El Clásico

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El Clásico
Real Madrid vs. Barcelona
Uniforms
City or region  Spain
Teams involved Real Madrid Club de Fútbol
Futbol Club Barcelona
First contested Barcelona 3–1 Real Madrid
1902 Copa de la Coronación
Semi-finals
(13 May 1902)
Number of meetings Official: 227
Total: 260
Most wins Official: Real Madrid (91)
Total: Barcelona (107)
Most player appearances Manuel Sanchis (43)
Top scorer Lionel Messi (21)
Most recent meeting Real Madrid 2–1 Barcelona
Copa del Rey
(Final: 16 April 2014)
Next meeting Real Madrid – Barcelona
La Liga
(Round 9: 26 October 2014)

El Clásico (Spanish pronunciation: [el ˈklasiko]; Catalan: El Clàssic,[1] pronounced: [əɫ ˈkɫasik]; "The Classic"), is the name given in football to any match between Real Madrid Club de Fútbol (Real Madrid) and Futbol Club Barcelona (Barcelona). Originally it referred only to those competitions held in the Spanish championship, but nowadays – in order to satisfy marketing needs[citation needed] – the term has been generalized, and tends to include every single match between the two clubs: UEFA Champions League, Copa del Rey, etc. 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.[2]

The rivalry comes about as Madrid and Barcelona are the two largest cities in Spain, and the two clubs are among the richest and most successful football clubs in the world. Real Madrid leads the head to head results in competitive matches with 91 wins to Barcelona's 89. Barcelona leads the count in official titles won with 81 trophies, while Real Madrid has won 79 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.[3] The rivalry is regarded as one of the biggest in world football.[4][5][6]

Rivalry[edit]

Historic divisions[edit]

The conflict between Real Madrid and Barcelona has long surpassed the sporting dimension,[7][8] so that elections to the clubs' presidencies are strongly politicized.[9]

As early as the 1930s, Barcelona "had developed a reputation as a symbol of Catalan pride and identity, opposed to the centralising tendencies of Madrid.[10][11] In 1936, when Francisco Franco started the Coup d'état against the democratic Second Spanish Republic, the president of Barcelona, Josep Sunyol, member of the Republican Left of Catalonia and Deputy to The Cortes, was arrested and executed without trial by Franco's troops[9] (Sunyol was exercising his political activities, visiting Republican troops north of Madrid).[10]

Barcelona was on top of the list of organizations to be purged by the National faction, just after communists, anarchists, and independentists.[9][12] During the Franco dictatorship, most citizens of Barcelona were in strong opposition to the fascist-like régime. Phil Ball, the author of Morbo: The Story of Spanish Football, says about the match that they hate each other with an intensity that can truly shock the outsider.[13]

Though the first socialist party in Spain was founded in Madrid, almost all the ideas that have shaped the country's modern history –republicanism, federalism, anarchism, syndicalism and communism– have been introduced via the region of Catalonia, of which Barcelona is the capital.[13][14] During the dictatorships of Miguel Primo de Rivera and of Francisco Franco, all regional languages and identities were frowned upon and restrained. In this period, Barcelona gained their motto més que un club (English: More than a club) because of its alleged connection to progressive beliefs and its representative role for Catalonia.[15] During Franco's regime, however, the blaugrana team seemed to be granted profit due to its good relationship with the dictator at management level.[16] The links between senior Real Madrid representatives and the Francoist regime were undeniable;[9] for most of the Catalans, Real Madrid was regarded as "the establishment club", despite the fact that presidents of both clubs like Josep Sunyol and Rafael Sánchez Guerra, suffered at the hands of Franco's supporters in the Spanish Civil War.[10][17][18]

The image for both clubs was further affected by the creation of Ultras groups, some of which became hooligans. In 1980, Ultras Sur was founded as a far-right-leaning Real Madrid ultras group, followed in 1981 by the foundation of the initially left-leaning, but currently far-right, Barcelona ultras group Boixos Nois. Both groups became known for their violent acts,[9][19][20] and one of the most conflictive factions of Barcelona supporters, the Casuals, became a full-fledged criminal organisation.[21] For many people, Barcelona is still considered as "the rebellious club", or the alternative pole to "Real Madrid's conservatism".[22] Moreover, according to a Spanish poll released by CIS (Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas), Real Madrid's followers tend to adopt right-wing views, while Barcelona fans are politically closer associated with the left-wing.[23]

Di Stéfano transfer[edit]

Controversy around Alfredo Di Stéfano's transfer to Real Madrid instead of Barcelona intensified the rivalry between the two clubs

