Barcelona and Real Madrid will face each other once again on the 16th of October for La Liga. Both of these clubs have had an on going rivalry since the beginning of their time. It is considered the biggest football game in the world of football. Their rivalry is also known as the ‘El Clasico’.
Their match has seen a lot of different phases over the course of time. However, still it is among the major competition of the football. For the past decade, people enjoy the El Clasico tournament and it is among the ‘most watched’ fixtures. The match between the two Spanish sides will take place on the 16th.
The two dominant clubs
The rivalry has grown over the years, assisting the two clubs in becoming two of the top clubs in football. The presence of some of the game’s biggest names raised the stakes even higher. The teams meet in La Liga twice a year, although the game is worth more than three points.
This is the game that brings back memories of legends like Di Stefano, Puskas, Cruyff, Maradona, Raul, Ronaldinho, and Zidane, to name a few. Many such players have graced this match, and their outstanding performances have contributed to El Clasico’s popularity.
The El Clasico goes beyond football, as the match has highlighted the political tensions between the state of Madrid and the Catalunya area over the years. The Clasico was previously viewed as a forum for Catalan citizens to protest for their independence. The match versus Real Madrid, the capital’s team with monarchy support, was traditionally regarded as the superior team in Spain, beginning the football rivalry.
The beginning of the El Clasico rivalry
The fight between Madrid and Barcelona began with the Spanish civil war and General Franco’s victory. Madrid represents the administration, while Barcelona represents the opposition. This rivalry was clear when the two sides met, and rightfully so. The game became a chance for both teams to prove themselves and gain one over on their opponents.
In the Copa de la Coronacion in 1902, Barcelona defeated Real Madrid 3-1 in the first El Clasico. Although the competition existed for many years, it was not until 1943 that things grew heated.
Both of the sides met in the Copa Del Ray semi-finals. Barcelona achieved a win over the Madrid of 3-0. As a result of it, Real Madrid complained about the refereeing and this lead to the protests ultimately leading to havoc.
What happened next is still fresh in the minds of those Spanish Madridistas and Blaugranas. Barcelona fans were banned from traveling to Madrid, while Madrid fans threw coins into the penalty area in response to their rage from the first match. The tension became unbearable. The players were threatened by police before the game began, and the refereeing was also questionable. Madrid went on to win the match 11-1, their largest margin of victory to date, but what this match did was reignite the flames of El Clasico.
Both clubs were fined, and the game remains an important part of the history of the Barcelona club. This game established Madrid as the “dictatorship” team, with Barcelona as the victim. After that, the meaning of El Clasico completely changed.
Transfers between the two teams
You are not expected to switch sides if you play for Real Madrid or Barcelona. Hence, such incidents have only increased the rivalry and tensions between the two sides.
Barcelona grabbed Laszlo Kubala from under the nose of then-Madrid president Santiago Bernabeu in 1952. Madrid was interested in signing the Hungarian, but he was signed by the Catalans and went on to become one of their legends.
Madrid responded against Barcelona by snatching Alfredo Di Stefano, who went on to become one of the best players in whites history, winning five European Cups. Di Stefano was signed by River Plate but played for Millonarios. Madrid agreed to terms with Millonarios, while Barcelona agreed to terms with River Plate. Finally, the Spanish federation announced Madrid’s victory, which angered their Clasico opponents.
The transfer of Luis Figo was yet another significant event in the rivalry between the two clubs. Figo signed for Real Madrid from Barcelona in 2000, prompting justified criticism from Barcelona fans. When the Portuguese returned to Camp Nou, he was greeted with banners reading “traitor” and “scum,” and bottles and pig heads were thrown at him whenever he touched the ball. This high-profile transfer established a rivalry in the twenty-first century.
The Messi-Ronaldo Era
Lionel Messi, a La Masia grad, made his mark in his first El Clasico by scoring a hattrick. Real Madrid, on the other side, had a great talent in the making in Cristiano Ronaldo. During the time these two competed, El Clasico matches were at their peak.
For ten years, the two best teams in the world, headed by the two finest players in the world, dominated the headlines. El Clasico has long been a rivalry, but it was only recently that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo faced a battle in the biggest game in world football.
From 2010 to 2014, the Clasicos featured the two best managers in the world, Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho. The risks have never been higher. A great lineup led by the two biggest managers, playing against a backdrop of clashes, tensions, and overwhelming fan support.
El Clasico for the fans
The two best teams in the world have a passionate fan base, and the rivalry extends beyond the teams to the fans as well. El Clasico means more than ever taking a stand for your side. There is no middle ground. Either Real Madrid or Barcelona is your team.
There is mutual respect, but nothing more. Due to the obvious importance of the game, Clasico usually brings out the best and worst in fans. As the two teams prepare to meet off on the field, debates and arguments will break.
When it comes to El Clasico, there is always fear. The terror of knowing your opponent’s squad is better than you, the worry of losing to them, and the shame that follows. This is what separates this game from others. It is a high-stakes strategic matchup between the two teams, with significance for supporters as well.
The El Clasico – Barcelona v Real Madrid
Many such moments have occurred in the El Clasico over the years, whether it was Barcelona preventing Real Madrid from winning six European Super Cups in a row or Real Madrid’s ‘La Quinta’ winning six La Liga crowns.
Be it the 5-1s and 6-2s, Messi’s display, or Ronaldo’s header and Bale’s run in the Copa Del Rey Finals. Be it Ronaldinho and Messi receiving standing ovations at the Santiago Bernabeu, or Real Madrid dominating their rivals Barcelona. We’ve seen everything.