Real Madrid FC: Motivating highlights & lessons from its illustrious history
Some people say motivation doesn’t last; I’m in complete disagreement with this notion because experience has proven that motivation could last indefinitely, especially when it’s done every day and consistently over a long period of time.
That aside, even if motivation doesn’t last, it’s still much better to be consistently motivated than to halt motivation completely—on the basis that it doesn’t last. In the search for consistent motivation, most people look up to football clubs and teams for inspiration, and as a light that could propel them to greatness.
When it comes down to football clubs that exude great success and achievements, the first team that always comes to my mind, and which I’ve been supporting since 1997, is Real Madrid FC—football’s most prestigious club, FIFA’s football club of the 20th century, and Barcelona FC’s fiercest rival.
Due to Real Madrid’s great achievements in world football, FIFA recognized it as the best club of the 20th century on December 11, 2000, and later handed it their (FIFA’s) Centennial Order of Merit on May 20, 2004. Today—18 years after the year 2000—Real Madrid is still showing FIFA why it made the right decision to award it the best club of the 20th century.
Recently, Real Madrid once again defined another era in world football by winning 11 international titles within the last 5 years: 4 FIFA Club World Cups, 4 UEFA Champions League Cups, and 3 UEFA Super Cups. This period witnessed arguably the best Real Madrid football team ever assembled.
Specifically, 2016/17 was the best season for Real Madrid when it won 5 titles: 1 FIFA Club World Cup, 1 UEFA Champions League Cup, 1 UEFA Super Cup, 1 La Liga title and 1 Super Copa de Espana.
In 2017, Real Madrid became the first club to win the UEFA Champions League twice in a row—i.e. consecutively. In 2018, it broke that record and became the first club in history to win the UEFA Champions league three consecutive times after defeating Liverpool in Kiev.
On the other hand, during the last 5 years, it seems Real Madrid left Spanish football titles for local rivals (Barcelona FC, Atletico Madrid FC, etc.) to hustle for, because it won only 1 La Liga title, 1 Super Copa de Espana, and 1 Copa del Rey title within the same time frame of 5 years.
It’s evident Real Madrid has achieved everything, and far more trophies than other great football clubs have achieved. Coupled with this feat is the fact that Real Madrid has been the most supported club in Spain for the majority of history.
Many of the best players in the world have played in the clubs white shirts; they include legends like Alfredo Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas, Raul Gonzalez, and recently, Christiano Ronaldo.
Generally, Real Madrid has won the following:
- 7 World titles: 3 Intercontinental Cup titles and 4 FIFA Club World Cup titles. Real Madrid has won 4 more world titles than Barcelona which didn’t win any—now-defucnt—Intercontinental Cup title, although it (Barvelona) has 3 FIFA Club World Cup titles, and has won only 1 of them in the last 5 years
- 13 UEFA Champions League titles (8 more than Barcelona which has 5, and has won only 1 in the last 5 years)
- 4 UEFA Super Cup titles (1 less than Barcelona which has 5, and has won only 1 in the last 5 years)
- 33 La Liga titles (8 more than Barcelona FC which has 25, and has won 3 in the last 5 years)
- 10 Supercopa de Espana titles (3 less than Barcelona which has 13, and won 2 in the last 5 years)
- 19 Copa del Rey titles (11 less than Barcelona which has 30, and has won 4 in the last 5 years)
- 1—now-defunct—Copa de la Liga title (1 less than Barcelona which has 2).
If Real Madrid’s achievements are compared with that of other clubs, one would hardly argue that Real Madrid FC has achieved everything imaginable, and is well-established and respected world-wide.
The following are a few important motivating lessons that can be learnt from the illustrious history of Real Madrid
1. Droughts and dynasties
Patience and time are important when establishing great dynasties similar to that of Real Madrid. After Real Madrid won La Liga titles in 1931/32 and 1932/33 seasons, it took 20 trophyless years before it won a third La Liga title in 1953/54 after the acquisition of Alfredo Di Stefano.
Also, after winning the European Champions Cup (later renamed “UEFA Champions League”) in 1966, it took Real Madrid 32 years before it won the UEFA Champions League in 1998.
Prior to Di Stefano’s era, Real Madrid didn’t win any trophy for 18 years—between 1935/36 (when it won the Copa del Rey) and 1953/54—during a period when Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao were the main powerhouses of Spanish football.
Over a few years after its trophy drought, there were few other difficult periods in which Real Madrid continued to work while exercising patience and gradually becoming the most successful club, locally and internationally. Generally, many cases in history have shown that time and patience are necessary ingredients needed to produce strong and lasting dynasties.
No one should be fooled into believing they can never create dynasties in the future after experiencing droughts.
2. Challenges and cups
In order to reach the peak of their achievements, Real Madrid faced a lot of challenges, locally in Spain, and internationally in the UEFA Champions League, intercontinental Cup and FIFA World Club Cups. However, these challenges were surmounted and results of their victories are represented by the number of trophies that have been acquired.
No one should be fooled into believing that they can’t win cups of success, victories and trophies after coming up against threatening challenges from any source(s).
3. Losses and triumphs
Faith and positivity were important ingredients used by Real Madrid during their 20 years trophyless wait for a third La Liga title.
The pain of losses and halts in acquisition of trophies have shown that patience, time, positivity and faith are good tools that should be utilized whenever there are losses—until success and victories come back again.
No one should be fooled into believing they can’t triumph in the future after losing battles. He who wins big wars (cup finals or league titles) after losing small battles (one league or league matches) is much greater than he who loses big wars after winning small battles.