Hala Madrid: Decade-old club anthem remains remarkably fitting ahead of 2024 UCL final

There’s no denying Real Madrid have had an exceptional season so far. Having conceded the LaLiga title to Barcelona last season, Florentino Perez, Carlo Ancelotti and their staff were well-prepared in the summer. They agreed on early deals for talented youngsters Jude Bellingham and Arda Guler, alongside a wealth of experience in former Newcastle United and Stoke City ace Joselu and Chelsea shot-stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga. 

Combined with the likes of Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, Toni Kroos and Fede Valverde, los Blancos became an unmatched force both in Spain and the rest of Europe. Bellingham, especially, proved to be a grand revelation, pitching in with 34 goal contributions in all competitions.

In their 120th season of existence as a club, Real Madrid have already secured their 36th LaLiga title by ten points – the exact total that Barcelona beat them to the season prior, and now they’re just 90 minutes away from their 15th Champions League trophy.

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The celebrations in Madrid started well over a week ago, with los Merengues hosting a parade for their LaLiga success. With Ancelotti’s men first commuting to the official proceedings in smart black tuxedos, before greeting fans in sunglasses and football shirts, the contrast reflects Madrid’s playstyle on the pitch – serious and composed when needing to be, but with elements of flair and swagger that are needed to become champions of Europe. 

The symphonic song ‘Hala Madrid y nada más’ that serenaded the Santiago Bernabeu after their win against Bayern Munich, as well as the Plaza de Cibeles during the celebrations, has become an iconic label to the Real Madrid brand. 

Commissioned in 2014 by Perez, it was recorded for the Champions League final that season, in which Madrid emphatically beat local rivals Atletico, overturning a 1-0 deficit in the 93rd minute and going on to outclass them in extra time. 

Befittingly, fast-forward ten years and Madrid are still in the same boat. The slogan ‘Hala Madrid y nada más’ is still as popular as it was a decade ago, and Spain’s most successful side remains a titan in Europe. The song has become a perfect representation of the club, and what they represent as the pride of Chamartín. 

‘Historia que tú hiciste’

‘The history you’ve made’

Well, Real Madrid are the most successful side in Spain and Europe. The historic moments, tales and battles that los Merengues have been through in the last century have granted them the label as arguably the most iconic club in football. 

‘Historia por hacer’

‘The history yet to be made’

Los Blancos are now just one game away from becoming the first team to win 15 Champions League titles, and with a star-studded young side that will welcome the likes of Brazilian wonderkid Endrick as well as the rumoured Kylian Mbappé, the future is definitely bright for Madrid.

‘Porque nadie resiste tus ganas de vencer’

‘Because no one can resist your willingness to win’

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The ability to fight until the end and overturn deficits has become one of Madrid’s biggest strengths. Without fighting until the very end, RB Leipzig may have been able to send the favourites home with a shock upset in the round-of-16 – if not for Andriy Lunin’s penalty saves after a gruelling 120 minutes in which reigning champions Manchester City fired 33 shots at the Ukrainian, and if not for Antonio Rudiger’s delayed run, and Joselu’s attacking instincts, to secure a 91st minute match-winner to send them into the final. Los Blancos‘ willingness to win has meant that no one – not Leipzig, City or Bayer Leverkusen – could resist them. 

‘Ya salen las estrellas, mi viejo Chamartín’

‘The stars are now coming out, my old Chamartín’

While Jude Bellingham was a household name in the United Kingdom and was making an impact for Borussia Dortmund, it was in Spain’s capital that he became a global star. The same can be said for Luka Modric, Vinicius Jr and soon it will be Endrick’s turn.

The streets of Madrid are constantly filled with Bellingham shirts, with many pictured replicating his celebration just days after scoring his first goal on his debut against Athletic Bilbao. Simply, it is a matter of fact that a star is born when they are announced as a Real Madrid player. 

‘De lejos y de cerca, nos traes hasta aquí’

‘From far away and nearby, you gather us all here’

Over 70,000 people commute every weekend to the Santiago Bernabeu to watch their team play. Aside from the 25,000 allocated in Wembley Stadium’s East Stand, thousands of Madridistas have flown to London to support their team.

During the week, they have infiltrated Central London, partaking in the pre-match festival events and displays ahead of the final. Los Merengues have a global fan base that has united many people, and their sense of community has been felt throughout this campaign – whether it was when the team managed to outwit Bayern Munich on home turf, or Manchester City away from home. 

On Saturday night, the stars of Real Madrid have the chance to etch their name into history yet again, break unimaginable numbers of records and continue their European dominance. If anyone is to stop them, it must be Borussia Dortmund. The German outfit also have the unbreakable sense of unity created by the force of the Yellow Wall, and will be hoping to create a perfect sendoff for their loyal talisman Marco Reus

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