Born in Almansa (Albacete), the 8th of June, 1895, Bernabéu's family moved to Madrid when he was very young, and Bernabéu himself joined the Real Madrid junior ranks in 1909 at age 14, after being a regular spectator at their matches for years.
In 1912 when the club moved to its new location on O'Donnell street, Bernabéu was one of the volunteers who helped lay the pitch and paint the fences. He went on to join the first team at age 17 and recorded over 1200 goals as a striker, as well as wearing the captain's armband for years, before retiring as a player in 1927. He continued to be associated with the club until 1935, first as a director, before becoming assistant manager and finally manager of the first team. With the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, professional football ceased to be played in Spain. During the war he fought as a solider for the nationalists under Franco and was decorated for bravery.
（Influence in Europe and Legacy ）
In 1955, acting upon the idea proposed by the L'Equipe journalist Gabriel Hanot and building upon the Copa Latina (a tournament involving clubs from France, Spain, Portugal and Italy), Bernabéu met in the Ambassador Hotel in Paris with Bedrignan and Gustav Sebes and created what today is known as the Champions' League. Under the administration of UEFA, it is the world's premier club tournament.
在1955年，按照法國隊報的加布里埃爾.亞諾先生的構想，並在原有拉丁杯（一項由法國，西班牙，葡萄牙，義大利四國俱樂部球隊參加的賽事）的基礎上，伯納烏先生在巴黎的大使館與 Bedrignan and Gustav Sebes一道創立了現在作為歐洲冠軍聯賽被大家所熟知的這項賽事。在歐足聯的領導下，這項賽事成為了最頂級的俱樂部賽事。
Before dying, Bernabéu had been the club's president for 35 years, during which he won 1 Intercontinental Cup, 6 European Cups, 16 League titles, and 6 Spanish Cups. He died in 1978, while the World Cup was being played in Argentina. In his honor FIFA decreed three days of mourning during the tournament.
In 2002 he was posthumously awarded FIFA's Order of Merit.