Sunday, March 13, 2011

Real Madrid President's speech in 2011 Insignia presentation

Dear Honorary President, Members of the Board, Club Members and friends of Real Madrid.

Every year, we celebrate a ceremony like today's, one of the events most anticipated by the Madridista family. It is an emotive act that fills us with great pride and, especially, of gratitude. It is an act of recognition, loyalty, solidarity and love for an institution that is proud of its 109-year history, and that possesses enormous strength and excitement to continue building the future.

It is also a day of reflection. It is a day in which we must ask ourselves why we are here. I always say that, withouot a doubt, the best thing this club has are its members. You have all contributed to make Real Madrid's legend eternal. Some with a 25-year passion, others with an unshakeable loyalty of 50 years, and others by keeping the essence of our values for 60 years. That is why I, as President, regard this act as one of our greatest examples. You are the strength that has turned Real Madrid into an unquestionable team and a worldwide icon.

The sentiment you have shown for the Club throughout all this time is part of a culture that has been maintained throughout our history. An identity that has allowed us to become what we are, and to face the utmost demands without a care for difficulties.

With your devotion, you have contributed to help Real Madrid be acknowledged in the entire world, not just for its achievements in sports, but also for its values. These are indestructible principles that last generation after generation and that constitute this club's raison d'etre. Talent, respect for opponents, honesty, devotion, sacrifice, solidarity and the constant strive for victory are, and must always be, the unchangeable signs of our identity.

You and your dreams are the most powerful reference we have to guide our work and our strategy at the helm of this institution.

You've spent a great part of your lives -in some cases all your lives- devoting your passion and love to Real Madrid. You've shared difficult times and moments of unforgettable victories. You've felt the sadness that comes from unrealised dreams, and also the satisfaction of seeing your wishes come true.

This devotion makes us wish to acknowledge you and express our gratitude today. My words as President carry more affection for all of you today because you are the strength of our institution, our guarantee for success and the security for our future.

We have all walked on common ground together and we humbly feel unquestionable pride for belonging to Real Madrid.

This pride allows us to face the greatest sports challenges in order to keep the worldwide prestige that turned Real Madrid into a universal club and a leading international institution admired by millions of supporters.

In order to face all of the great challenges that lie ahead, it is essential that we all unite. Our strength has been, is and forever will be, our unity. You have proven this for 25, 50 or 60 years of complete devotion and fidelity to our history. This tenacity and fortitude will help us continue to be a leading sports, financial and charitable institution.

To belong to Real Madrid is all this, and also to assume great responsibility. We all have the responsibility to maintain and improve this immense legacy so that future generations feel the same respect, devotion and pride for the Club we feel right now.

Throughout is more than 100-year old history, Real Madrid has always set an example for modernity and has placed us at the forefront of any sports institution.

Today's Real Madrid has nothing to do with the Real Madrid that was founded by several enthusiasts back in 1902. It is now a universal, modern and exemplary club. But we're here because those who created the Club were able to instill this special feeling of Madridismo in future generations. We inherited this from our elders and we have the responsibility to hand it down to our children.

And we must continue to advance firmly placed in modernity and defending our values, in which we have great faith. That must be the path to follow.

Those of us who are privileged to belong to this institution must work without rest to continue being leaders on and off the pitch. It is always difficult to win; history has taught us that. But if we head in the right direction, if we are patient enough, and if we offer total devotion, then success and victory will come our way. We have already laid the solid ground work, the essential stability and the adequate strategy to achieve this.

Institutional stability and serenity is an essential strength to have nowadays, and we have it mainly thanks to you.

This Real Madrid has a mission and a chellenge before it: to some day become the Best Club in the 21st Century, just as it was the Best Club in the 20th Century. And not just on the sporting field. We must take a new and important leap to perfect the functioning of our infrastructure, and to further boost and promote the image and international projection of Real Madrid.

We must continue to grow financially so that this team always belongs to its Club Members and may always compete with any opponent, no matter how powerful.

We must also set a charitable example through our Real Madrid Foundation in every country. Our charitable compromise should become increasingly significant. That's why we strive to turn the Foundation into the best tool by which to help the world be better and more just. I also know we will stand together in this charitable endeavour.

The 21st Century Real Madrid will be exemplary, more active, stronger, more modern, more agile and -naturally- always in pursuit of victory, just as we learned from our master: Honorary President Alfredo di Stefano.

You must never forget that you, the Club Members, are responsible for, and the owners of, this club. That is why it is your duty to continue making of Real Madrid an unquestionable example to follow.

During more than 100 years, we've become leaders in sports, finances, facilities, solidarity and the reaffirmation of our values.

Real Madrid was born to win through hard work and sacrifice. We Madridistas believe that hard work and sacrifice are not incompatible with fair play. The constant search for success and fair play are no doubt part of the special DNA that defines both us and the behaviour we've had throughout our history. We have strongly defended our institution against wrong behaviour and we will continue to do so.

But if we are ready to continue defending fair play and blameless ethics within our institution, then we must fight for this also in the sporting world we belong to. For many years, this institution has showcased what we've come to define as 'class'. Class is earned by acknowledging the merits of our opponents, but also by defending what we believe is just. Class is also earned by denouncing irregular behaviour both on or off the pitch. It is also an example of true Madridismo to defend Real Madrid from what we believe to be unjust, irregular or arbitrary. And that is exactly what our coach, Jose Mourinho, does. What Jose Mourinho says is also an example of Madridismo.

I ask you to continue to feel proud of what you are, of your sense of belonging and of that feeling called Madridismo. And of that responsibility, too. Because pride for this club comes from knowing that we, the Club Members -who regard ourselves as the owners of Real Madrid-, are just the administrators of this universal feeling. And that feeling we administer is a service to millions of supporters we must never forget.

Real Madrid belongs to all and there are no age, ideological, national or cultural differences here. Real Madrid has no frontiers. It is universal, and the diversity and plurality of its members and supporters makes the unity of Madridistas even greater and stronger.

I hope today proves unforgettable for you because it is no doubt a very important day for this club. It is a day of just and fair recognition of you all and of those who may not be here today, but who once taught you about the spirit of Real Madrid.

Thank you for your support, your firmness, your strength and for everything you give to Real Madrid each day. Thank you for your everlasting passion for Real Madrid. Thank you for your devotion. Thank you for everything you've felt along the way. Thank you, because you are Real Madrid.

Thank you all.


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