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CL Football CrestsIt’s Champions League semi final second legs this week, and on this listening report we take a look at the history and design of the four teams’ crests or shirt badges. The four teams are Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, and Bayern Munich.

Listening Report: CL Football Crests

The symbol worn, usually on the left hand side of the shirt is known as a club crest or badge. In this report we look at the histories behind the crests of Spanish sides Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid, English club Manchester City, and the German outfit, Bayern Munich.

Real Madrid

Real Madrid CF.svgCL Football Crests

Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, better known to English speakers as Real Madrid, were founded in 1902, and their crest has remained remarkably similar in design since then. Initially, the badge simply had the three letters, M C F, standing for Madrid Club de Footbal. A circle was added a few years later in the first redesign, and later in the 1920, the club became connected with the King and the royal family and adopted the crown symbol. The blue sash was initially maroon, to represent the colours of the lions on Castilla’s coat of arms. Castilla is the area of Spain in which Madrid is situated. The crown was removed at one time, between 1931 and 1941, when the Spanish Civil War occurred, but was reinstated after the conflict ended.

Atlético Madrid

CL Football Crests

Atlético Madrid’s crest borrows the bear and the ‘strawberry’ (or Madrono) tree from Madrid’s coat of arms. The fruit from this tree is particularly attractive to bears, who can become drunk on the fermented berries. The seven stars reference the Big Dipper, Ursa Major, and the red and white stripes are, of course the colours of the shirt. However, the original badge was a circle with a ball inside and the letters C A, Club Atletico. The design was blue and white, the same colours as Atletic Bilbao’s at the time, as the side was formed by three Basque men in 1903, who borrowed their home town club’s colours – perhaps that is why they still retain some blue in the design.

Manchester City

CL Football Crests

This club’s modern badge was redesigned significantly in the 1970s. It has an eagle, which is a symbol of the city of Manchester, a shield with a ship, a symbol of the Manchester Ship canal, and three stripes, which represent the three rivers running though the city. There are also three golden stars, which have no meaning. Usually clubs add stars to their crests to indicate some major achievement but this is not the case with Manchester City.

Bayern Munich

CL Football CrestsFounded in 1900, before World War Two, the crest for Bayern Munich, like many clubs, was simple lettering F C B M in blue, but from the 1960s the modern day badge began to take shape. It borrowed the red and white circle with the clubs name from the post-war era and added the blue and white design in the middle, which represents Bavaria.



crest: badge, symbol

sash: a diagonal stripe

coat of arms: symbol usually representing a town or city

to take shape: evolve; develop

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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1 comment
  • Real Madrid will meet Atletico Madrid in saturday’s game played at San Siro Stadium. In their last meeting, Atletico Madrid won the match with 0-1. I wonder if Zidane’s team prepared us with a surprise for saturday. Based on the past results of the two teams, I would expect for Real Madrid to perform well during this meeting and win this game. It should be interesting to see if Ronaldo will score during this match as he has a good average in terms of goals scored / match.


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2015-16Episode 301