How the Plaza De Cibeles came to symbolize Real Madrid

Real Madrid has always been synonymous with “trophies” as the Spanish side boast a rich history of them and continue to keep bagging silverware in the present. Since being founded in 1902, the capital side has won a staggering 94 major trophies with only Barcelona having won more (95) across Europe’s top leagues.

The latest addition to this collection came on Saturday when Madrid clinched their record 35th La Liga title after seeing off Espanyol in a 4-0 drubbing at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

The trophy was handed over to club captains Marcelo and Karim Benzema by the President of the Spanish Football Federation in front of the home crowd inside the stadium.

But the celebrations inside the stadium were quite short as the team and the rest of the staff soon left the Bernabeu on a bus with the top off, to celebrate the trophy as per Real’s traditions.

A title win for Los Blancos has always been celebrated at the Plaza de Cibeles where fans would flock around the statue of the Greek goddess, Cybele designed along with a fountain at the square.

The association of Madrid to the Cibeles stretches as far back as 1987 when the side made an impressive comeback to overturn a 3-2 deficit against Bayern Munich in the European Cup by winning 2-0 in Madrid in the second leg. The inspired comeback was celebrated by Madridistas around the Cibeles more so since Bayern had beat Real during the previous edition of the competition.

Since then, every Real Madrid success has been centred around the Cibeles. As per the tradition, the club captain alone would go up to the statue of the goddess and drape her with a Madrid scarf to complete the ceremonial task.

In the past, Sergio Ramos added a new task to the Cibeles tradition where he would plant a kiss on the goddess’ cheek before departing. Following suit with the former captain’s tradition, Marcelo too opted for a ceremonial kiss while celebrating Saturday’s title win.   

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The team bus and the Plaza were surrounded by fans to celebrate the win but the celebrations were not over the top as both the fans and the club members would now be looking ahead to their second leg against Manchester City in the UCL semi-finals.