It is a fact: sports can provide an exciting insight and understanding into a country’s culture, as it brings together individuals and communities. When it comes to Spain, the sports scene has always been dominated by soccer, which is the local’s favorite and most practiced sport. In fact, Spaniards are among the most passionate, loyal, and fervent soccer fans in Europe, if compared to other nationalities.
People who are passionate about this beautiful game will find excellent soccer fields and big stadiums wherever they go. Spain definitely knows how to capitalize on this fact. The country has three important competitions between soccer clubs: La Liga, the Copa del Rey, and the Supercopa de España.
With this in mind, for closer contact with the country, any visitor should consider visiting one of the many soccer stadiums scattered thought Spain. These offer the chance to experience the passionate sports atmosphere and discover the true essence of Spanish people.
Spain’s most important soccer clubs
Among Spain’s significant and successful soccer teams are Real Madrid (the biggest soccer club in the world), Barcelona, and Atlético de Madrid.
Founded in 1903 – and commonly referred to by fans as Atleti, Atlético de Madrid is the country’s capital, second-biggest soccer club, the famous opponent of Real Madrid, and one of the most liked and supported teams in Spain. The club even has the city’s symbol, el oso y el madroño, (the bear and the strawberry tree), on its badge, a proof of its loyalty and patriotism to Madrid.
As the world’s most famous leagues become more and more multicultural, the number of foreign players in professional soccer teams has increased progressively over the last decades, particularly in Europe.
In Spain, no matter their performance in the field, foreign soccer players are often criticized by locals for failing to invest in learning Spanish because not being fluent is considered an insult to the fans and the team.
Furthermore, in order to assimilate into the local culture, experience soccer as a local, and help them settle into Spain quicker, many Atleti players enroll in spanish lessons Madrid. After all, the advantages of learning the language of the country they are playing and living in are pretty straightforward.
For instance, Kieran Trippier, an English player who recently left Spain after two-and-a-half seasons playing for Atleti, recently declared that during his time in the country, he made his number one priority to learn spanish in Madrid in order to be able to communicate with his teammates and understand what is going on.
Located in the outskirts of Madrid, in a working-class neighborhood called Arganzuela, the Wanda Metropolitano is home of Atlético de Madrid. Although it is a little far from the city center, the stadium is definitely a must-see attraction for soccer fans: no trip to Madrid is complete without visiting it.
For visitors lucky enough to be in Madrid at the right time, attending a live match at Wanda Metropolitano is a major attraction and definitely something to remember long. The stadium has a massive capacity of 68,746 – a sign of Atleti’s importance as one of Spain’s most popular teams – including a world-class VIP area for their top fans.
However, for a different, unique, and cheaper experience, the club also offers a stadium tour to its museum (inaugurated in 2020) where visitors get to discover the history, values, passions, and the best-kept secrets of the Red & White world.
The tour includes a behind-the-scenes look at the locker rooms, (where players prepare before the games), the club’s trophies, a visit to the field and the tunnel that takes players to the pitch, the press room where the team appears before the media, and an interactive area where visitors can review an archive of the history of the club, from its origins in 1903 to the present day.
The Wanda Metropolitano tour is held daily, although the entrance to the museum is closed during games and is also subject to cancellations or modifications due to organization reasons without prior notice (in that case, visitors can change the tickets to another day).
There are no audio guides available. On the other hand, the tour guides are funny and great at interacting with all ages: they know how to amaze young and old alike. Of course, be aware that due to sanitary protocols wearing a mask is required during the whole visit due to sanitary protocols.
How to buy tickets
For visitors planning to go to an Atleti match or do a stadium tour, tickets can be easily purchased by phone, at the stadium’s physical ticket office, or its official website, by clicking on the “buy tickets” section (online modality usually offers exclusive discounts).
For those wanting to attend a match, there are a number of ticket categories to choose from, including “VIP” and “hospitality”, with prices for all tastes. Just take into account that Atleti’s matches are known to sell out fast, so it is recommended to buy tickets in advance, especially during famous competitions such as La Liga or La Copa del Rey.
Last but not least, be aware that the best sit in any soccer stadium will always be a personal choice. Some people prefer to feel like they are part of the action, while others prefer to grab a drink and just relax to the ball’s rhythm.
If you ever thought about planning a sports trip to Madrid, you should not pass the chance to visit the Wanda Metropolitano Museum to feel the city’s energy and live and breathe soccer the way locals live it. Definitely worth it.
How to get to Wanda Metropolitano: The best way to get to the Atletico de Madrid’s stadium is by taking the Madrid subway. In fact, the Line 7 even has a stop called “Estadio Metropolitano”, which is about 2 minutes walking distance from the stadium.