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PostSubject: Barcelona vs Real Madrid   Tue 21 Aug 2012, 10:28 pm

El Clásico




City or region: Spain
First contested: Barcelona 3 – 1 Real Madrid
1902 Copa de la Coronación Semifinals (13 May 1902)
Teams involved: Real Madrid, Barcelona
Number of meetings: Total: 250
Official: 218
Most wins
Total: Barcelona (104)
Official: Real Madrid (87)
Most player appearances: Xavi Hernández (32:FCB)
2011–12 La Liga
(Round 35: 21 April 2012)
Top scorer: Alfredo Di Stéfano (18:RM)
All-time series
Total:
*Barcelona (104)
*Real Madrid (91)
Official:
*Real Madrid (87)
*Barcelona (85)
Largest victory
Real Madrid 11–1 Barcelona
1943 Copa del Generalísimo


El Clásico, also known as El derbi español, is the name given in football to any match between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. It is contested twice a year in the Spanish La Liga competition, and more often if the clubs meet in other competitions. Other than the UEFA Champions League Final, it is the most followed club football match in the world, watched by hundreds of millions of people.

The rivalry comes about as Madrid and Barcelona are the two largest cities in Spain, and the two clubs are two of the richest, most successful and influential football clubs in the world. Real Madrid leads the all-time competitive head to head results. Barcelona leads the count in official titles won with 79 trophies (the three Inter-Cities Fairs Cup's won by Barcelona are included since the tournament is the predecessor of the UEFA Cup and recognized by FIFA), while Real Madrid has won 75 trophies. Along with Athletic Bilbao, they are the only clubs in La Liga to have never been relegated.

They are sometimes identified with opposing political positions, with Real Madrid viewed as representing Spanish nationalism and Barcelona viewed as representing Catalanism. The rivalry is regarded as one of the biggest in world football.
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PostSubject: Re: Barcelona vs Real Madrid   Tue 21 Aug 2012, 10:28 pm

These two teams, similar to that of the Old Firm, are the biggest and most supported clubs in Spain by a considerable margin. However the clubs hail from two very different cities in Spain and this can start to explain some of the major differences in supporters and how their rivalries have come about.

In the beginning Madrid was seen as a representative of the Spanish Centralized State and Barcelona of Catalonia. The politics of the country itself have affected how the support of these two giants in world football is decided.

Madrid is the capital of Spain and is the seat of the government of royal family, thus representing conservative backgrounds. Catalonia and specifically Barcelona has been extremely influential in shaping the modern vision of Spain through republicanism and even in fashion.

Whilst under rule of Francisco Franco all of Spain’s regional languages and identities were frowned upon and sometimes restrained, giving Barcelona even more cultural differences from Madrid. It can also be stressed that the Madrid club president fought with Franco’s forces, bringing football into the equation.

One of the greatest football players of all time was too finally rip apart any positive connection these two clubs had in the 1950′s. Alfredo Di Stefano, the Argentinean forward was at the centre of a tug of war between Barcelona and Real as they both fought for his signature. Due to a players strike in Argentina however there was confusion over his transfer and the Spanish FA had to be involved where it was ruled that Di Stefano was to play for Real Madrid. Di Stefano ironically went on to be instrumental in Madrid’s most successful era, helping them win five successive European Cups.

It is therefore apparent that due to the significant cultural differences between the two cities and along with the transfer of Di Stefano the fierce rivalry has been created.

I think it is therefore safe to judge that supporters of both Real Madrid and Barcelona are distinguished with cultural, political and social backgrounds. The opposing fans tend to have very different views on most things, not only which football team they support.

Dario Quinn, Barcelona supporter,said: “I was lucky enough to be able to go to a derby match a few years ago and the whole experience blew me away. The stadium was packed and you couldn’t hear yourself think for most of the game.

“I did notice tension between both sets of supporters and I felt a bit out of depth amonsgt all the Spaniards but there was no physical violence, just the usual chants and songs aimed at the other fans.”

The transfer of players between these two clubs has been relatively frequent considering their rivalry, but being the two biggest teams in the country can justify this. The most recent high profile case of such a transfer came when Portuguese superstar Luis Figo moved from Barcelona to Madrid for a record breaking £37.5m.

Figo was seen as a hero amongst the Catalan faithful and his decision to move to their fiercest rivals understandably caused great upset and resentment towards him.

Matches between the two giants are commonly known as ‘El Clasico‘ and in the derby match soon after Figo’s transfer there was great hostility in the stadium. During the match Figo was targeted with missiles and a pig’s head was thrown at him when he was about to take a set piece during the match action.

The Barcelona club motto ‘more than a club’ is instilled within its most passionate supporters who view the team as more than a football club, but a way of life. This is interesting in contrast to Real Madrid’s motto which is ‘we are a team’ indicating the togetherness of the football club alone.

Football violence in Spain is very rare on the whole but ‘El Clasico‘ has caused hooliganism in the past, such as vandalism to team buses and attacks on training session by opposing fans. Violent attacks are less common but that does not make these two teams any less of rivals.
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PostSubject: Re: Barcelona vs Real Madrid   Tue 21 Aug 2012, 10:29 pm

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