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The Best Decade Ever?

There’s still two years left, but this has already been an unforgettable decade

Real Madrid CF v Rayo Vallecano de Madrid - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Madridistas, how many times have you heard someone say, “You are terrible in La Liga” or “Your team is lucky in Champions League”? It surely must be tiresome and annoying to deal with. Of course you most likely bring up “Four UCL titles in last five seasons isn’t luck” as a counter argument. The naysayer might then respond with, “That’s all you have to say?” At that moment, you might find it hard to search for the appropriate response. However, what if I told you that the Club has won 36 titles since 2010 and is on pace to have the best decade ever?

Before we break down how we arrived at that magic number, we need to understand from where this success stems. In 1992, UEFA re-named the European Cup to the Champions League and expanded the field by including multiple teams from the same domestic league. Before this change, Real Madrid won more Ligas (21) to qualify into the tournament as well as more European Cups (6) than any other Spanish Club from 1955 to 1992.

Since then, Real Madrid has made winning the Champions League their top priority. While creating a team to win it, the Club maintained qualification each season by earning points in 88% of all Liga games this decade. It might seem that it is easy to qualify, but bear in mind that seven-time tournament winner and storied Italian Club A.C. Milan has not qualified in the past four editions.

Now that you have experienced a crash course in history, let’s analyze how the Club has performed in this current decade. Besides the aforementioned four Champions League titles in the past five seasons, Real Madrid has made the semifinals for eight straight years. This is unprecedented because from 2005 to 2010, the Club was eliminated in the round-of-16 six straight times by clubs that never won the tournament (ex. Arsenal, Monaco, and Lyon).

Along with the four Champions League titles, the Club also won three UEFA Supercups, four Club World Cups, two Copa del Rey trophies, two Ligas, and two Spanish Supercups. That is 17 titles won in the past eight years — two per year. But wait.... we can’t forget our illustrious basketball program!

Similar to the soccer team’s high level of competitiveness in the Champions League, the basketball team appeared in six of the last eight Final Fours. During these same years, the Club has won two Euroleague titles, four Spanish League titles, five Spanish Cups, four Spanish Supercups, three Madrid Community tournaments, and one Intercontinental Cup. That is another 19 titles won by the basketball team!

All told, Real Madrid has won 36 titles in soccer and basketball this decade. Of course, we Madridistas will continue to expect to win more. However, we must keep a wide-angle lens when it comes to measuring our Club’s competitiveness. We should not accept defeat but must understand that the Club wins more in the long run.

In conjunction with the tremendous success on the field this decade, the Club has experienced institutional growth with the creation of new Peñas around the world. For instance, there are two new Peñas in the United States that were recently recognized by the Club this month: Peñas Madridista Charlotte (NC) and Providence (RI). Congratulations to both and hopefully they receive a flock of new and current Madridistas in their upcoming inaugural year. There are now 16 official Peñas in the United States, nine more than the next Spanish rival: Barcelona.

Finally, after winning the third straight Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, I received a message from Kenneth Jamora of Peña Madridista San Francisco Bay Area saying, “We now have the most Ligas, Champions Leagues, and Club World Cups! ¡Hala Madrid y nada más!” Yes we do, dear friend, and there are still two more years left in this decade to add to the tally. Happy New Year Madridistas, and hopefully our Club will continue the winning tradition in 2019!

- Christian Paredes (@Xian_D_Paredes) is a Founding Member and former Chairman (2012-2016) of La Peña Madridista Sur de California (@RmSurCalifornia)

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