The rivalry was intensified during the 1950s when the clubs disputed the signing of Alfredo Di Stéfano. Di Stéfano had impressed both Barcelona and Real Madrid whilst playing for Club Deportivo Los Millonarios in Bogotá, Colombia, during a players' strike in his native Argentina.[24] Both Real Madrid and Barcelona attempted to sign him and, due to confusion that emerged from Di Stéfano moving to Millonarios from Club Atlético River Plate following the strike, both clubs claimed to own his registration. After intervention from FIFA representative Muñoz Calero, it was decided that both Barcelona and Real Madrid had to share the player in alternate seasons. Barcelona's Franco-imposed president backed down after a few appearances, as Barcelona's side claimed, but Real Madrid say Barcelona's decision was voluntary and Di Stéfano moved definitively to Real Madrid.[24]

Di Stéfano became integral in the subsequent success achieved by Real Madrid, scoring twice in his first game against Barcelona. With him, Real Madrid won the initial five European Champions Cup competitions. The 1960s saw the rivalry reach the European stage when they met twice at the European Cup, Real Madrid winning in 1960 and Barcelona winning in 1961.

Recent issues[edit]

Luís Figo's transfer from Barcelona to Real Madrid in 2000 resulted in a hate campaign by some of his former club's fans

During the last three decades, the rivalry has been augmented by the modern Spanish tradition of the Pasillo, where one team is given the guard of honor by the other team, once the former clinches the La Liga trophy before El Clásico takes place. This has happened in three occasions. First, during El Clásico that took place on 30 April 1988, where Real Madrid won the championship on the previous round. Then, three years later, when Barcelona won the championship two rounds before El Clásico on 8 June 1991.[25] The last pasillo, and most recent, took place on 7 May 2008, and this time Real Madrid had won the championship.[26]

The two teams met again in the UEFA Champions League semi-final in 2002, with Real Madrid winning 2–0 in Barcelona and a 1–1 draw in Madrid. The match, dubbed by Spanish media as the "Match of the Century," was watched by more than 500 million people.[27] In the Clásico held on November 2005, Barcelona played away in Madrid, winning 3–0. The star of the Barcelona team was Ronaldinho, who became the second Barcelona player after Diego Maradona to receive a standing ovation from Real Madrid fans.[28]

The rivalry has been strengthened over time by the internal transfer of players between the clubs. Barcelona players who have later played for Real Madrid include Bernd Schuster, who switched in 1988; and Michael Laudrup, who went to Real Madrid on a free transfer in 1994. The most notorious, however, was former vice-captain Luís Figo's switch in 2000. Players transferring from Real Madrid to Barcelona are less frequent, the most recent being Luis Enrique, who went to Barcelona in 1996 where he went on to captain Barcelona, coached the reserve team from 2008 to 2011,[29] and he became the manager of Barcelona in 2014.

Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Lassana Diarra of Real Madrid in a 2011 El Clásico

A 2007 survey by the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas determined that Real Madrid was the team with the largest following in Spain with 32% of the Spanish population supported Real Madrid, while 25% supported Barcelona. In third place came Valencia, who were supported by 5%.[30] According to a poll performed by Ikerfel in 2011 and published in AS, Barcelona is the most popular team in Spain with 44% of preferences, while Real Madrid is in the second place with 37%. In the overall popularity, Atlético Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Real Betis and Valencia complete the top five.[31] Barcelona seems to be more popular in Europe than Real Madrid. A survey made by the German research agency Sport+Markt in 2010 revealed that Barcelona has approximately 57.8 million fans around Europe, while Real Madrid has 31.3 million fans.[32][33]

The rivalry intensified in 2011 where, due to the final of the Copa Del Rey and the meeting of the two in the UEFA Champions League, Barcelona and Real Madrid were scheduled to meet each other four times in 18 days. Several accusations of unsportsmanlike behaviour from both teams and a war of words erupted throughout the fixtures which included four red cards. Spain coach Vicente del Bosque stated that he was "concerned" that due to the rising hatred between the two clubs, that this could cause friction in the national side.[34]

Results[edit]

As of 23 March 2014
Matches Wins Draws Goals Home wins Home draws Away wins
Real Madrid Barcelona Real Madrid Barcelona Real Madrid Barcelona Real Madrid Barcelona Real Madrid Barcelona
La Liga 168 70 66 32 274 265 51 48 15 17 19 18
Copa del Rey 34 12 15 7 65 66 5 7 5 2 3 5
Copa de la Liga 6 0 2 4 8 13 0 1 2 2 0 1
Supercopa de España 12 6 4 2 25 17 5 4 1 1 1 0
UEFA Champions League 8 3 2 3 13 10 1 1 2 1 2 1
All competitions 228 91 89 48 385 371 62 61 25 23 25 25
Friendly/other 32 4 18 10 41 80 2 10 4 6 0 6
All matches 260 95 107 58 426 451 64 71 29 29 25 31

