Inside Real Madrid’s dressing room at the Santiago Bernabéu, just above the door, there is a plaque that says: “We might lose, but we will always fight”.
Many associate Real Madrid with fantasy football, branding, and the signing of the biggest stars on the planet, but the essence of the spirit that made Real Madrid the biggest club in the world is written on that plaque.
Basically, it means that the true personality of Real Madrid is one of a matador. The essence of a matador, above everything else, is to be a fighter. Only after he is brave enough to face his challenge he may work on his art.
“The real spirit of Real Madrid is embodied in Alfredo di Stéfano”, says the famous Spanish journalist Alfredo Relaño. “He is a fighter and an artist, but above all his great attributes, he is famous for never giving up” .That’s why people Madridistas at the Bernabéu (“the beast with 80,000 heads” as it is known) will always embrace fighters like Raul over fantasists like Ronaldo (the fat one).
That’s why, in this sense, Real Madrid are a bigger club than Barcelona, a club that emphasizes the aesthetics of the game. Aesthetics in football are a bonus to skill, hardwork, determination, tactical awareness and comradery – the emotional infrastructure for each and every José Mourinho team.
That’s exactly why José Mourinho is a true Madridista. His players will fight to the end, and they’ll be brave enough to face the bull that is Barcelona. However, bravery is not enough. To beat Barca – a team of small, brilliant, technical,brave fighters – Real needs moments of artistic brilliance. They’ll need to draw on the spirit of Di Stéfano, and they’ll have to remember what the plaque above their Bernabéu dressing room door says.