As long as there have been sport teams, there have been rivalries. Whether it’s the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox or the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns, the two rival teams inevitably end up assembly many times, forming an ongoing heated rivalry that delights fans of the sport. One such rivalry is between Spanish football teams FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.
FC Barcelona (also known as Barça by its fans) and Real Madrid are two of the earliest Spanish football teams, each forming in the 1890s. From the beginning, the 2 teams had been seen as representatives of two rival areas of Spain, the traditional kingdoms of Castile and Catalonia. Each teams have been part of La Liga, a Spanish football league and a rivalry that went far beyond football shortly took root.
It was throughout and after the Spanish Civil War that the rivalry took on more political overtones. Dictator Francisco Franco banned all peripheral languages, corresponding to Catalan, the language of Barcelona. Catalonia had long been associated with more progressive fashions and political concepts, equivalent to democracy-which was the diametric opposite of Franco’s dictatorial regime. FC Barcelona suffered as a result of being part of the Catalonian culture. Real Madrid, alternatively, was seen by many Spaniards (and Catalonians in particular) because the “establishment” club. Though Franco seemed to favor Real Madrid, members of both teams suffered under his regime.
The fierce rivalry continued into the Fifties when each clubs sought to sign Alfredo Di Stefano to play for them. Real Madrid eventually won out and Alfredo Di Stefano went on to lead them to many wins. FC Barcelona and Real Madrid went head-to-head twice on the European Cup in the Sixties, with Real Madrid successful one and FC Barcelona profitable the other. The two groups clashed once again over a player in 2000 when Luis Figo left FC Barcelona and signed with Real Madrid. FC Barcelona and Real Madrid competed towards one another once more in the UEFA Champions League semi-remaining in 2002, with Real Madrid getting the win. The Spanish media dubbed the match “The Match of the Century”.
Within the mid-2000s, the rivalry ascended to additional heights when it acquired its own name, El Clasico. The term El Clasico was traditionally assigned to any South American football rivalry, however the progress of football in the Americas coupled with these nice teams’ rivalry led to the coining of the time period as utilized to FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. This was largely a marketing scheme communicated via GolTV, an all-football satellite channel, however the term has been embraced by fans worldwide.
El Clasico shows no signs of slowing. To this very day, the two teams inevitably seek one another out on the sphere to find out who is the best group in Spain. Generally FC Barcelona wins and generally Real Madrid wins, however finally football fans worldwide are those who win whenever these giants meet on the field.
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