Barcelona and Manchester United may wish to dispute the observation, but Real Madrid are the world's greatest football club. Setting emotion and preferences aside, the facts speak for themselves. The spirit of the club resides in its trophy room, where the gold and silver of a 100 years of football's conquistadores rubbing the world's noses into the dirt wink and shimmer in the tasteful lighting. They include 28 League titles, 8 European Cups, 12 Spanish Cups, 2 UEFA Cups, 2 World Club Championship titles - not to mention this season's beguiling promise of winning both the League and Champion's League. To win this in their centenary year would dispel any lingering doubts as to the hierarchy of the gods, and would set the club up nicely for the century ahead. The story of Real Madrid's first 100 years is, however, much more than the mere sum of its achievements. There have been legends at every step. And behind the shine of the trophies, there is the darker side of the club's association with fascism - its role as the pure white ambassador to Franco's jackbooted vision of a centralised Spain. But more than anything else, Real Madrid still represent an idea, almost 30 years after Franco's death - the idea of 'Madridismo'.