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The changing face of the Santiago Bernabéu over 71 years

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An aerial shot of the spot now occupied by the Bernabeu taken in 1931.


Real Madrid played at the Chamartín stadium through to 1946.

October 1944, Santiago Bernabéu places the first stone in the new stadium, then known as the Nuevo Estadio de Chamartín.

Work on the new ground overlapped with the old Chamartin stadium.

As the Nuevo Estadio Chamartín ground was being built, Real Madrid continued to play at the old Chamartin.

The construction on the Nuevo Estadio de Chamartín was completed late 1947.

December 14, 1947. Real Madrid host their first game at the new stadium facing Portuguese side Os Belenenses in a friendly game.

Foto:Manuel Urech

Picture from 1948, showing the activity outside the ground on match day.


The Nuevo Estadio de Chamartín had a capacity of 70.000 with the pitch measuring 105x70 m.

A third ring, commonly known as "El Gallinero" was constructed in 1954 increasing the capacity to 125.000.

The stadium was renamed as the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in 1955.


Floodlights were introduced in March 1957 allowing the club to host night time games.

The Santiago Bernabéu in the early 1960s

The Santiago Bernabéu in the early 1960s

An electronic scoreboard was introduced in 1972 and updated fans with goals being scored in other league games.

The ground was given a face-lift ahead of the 1982 World Cup.

A FIFA directive saw the capacity reduced from 125.000 to 98.000 with 24.550 seats under cover.

A roof covered three quarters of the stadium in a 16 month project.

Extension work was carried out in the early 90s as the capacity grew again hosting 106,000 fans.

The now iconic "four towers" were also completed in the early 1990s.

A 1997 UEFA directive saw the removal of all terracing.

The new all-seater stadium boasted a capacity of 86.000.

A view of the stadium in the late 90s

Work in the early 2000 saw all areas of the ground covered and after work in the Calle Damián side of the stadium the capacity was 81.044.


The Santiago Bernabéu from above.


A view from above of the modern day era Santiago Bernabéu.