their mark is inexhaustible: Brabender, Emiliano, Sabonis, Corbalán, Martín, Llull, Petrovic, Reyes, Cabrera, Rullán, Delibasic, Szczerbiak, Sevillano, Romay, Biriukov, Rudy, Carroll, Doncic … 90 years, congratulations.

The pavilions in the history of Real Madrid

The coronavirus pandemic has forced Real Madrid to play its home games without an audience for the first time in its history. An absence of fans that has changed the show. Players and coaches miss the fans, and they miss their team. We review the fields that welcomed Madrid, in some cases for months and in others for decades, and where he felt the encouragement of an audience that now longs so much.

The new Sports Palace (2011-21)

One of the keys to the Laso era, not far from the style of play and good sports results, was the return to the rebuilt Sports Palace, a facility with an unbeatable location and that most fans felt like their own. Nothing to do, for example, with the Magic Box. On Goya Street the Ninth was achieved in 2015 after 20 seasons of troubles. The great game stage in these 90 years of white basketball history next to the already demolished Pavilion of the old Sports City of La Castellana, in an area where five huge towers now stand.

Caja Mágica (2010-11)

Real Madrid makes a strong bet by changing Vistalegre, which gave it so much support, for a more modern venue in the San Fermín neighborhood that it believed would provide it with greater exploitation options despite having a lower capacity. It goes from 13,900 viewers to 11,600. He returns to a field of public property (City Council) eleven years later, although the club agreed to pay 5.5 million euros for five seasons. The experience did not work out and the agreement was broken the following year, in the summer of 2011, although Madrid continued to play the Euroleague at the Caja Mágica until December of that 2011.Palacio Vistalegre (2004-2010)

The sale of the Ciudad Deportiva left Madrid without a track. He landed on Vistalegre on the rebound, but it was a success. The average attendance was close to ten thousand spectators.

Raimundo Saporta (1999-2004)

Thirteen years later the white team returned to the Ciudad Deportiva, to a renovated pavilion that honored Saporta, who died in 1997.

Parque Corredor (1998-99)

Hard years for the section, which folded sails and decided to return to the Sports City. The delay in the works forced him to play in Torrejón for a few months.

Palacio de Deportes (1986-1998)

The basketball boom led Madrid to leave its old Pavilion for 5,000 spectators and move to the Palace for more than 12,000. It was just after the 86th World Cup in Spain. The section's problems, which caused an alarming lack of public, made him return to the old Sports City, to a remodeled Saporta after passing through Torrejón. A goodbye in 1998 three years before the fire that destroyed the facility in June 2001 and forced its complete reconstruction. The inauguration of the new building would not arrive until 2005. The investment, more than 120 million euros.

Sports City Pavilion (1966-1986)

The Pavilion was inaugurated in January 1966 with a tournament that would later become Christmas. It welcomed Madrid twenty years in a row and saw five European Cups.

Colegio Maravillas (1965)

The demolition of Fiesta Alegre in 1965 forced the change of headquarters for a few months while the club finished the Sports City Pavilion.

Fronton Fiesta Alegre (1952-1965)

In this old fronton, inaugurated in 1892 as the best in the capital, Madrid raised its first European Cup. 3,500 spectators gathered.

Frontón Recoletos (1939-1952)

After the hiatus of the Civil War, Madrid moved to a covered fronton for 2,000 fans. In Recoletos the team became great in Castilla.

Chamartín (1931-1936)

In the early years the basketball team began to grow under the shelter of one of the grandstands of the Chamartín stadium, outdoors and next to the bar.

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