The first football club in Madrid was Football Club Sky, founded in 1897 by students (including some Cambridge and Oxford University graduates) from the Institución libre de enseñanza.
In 1900 FC Sky dissolved, and two new clubs emerged- New Foot-ball Club de Madrid and Club Español de Madrid. The latter was founded by Julián Palacios who in 1902 was involved in the formal foundation of a new club, Madrid Football Club. The driving forces behind Madrid Football Club were (ironically) two Catalan brothers, Juan and Carlos Padrós .
Madrid Football Club chose their colours in honour of the famous English amateur club Corinthians- white jerseys and knickers, blue stockings and cap, and a purple sash with the emblem of Madrid.
Three days after the club's foundation a trial match was played between 'Reds' and 'Blues':
Reds: J. Giralt, Melendez, Molera, Salvador, Valcárcel, Spottorno, Stampher, J. Palacios, Varela, Celada,Good.
Blues: Meléndez, J. Padrós, Spottorno, Gorostizaga, Mendía, Paramo, Neyra, A. Giralt, F. Palacios, Martens, Rodero.
The Blues won 1-0.
Carlos Padros, inspired by the Catalan Copa Macaya, initiated the Copa de la Coronación in 1902. It was in this tournament that on May 13th, 1902, Madrid played their first ever game against their arch rivals Barcelona, losing 3-1.
On April 18th 1905 Madrid sealed their first Copa del Rey victory when they beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0 (the first time Athletic Bilbao had lost a Copa fixture). This was the first of four successive Copa wins for Madrid.
In 1920 King Alfonso XIII awarded the club the title Real (Royal) .