There have been many intense rivalries within the world of organized sports. Some of the greats include the Red Sox vs. the Yankees, Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier, and Michigan vs. Ohio State. However, none of those rivalries come close to Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, a match-up known throughout the world as El Clásico.
When it comes to this match, the highly competitive play on the field reflects what many regard as the political and cultural tensions felt between the two cities. Barcelona’s slogan is actually “Més que un club,” which means “More than a club,” and some have even described the game as a metaphorical re-enactment of the Spanish Civil War.
Historically, Madrid is viewed as a conservative city and it’s been said that the former Spanish leader, Francisco Franco, favored their team. While Barcelona, is generally viewed as politically liberal and has been described as “the team of the people.” Although there are varying degrees of fandom, for many Spaniards, and others throughout the world, these clubs represent differing ideologies and each game takes on historic significance.
The next match between Real Madrid and Barcelona will be the 172nd El Clásico. So far, the record stands at 71 wins for Madrid, 68 wins for Barcelona, and 32 draws. Both teams are looking strong this year and it’s anyone’s game at this point, but no matter the outcome, one thing’s for certain, it’s going to be a classic.
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