Interview with Emilio Butragueño

In this day and age sports have taken on a dimension that goes beyond the limits of the playing field. Is the Real Madrid Graduate School - Universidad Europea the best platform for exploring these new fields?

It is absolutely right to say that sports have acquired a new dimension and have become an activity that has moved beyond the playing field and is no longer just mere spectacle. Sports activity is now an alternative choice for what to do with your free time, a tool for the care and improvement of your health and a mass phenomenon that attracts advertising and influences the economy.

Consequently there has also been an increase in the need for professional experts in the fields of health, recreation, communication and management linked to the world of sports. The Real Madrid Graduate School – Universidad Europea wants to provide the solutions to the new needs that the field of sports is generating in society, bringing specialists to each sector.

Why is the Real Madrid Graduate School - Universidad Europea so pioneering and one-of-a-kind?

Today there does not exist anywhere else a school of university studies specifically dedicated to the education of professionals, equipping them to be experts with knowledge and skills adapted for, and specific to, different areas such as health, management, communications, or sports science, all of which are linked to sports.

What does the Real Madrid Football Club have in common with Universidad Europea de Madrid?

Real Madrid and Universidad Europea de Madrid share the common objective of making possible an innovative educational project, in a pioneering manner, with academic excellence that brings together all areas of education at one focal point: namely sports.

We must also consider that both institutions have a clear international calling. On the one hand Universidad Europea de Madrid belongs to the Laureate International Universities Network, world leader in Higher Education over 1 million students, and on the other, Real Madrid Football Club, which has without doubt moved beyond the boundaries of sports becoming a true mass phenomenon, with followers on all five continents, and is currently one of the brands with the highest international recognition.

You know Real Madrid like nobody else; first as an emblematic player, and later as a highly respected director. How do you take what you have lived and experienced inside the Real Madrid Football Organization and use it in the management of the School?

You could say that I was brought up in Santiago Bernabeu stadium and in the environs of Real Madrid, and during all that time I have gone along learning certain things, codes of action that have proved essential in my life. Real Madrid always plays to win, which is why we went into this project with the goal of making it successful, and above all to maintain and protect the image of the Football Club. For all of these reasons we are the first ones to want to make sure that anyone being part of the School and participating in our programs finds that they are fully satisfied. In this way  I take advantage of my experience and apply those principles that have been successful with Real Madrid to the day to day operation of the School.

What are the plans for the future for the Real Madrid Graduate School - Universidad Europea?

From among the first challenges to be taken on by the School what really stands out is the need to continue working on international expansion. In fact, we are currently embarked in an ambitious expansion project that will double the number of students in the coming five years. For example this year the School will be launching in several countries in Asia, and America. This is a way in which we are attempting to promote the mobility of our students in Spain through international stays that will give them a more global vision of the profession of sports. Currently our students are benefiting from international experience in the United States England and Germany. .

We are also working to innovate when it comes to the undergraduate and graduate programs that are currently linked to the three areas of education of the School: sports science, management and communication and health.

In the Graduate program for instance, innovation is taking place with the introduction of more Masters Programs being taught in English and online with the idea of encouraging students from everywhere across the world to participate in our programs.

What can the Real Madrid Football Club offer to the Real Madrid Graduate School - Universidad Europea?

The commitment to this project on the part of the Real Madrid Football Club is one hundred per cent. Not only will the Club be contributing with its experience as an acknowledged institution of high prestige, but the Club will also contribute with the use of its facilities such as the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium or the Valdebebas Sports Complex, internships will be made available, for example with Real Madrid TV, and professionals from the highest levels within their fields will help in the design and implementation of these courses.

Real Madrid Football Club and Universidad Europea de Madrid are two institutions with a clear international presence. Will the Real Madrid Graduate School– Universidad Europea follow this same path to an international presence?

The School also has a clear international vocation which can be seen reflected not only by the support of the two institutions that back it but also in the international trajectory it has taken over the years, leading to a presence in several countries in Europe, Asia and America.

What are the basic pillars of the Real Madrid Graduate School - Universidad Europea?

The Real Madrid Graduate School - Universidad Europea has its pillars clearly defined. These pillars are first and foremost concerned with the education of leaders; specialists in those disciplines that are in some way connected to the world of sports. Next is a clear international vocation, made manifest by those two institutions that support the School. The third pillar is concerned with a professional focus whereby the most prestigious professionals both from Real Madrid and from Universidad Europea de Madrid participate in the development and teaching of the programs.