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Real Madrid's Spain

Thursday, April 9, 2009
Coming from a country top-heavy with different football codes — rugby league, rugby union and Australian rules and the round-ball version — Jason Dundas kicked off to Spain to check out the one Australians generally call "soccer". It's played by just about every country in the world, and is gaining amazing momentum in Australia.

Well, the best place to start looking was Real Madrid, the greatest soccer club on earth. Its history of superstar players is breathtaking. It is the most successful club in European competition history with 11 European trophies, nine European Cups and two UEFA Cups, more than any other European club. Real Madrid has been owned and operated by its members since 1902 and was awarded the prestigious title of "Best Club of the 20th Century" by FIFA.

To start with, player salaries read like telephone numbers — Zinedine Zidane cost Real Madrid €9 million — that's over $17 million Aussie dollars — for just one season! To convince David Beckham and Ronaldo to run around with him cost €12 million combined — that's more than $23 million Aussie dollars.

Jason Dundas from Sydney, Australia? A good buy for just $18 Aussie dollars.

For the same $18 you can enjoy a backstage tour of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, home of the legendary team. It's an easy half-day if you are looking for something to do in Madrid.

Check out the trophy room — it's like a shrine to the players. Everything is there from players' shoes, pictures, trivia and hundreds of trophies. You will see the dressing rooms, the presidential box and press room.

The well-stocked Real Madrid shop is a virtual supermarket of merchandise — everything from babies' bottles with the logo to having a shirt made up with whatever name and number you want on it.

Location

Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Spain.

Cost

Santiago Bernabeu Stadium tours are around $18 for adults and $13 for children. They run every day between 10.30am and 6.30pm. On match days they run in limited areas until five hours before kick-off.

Emirates has flights to Madrid. For the most up-to-date fares, call them on 1300 303 777 or log on to www.emirates.com/getaway

Real Madrid Football Club
P de la Castellana, 144, Estadio
Santiago Bernabéu, Puerta 42
Avda de Concha Espina 1
28036 Madrid
Spain
Ph: +34 91 398 4300
www.realmadrid.com
realmadrid@club.realmadrid.com

Santiago Bernabeu
Avenida Concha Espina 1
28036 Madrid
Spain
www.stadiumguide.com/bernabeu.htm

Spain Tourism
www.spain.info

Visas: Australians do not require visas to visit Spain.

Electricity: 230V/50Hz using European plugs.

Time zone: GMT + 1.

Currency: The euro

International dialling code: +34.

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User comments
We were very interested in this story as we are heading there, so it was great for us to hear of more things to see. We love Getaway. Good luck Katrina you have always been our favourite reporter.

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