Records[edit]

Biggest wins (10+ goals)[edit]

Margin Result Date Event
10 Real Madrid 11-1 Barcelona 13 June 1943 Copa del Rey
6 Real Madrid 8-2 Barcelona 3 February 1935 La Liga
5 Real Madrid 6–1 Barcelona 18 September 1949
Barcelona 7–2 Real Madrid 24 September 1950
Barcelona 5–0 Real Madrid 21 April 1935
Barcelona 5–0 Real Madrid 25 March 1945
Real Madrid 5–0 Barcelona 25 October 1953
Real Madrid 0-5 Barcelona 17 February 1974
Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid 8 January 1994
Real Madrid 5-0 Barcelona 7 January 1995
Barcelona 5–0 Real Madrid 29 November 2010

Longest runs[edit]

Most consecutive wins[edit]

Games Club Period
6 Real Madrid 22 February 1962 – 28 February 1965
5 Real Madrid 5 March 1933 – 3 February 1935
5 Barcelona 25 January 1948 – 15 January 1949
5 Barcelona 13 December 2008 – 29 November 2010

Most consecutive draws[edit]

Games Period
3 11 September 1991 – 7 March 1992
3 1 May 2002 – 20 April 2003

Most consecutive matches without a draw[edit]

Games Period
18 25 January 1948 – 21 November 1954
17 23 November 1960 – 19 March 1967
14 4 December 1977 – 4 June 1983
12 19 May 1957 – 27 April 1960
10 5 March 1933 – 28 January 1940

Longest undefeated runs[edit]

Games Club Period
13 Barcelona 1 November 1917 – 3 June 1928
10 Real Madrid 31 January 1931 – 3 February 1935

Longest undefeated runs in the league[edit]

Games Club Period
7 (6 Wins) Barcelona 13 December 2008 – 10 December 2011
7 (5 Wins) Real Madrid 31 January 1932 – 3 February 1935
6 (6 Wins) Real Madrid 30 September 1962 – 28 February 1965
6 (4 Wins) Barcelona 11 May 1997 – 13 October 1999
6 (3 Wins) Barcelona 28 November 1971 – 17 February 1974
5 (4 Wins) Barcelona 30 March 1947 – 15 January 1949
5 (3 Wins) Barcelona 11 May 1975 – 30 January 1977

Most consecutive matches without conceding a goal[edit]

Games Club Period
5 Barcelona 3 April 1972 – 17 February 1974
3 Barcelona 10 January 1914 – 7 March 1916
3 Real Madrid 29 June 1974 – 11 May 1975
3 Barcelona 29 November 2009 – 29 November 2010

Most consecutive games scoring[edit]

Games Club Period
22 Real Madrid 15 February 1959 – 19 September 1969
17 Barcelona 27 November 1982 – 31 January 1987
16 Barcelona 27 April 2011 – current
15 Real Madrid 3 May 2011 – current
14 Real Madrid 15 February 1959 – 21 January 1962
14 Real Madrid 5 December 1990 – 16 December 1993
13 Real Madrid 22 April 1962 – 9 April 1968
12 Barcelona 26 March 1916 – 26 April 1926
11 Barcelona 11 September 1991 – 7 May 1994
10 Barcelona 30 January 1997 – 13 October 1999

Bold represents current active streak.

Goalscorers[edit]

Top scorers[edit]

Rank Nationality Player Club La Liga Cup Super Cup League Cup Europe Total
1  Argentina Lionel Messi Barcelona 14 5 2 21
2  Argentina Alfredo Di Stéfano Real Madrid 14 2 2 18
3  Spain Raúl Real Madrid 11 3 1 15
4  Spain César Rodríguez Barcelona 12 2 14
 Spain Francisco Gento Real Madrid 10 2 2 14
 Hungary Ferenc Puskás Real Madrid 9 2 3 14
7  Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 6 4 3 13
8  Spain Santillana Real Madrid 9 2 1 12
9  Mexico Hugo Sánchez Real Madrid 8 2 10
 Spain Juanito Real Madrid 8 2 10
 Spain Josep Samitier Barca / Real 4 6 10
11  Spain Estanislao Basora Barcelona 8 1 9
13  Spain Jaime Lazcano Real Madrid 8 8
 Chile Iván Zamorano Real Madrid 4 2 2 8
 Paraguay Martínez Barcelona 2 5 1 8
 Spain Luis Suárez Barcelona 2 4 2 8
17  Spain Santiago Bernabéu Real Madrid 7 7
 Spain Pahiño Real Madrid 7 7
 Spain Pirri Real Madrid 6 1 7
 Spain Josep Escolà Barcelona 5 2 7
 Spain Sabino Barinaga Real Madrid 4 3 7

