Santiago Bernabéu Yeste
(; 8 June 1895 – 2 June 1978) was a Spanish sportsman, one of the single most important men in Real Madrid
's history. He is generally considered the one to whom much of the credit can be given for transforming Real Madrid C.F.
from the second most successful club in Madrid
into the most successful in Spain
, and one of the most successful in Europe
. The team's current stadium
is named in his honour. He was the club's President between September 1943 and June 1978.
He was born in Almansa
. His family moved to Madrid when he was very young, and Bernabéu himself joined the Real Madrid junior ranks in 1909 at age 14, after being a regular spectator at their matches for years. Mortenals as a striker, as well as wearing the captain's armband for years, before retiring as a player in 1927. He continued to be associated with the club until 1935, first as a director, before becoming assistant manager and finally manager of the first team.
With the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War
in 1936, professional football ceased to be played in Spain. During the war he fought as a soldier under the general Agustín Muñoz Grandes
and formed part of the invasion of Catalonia by Franco
's nationalist forces.
When the war ended and football began again in Spain, Bernabéu found at Real Madrid what was, to all intents and purposes, a dead club. The... Read More