Real Madrid - Club Brugge: Club Facts

Santiago Bernabéu. La Casa Blanca. This trip to Madrid lets a lot of fans dream of another legendary European night, but for the players it's dead serious. Club Brugge have been playing well in the previous weeks and hope to get something out of the game against the Champions League record champion. But it's going to be extremely difficult.


The Bulgarian referee Georgi Kabakov has been appointed referee for Club's second UEFA Champions League fixture against Real Madrid CF. He will be assisted by countrymen Martin Margaritov and Diyan Valkov. Stanislav Todorov is the fourth official. Massimiliano Irrati (Ita) is the video assistent referee, assisted by fellow Italian Paolo Valeri.


The Italian Domenico Messina is the UEFA Referee Observer, the Englishman Thura Win the UEFA Delegate.


The 33-year-old referee from Plovdiv - the 2019 European Capital of Culture - has been performing on an international level since 2013. Kabako is a UEFA Categorie 1 referee, the second highest level, and already whistled one Club Brugge game. Earlier this year he was the referee in the Europa League fixture between Club and FC Salzburg (2-1). He was also the man in black in the UEFA Youth League between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund in 2017: 2-1 win for Real.


Club have been playing well in the last couple of weeks and last weekend finally the number of goals reflected the level of play. Club won 5-0 on the road against KV Mechelen, only their second home defeat in one year. Diagne opened his account with two goals, Diatta scored in his last three league games and Vormer already assisted seven goals this season.


Last weekend's win was Club Brugge's biggest away win in nearly five years. The last time Club won on the road with 5 or more goals dates back to Boxing Day 2014 when Blauw-Zwart crushed Lierse: 0-6.


Club Brugge are now five games unbeaten in the Champions League group stage, while Real Madrid lost the last two games in the group stage. Los Blancos also lost their last two home games in Europe: the 1/8th final against Ajax (1-4) and the group stage fixture against CSKA Moscow (0-3).


Real hosted Club in the 1976-77 season in the European Cup, but not in Bernabeú. The game was played in Malaga as a punishment for the misbehaviour of Real Madrid fans a year before. Club returned from a Spain with a 0-0 result and won at home with 2-0 thanks to a goal by Le Fèvre and an owngoal. It was one of Club's biggest achievements.


Exactely fifty years after Club's first encounter with a Spanish team (SE Sabedell), Club now face Real Madrid. Club have yet to get a first win on Spanish ground: 4 draws and 9 defeats in 13 away games. Real has a better scorecard with seven wins, two draws and only one loss against Belgian teams.


Real Madrid was founded 117 years ago - 10 and a half years after Club Brugge. Just as with Club Brugge, the presence of the local British immigrants was important for the foundation of the club. Real has been playing in white since the start, the royal titel "Real" was awarded by King Alfonso XIII in 1920, along with the crown in the crest. It took Real only three years to win their first price: they won the Cop del Rey after beating Athletico Bilbao. And they have won it eighteen more times since, lifting that cup for the last time in 2014. In 1929 the Primera División started for the first time with ten teams. Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao were three of them and they have never relegated once. Real Madrid is the Spanish record champion with 33 titles. They won the last title in 2017.


Real Madrid has been one of the regulars since the start of European football, winning the very first European Cup in the 1955-56 season. With Alfredo Di Stéfano as the club's captain Real Madrid won five European Cups in a row and the Argentinian forward even scored in every final. Real holds the record of 13 wins in the Europan Cup or UEFA Champions League. Since the UEFA Champions League was formed, Real Madrid is the first club to extend his title. With Cristiano Ronaldo in their midst they even won it three years in a row: in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Apart from the 13 UCL titles, Real Madrid have 2 UEFA Cups, 4 UEFA Super Cups and 7 International Cups in their trophy cabinet.


Real Madrid play their home games at the Santiago Bernabéu since 1947. The stadium had a capacity of 75.145 which was expanded to 125.000 in the fiftees. In 1982 Spain hosted the World Cup and thus the stadium underwent big changes in the years before, reducing the number of seats to 81.044 which is still the maximum capacity to date. The Bernabéu Stadium has been the home of 4 Europacup I or UCL finals (1957, 1969, 1980 and 2010), the 1964 EC final and the 1982 WC final.


With Fernand Goyvaerts there's one Belgian who played for Club and Real Madrid. The acadamy player went to Spain after having played a couple of years for Club Brugge. He joined Barcelona and later on he made the move to Real. Due to a number of injuries at Real he could never match his successes from Barcelona.


The coach at Real Madrid is Zinédine Zidane. The Frenchman won the title and the Champions League with Real Madrid as a player. As the coach of Los Galacticos he did even better by winning 1 league title and three consecutive Champions League trophies. After a 10-month break he returned to Real in March 2019. Zidane keeps good memories of Club Brugge. Together with Willy Sagnol and Claude Makélélé he followed an internship at Club in 2015 as part of his training course.

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