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Who Are Real Madrid’s Biggest Rivals?

Who Are Real Madrid's Biggest Rivals?

Real Madrid C.F. is one of the most historic football teams in the world. The club has been the top team in La Liga 35 times. Los Blancos have won the Champions League eight times, the European Champion Clubs’ Cup six times, the FIFA Club World Cup five times, the UEFA Super Cup five times, the UEFA Cup twice, the Spanish Cup 20 times, and the Spanish Super Cup 12 times. Throughout the team’s history, Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, and Liverpool are some of Real Madrid’s biggest rivals. Keep reading to learn why these rivalries are so intense.

F.C. Barcelona

Barcelona is considered the biggest rival to Real Madrid, and their head-to-head matchup is known as El Clásico. Barcelona trails Real Madrid in La Liga titles, as the Catalonian club has won the league 27 times. In terms of head-to-head matchups, the teams have played against each other 254 times as of July 2023.

Real Madrid has a slight advantage as they’ve won 102 games compared to Barcelona’s 100 as of 2023. The two sides have also drawn in 52 matchups. The two clubs have battled throughout Spanish competitions ever since 1902, and the rivalry is one of the fiercest in the sport.

Atlético Madrid

Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid are also major rivals, as the two teams have battled as the top two clubs in Madrid. The first rendition of the rivalry was played back in 1905. As of July 2023, the Madrid Derby has been played over 214 times, and Real Madrid holds a large lead in the head-to-head matchup.

Los Blancos have won 108 times compared to the 54 victories from Atlético Madrid. The two clubs have also drawn 52 times. The clubs have also met in the biggest of competitions as Real Madrid defeated Atlético Madrid in the Champions League Final in both 2014 and 2016. Atlético Madrid also trails Los Blancos with 11 La Liga titles while Real Madrid has 35.


On the international level, Liverpool has proved to be one of Real Madrid’s biggest competitors, as the teams have met three separate times in the Champions League Final. The first Champions League matchup between the two clubs saw Liverpool claim the 1981 Champions League title 1-0 over Real Madrid.

Los Blancos returned the favor as they defeated Liverpool in the 2018 and 2022 Champions League Finals. As of 2023, the teams have played against each other ten times, with Real Madrid winning six times, Liverpool winning three times, and the other game ending in a draw. The two clubs remain two of the top teams in Europe.