Touring a FIFA Fiefdom

Fiefdom – anything, as an organization or real estate, owned or controlled by one dominant person or group

I’d say Real Madrid’s football stadium counts as a fiefdom. In fact, they’ll tell you as much on their website. The Santiago Bernabeu Tour touts itself as the “the only museum that compiles all of the history surrounding the best club of the 20th century.”

Modesty is not their strong suit.

But as you wander through the stadium and museum, you understand why: there are ROOMS full of trophy cases.

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The expansive locker room, hot tub, showers, and massage tables are topnotch. The Visitors’ locker room and massage table (emphasis on table, singular) pale in comparison. But hey — they’re in Real Madrid territory.

The tour allows visitors access to all of this plus the press room, the tunnel, benches and coaching area, and a walk down to the pitch.

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I toured Manchester United’s stadium a few years ago, but it was not as glamorous as the home field of these 12-time European Cup holders. Plus, I was there with my daughter, a passionate soccer player who made our hours there even more enjoyable.

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The 25 Euro ticket price seemed a little steep at first, but if you love soccer, it was totally worth it. I understand the madridista passion now. To enter the realm of the Real Madrid team is sensational. If only the players had been there, too.

Have you visited sports stadiums in your travels?

2 responses to “Touring a FIFA Fiefdom

  1. Yeah, a good €25 worth I imagine. Especially for a soccer fan – more so for a Real fan. I’d sooner pay for a match ticket though, forgo the tour.

    A fairly unique experience, one that sticks in the mind, is from 50 years ago. On a school trip a few of us visited Innsbruck which had hosted the Winter Olympics in 1964. No snow, but we climbed up steps at the side of the ski jump hill and stood at the top, imagining what it would be like to fly off of there on skis.

    • If we’d been able to see a Real Madrid play, that would have been too good to be true! I visited an Olympic ski jump, too, and was awed by the thought of all the talent that had taken place there. Holmenkollen in Norway.

      Good thing we all have imaginations to imagine being there to see them.Walking in their footsteps isn’t too bad, though. 😉

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