Real Madrid drops cross as part of UAE bank deal

Real Madrid football club has removed the cross from its club crest as part of a tie-up with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

The badge usually includes a small cross on top of a crown, but has been reworked for the partnership with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) bank.

The move has been seen as a bid from one of the world’s leading football clubs to avoid offending Muslims.


Spanish sports newspaper Marca said, “from the looks of things, the club is willing to compromise on aspects of its identity in pursuit of these new fans”.

The change was revealed on the Abu Dhabi bank’s credit card, which doubles as a Real Madrid membership card.

The crest, which was designed in the 1930s, will keep the cross when used in Europe.

At an announcement of the club’s decision to link up with the bank for three years, Real President Florentino Pérez was joined by club stars Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema.

Followers’ hearts

Pérez said: “I know that the local people experience every match in a special way and that our links with the UAE are constantly growing stronger.

“This agreement will help the club to keep conquering the hearts of followers in the United Arab Emirates.”

He described the partnership as a “strategic alliance with one of the most prestigious institutions in the world”.