Skip to Content

Did Real Madrid Really Steal The Tradition of Celebrating Trophies at Plaza Cibeles From Atletico?

Did Real Madrid Really Steal The Tradition of Celebrating Trophies at Plaza Cibeles From Atletico?

Real Madrid celebrated their historic 36th La Liga title with a memorable open-bus trophy parade in Madrid. Los Blancos had to work really  hard to reclaim the La Liga title from Barcelona and win the title with four games to spare.

Even though they still have a UEFA Champions League final to play for, that it sill a few weeks away. As a result, Real Madrid felt it was only ideal to uphold a club tradition by celebrating the title in front of their fans. Incidentally, Los Blancos were not actually presented the trophy in a packed stadium – as the La Liga organizers handed them the championship in an empty ground.

As a result, they only felt fair to celebrate it in front of their home fans in style in Madrid itself. Real Madrid have this ongoing tradition when they celebrate successful campaigns and major trophy successes in the Plaza Cibeles, a popular place in the city of Madrid. The locality is big enough and has stretched roads that easily allows an open bus to travel while fans can stand on the sidelines and enjoy the celebrations with their players.

Not only did the players have a wild party with the fans in the open bus parade, but captain and local boy Nacho was particularly proud in the celebrations. Knowing that this might be his final La Liga title, as he’s likely to leave in the summer, he was truly blessed to uphold this iconic tradition.

Not only did he celebrate with the fans, but even got the driver to get it closer to the Fuente de Cibeles. This is a popular fountain which features a sculpture of the Greek god Cybele riding on a chariot that is led by lions. Nacho decided to pay homage to this popular site by draping the Real Madrid flag around the sculpture and giving it a kiss for good measure.

Many Madridistas are proud of how the club are upholding this tradition almost every year with this open bus parade around the Plaza Cibeles. However, some Atletico Madrid fans were quick to get the facts right. They claim that it was actually Los Rojiblancos who originally began this tradition of celebrating championship victories at the Plaza Cibeles.

This created a bit of a heated tussle between the rival supporters. Real Madrid fans predictably gloated over their superiority in winning way more trophies than Atletico and how Diego Simeone’s side hadn’t won a trophy in years. With that being said, Atletico Madrid actually have some strong evidence on the basis of their argument.

The history stretches way back to 1953. Atletico Madrid celebrated their 50th anniversary that year and held a local competiton with their father club Athletic Bilbao. The trophy design for the winners of that tournament featured the Cybele statue.

Moreover, it was actually Los Rojiblancos’ local supporters in Madrid who originated the idea of celebrating championships at Plaza Cibeles. Atletico Madrid won the 1961-62 Cup Winners Cup and to commemorate that, a group of Atletico Madrid fans gathered around the Cibeles fountain and toasted their triumph.

There was no open-bus parade held in the location, but the inspiration for Real Madrid’s ideas to hold future celebrations at the local actually came from their arch-rivals. Los Blancos’ supporters continued the celebration in the 1970s and 1980s, and it was in the late 80s when Real Madrid started organizing celebratory parades at the Cibeles Plaza.

While Real Madrid’s ‘tradition’ has been inspired by their rivals, Atletico Madrid have themselves stopped celebrating at the site for many decades. Instead, after their 1991 Copa Del Rey win, Los Rojiblancos began holding their celebrations with fans at the Fountain of Neptune in Madrid – which is some distance away from Plaza Cibeles.

Atletico Madrid fans might’ve originated the idea of celebrating major successes at the Cibeles Plaza, but their club hasn’t been fortunate enough to hold as many big-scale open-bus parades as Real Madrid. Nor has their flag been draped over the Cibele sculpture as many times as the Real Madrid one.

What Los Rojiblancos’ faithful can hope is that Real Madrid lose in the Champions League final to Borussia Dortmund and they don’t have to face the pain of watching them celebrate wildly in the iconic Madrid venue again in June.