Think of stadiums in Madrid and thoughts immediately turn to the elite palace that is the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu or the hulking presence of the Estadio Vicente Calderón. Think a little harder and you may acknowledge the quirky nature of the Estadio de Vallecas or the open, frozen expanses of the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez. Few, if any, will look beyond, but by not doing so you'll be missing a trick. Madrid and its metropolitan area plays host to a series of wonderful small stadiums, which may not be perfectly formed, but are all the more interesting for it. So here's my pick of Madrid's hidden gems.
Estadio Municipal Santo Domingo
Agrupación Deportiva Alcorcón has played at Santo Domingo since 1971, but its current form dates from 1999 and a refit in 2010 that coincided with promotion to La Segunda. Read more about the stadium here.
Estadio Municipal de Butarque
There was a time, not so long ago when CD Leganés looked down on their near-neighbours Getafe CF. With a new stadium and some comfortable seasons in La Segunda behind them, Leganés looked set for launch, only to be overtaken in the race to the top flight. The club now sit stranded in Segunda B, whilst Getafe clock up another season in La Primera. Here's the club & stadium history.
Estadio Román Valero
Tucked away just south of the Rio Manzanarés is the home of Club Deportivo Colonia Moscardó. Nope... doesn't mean anything? They reached La Segunda for a season in the late 1960's... still nothing? OK, read this and get clued-up on the club and its throw-back of a stadium.
Estadio Municipal Mariano González
Club Deportivo Artístico Navalcarnero has a rather flamboyant name, but it's not a patch on its stadium. Bedecked in claret & yellow and featuring a clock tower and pigeon loft of a main stand, it's safe to say the Estadio Municipal Mariano González is a one-off. More on the club and stadium history here.
Estadio Nuevo Matapiñonera
The Estadio Nuevo Matapiñonera is home to Unión Deportiva San Sebastián de los Reyes. A lot of name for not a lot of stadium. That said, it does have some nice touches and some of the best free views in Madrid since the building of apartments to the north of the ground a few years back. More here.
Estadio Fernando Torres
Named after Fuenlabrada's most famous son, the opening of the Estadio Fernando Torres has coincided with the rise of the town's senior team. More on CF Fuenlabrada and its stadiums here.