The eternal rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona, namely El Clasico, is much more than a simple football rivalry. It is a cultural rivalry that undermines Spanish football and Spain itself. On one side is Madrid, head of the country, centralist, located in the center of the Peninsula.
On the other side is Barcelona, capital of Catalonia, proud, rebellious, with an odd history and cultural identity, economic engine of Spain. The rivalry between the two grew during the twentieth century, in what was the bloodiest century in Spanish history. A period of struggles and divisions that still mark today the political relevance of the country.
In Madrid, the club proudly takes on the tag of Real and the crown in the emblem. On the other hand Barcelona never hid its roots and republican sympathies, besides being the main flag of independence.
The biggest symbol of Catalan nationalism was founded by foreigners, while in turn, Real Madrid had as founder and first President, a natural Catalan of Barcelona, in reversal of roles.
Real Madrid had a President who fought in the Civil War alongside the nationalists, and participated in the conquest of the city of Barcelona, while the Catalans had a Republican president shot by the nationalists in the same conflict.
In the context of football, if Real had Puskas, Barca had Kubala. If Di Stefano wore the white shirt, Diego Armando Maradona wore the Barca colour. Di Stefano and Figo will be the two players who contributed the most to rivalry and resentment of the Barcelonists in relation to the Realists.
The first was "diverted" to Madrid with a hand of the Francoist power when everything was already settled with the Catalans; the latter changed clubs in exchange for a colossal contract in Madrid, leaving the Barcelona fans orphaned by their idol and in a deep state of anger.
Perhaps no game has seen so many good players in the field. Cruijff, Zidane, Figo, Lineker, Romario, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Raul, Butragueno, Xavi, Laudrup, Stoichkov, Di Stefano, Maradona, Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Gareth Bale fill an odd star list.
This is the cost of rivalry between Real and Barca, and each one must always have better players than the other. And the rest of the world, a big thank you…
About the Author
Jeet Ghosh is a Football Journalist, living and working in Kolkata with 7 years of experience. He has also worked with Sportzwiki and India.com. Jeet is a sports lover but has special liking for football. He follows the football league’s around the world and is somewhat partial towards Real Madrid.