Consecutive goalscoring[edit]

Rank Player Club Consecutive Matches Total Goals in the run Start End
1 Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 6 7 2011–12 Copa del Rey (1st leg) 2012–13 La Liga (7th round)
2 Chile Iván Zamorano Real Madrid 5 5 1992–93 La Liga (20th Round) 1993 Supercopa de España (2nd leg)
3 Spain Simón Lecue Real Madrid 4 5 1935–36 La Liga (7th Round) 1939–40 La Liga (9th Round)
Brazil Ronaldinho Barcelona 4 5 2004–05 La Liga (12th Round) 2005–06 La Liga (31st Round)
Brazil Giovanni Barcelona 4 4 1997 Supercopa de España (1st leg) 1997–98 La Liga (28th Round)

Most appearances[edit]

Appearances Player Club
43 Manuel Sanchís Real Madrid
42 Francisco Gento Real Madrid
40 Xavi Hernández Barcelona
37 Fernando Hierro Real Madrid
37 Raúl González Real Madrid
34 Iker Casillas Real Madrid
32 Carles Puyol Barcelona
28 Lionel Messi Barcelona

Players who played for both clubs[edit]

Javier Saviola was the most recent player to transfer between the two rivals, in 2007

Switches table[edit]

From Barça to Madrid 17
From Barça to another club before Madrid 4
Total 21
From Madrid to Barça 3
From Madrid to another club before Barça 9
Total 12
Total switches 33

Honours[edit]

The rivalry reflected in "El Clásico" matches comes about as Real Madrid and Barcelona are the most successful football clubs in Spain. As seen below, Barcelona leads the count in official titles won with 81 trophies, while Real Madrid has won 79 trophies. Both teams have won other titles as well, although they are not included in the official count since they are either regional or unofficial.

Real Madrid Championship Barcelona Official
International (official)
0 FIFA Club World Cup 2 Yes
3 UEFA/CONMEBOL Intercontinental Cup (Defunct) 0 Yes
10 UEFA Champions League 4 Yes
2 UEFA Europa League 0 Yes
2 UEFA Super Cup 4 Yes
0 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (Defunct) 4 Yes
0 UEFA Intertoto Cup (Defunct) 0 Yes
0 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (Defunct) 3 Yes
Domestic (official)
32 La Liga (Primera División) 22 Yes
19 Copa del Rey 26 Yes
9 Supercopa de España 11 Yes
1 Copa de la Liga (Defunct) 2 Yes
1 Copa Eva Duarte (Defunct) 3 Yes
International (Defunct, non-official)
2 Small Club World Cup 1 No
2 Latin Cup 2 No
Domestic (Defunct, non-official)
0 Copa de la Coronación 0 No
0 Liga Mediterránea 1 No
0 Copa de la España Libre 0 No
0 Copa de Campeones de España 0 No
0 Copa de Oro Argentina 1 No
Regional International (Defunct, non-official)
1 Copa Iberoamericana No
Pyrenees Cup 4 No
Regional Domestic (Defunct)
5 Campeonato de Madrid N/A Yes
12 Campeonato Regional de Madrid N/A Yes
5 Campeonato Regional Mancomunado Centro N/A Yes
N/A Copa Macaya 1 Yes
N/A Copa Barcelona 1 Yes
N/A Campionat de Catalunya 21 Yes
N/A Lliga Catalana 1 Yes
Friendlies
2 World Football Challenge 0 No
23 out of 34 Trofeo Santiago Bernabéu N/A No
N/A Trofeu Joan Gamper 35 out of 47 No
0 Copa Martini & Rossi (Defunct) 6 out of 6 No

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

General
  • Ball, Phill (2003). Morbo: The Story of Spanish Football. WSC Books Limited. ISBN 0-9540134-6-8. 
  • Farred, Grant (2008). Long distance love: a passion for football. Temple University Press. ISBN 1-59213-374-6. 
Specific
  1. ^ "El clàssic es jugarà dilluns". El Punt. 18 November 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2010. 
  2. ^ Stevenson, Johanthan (12 December 2008). "Barca & Real renew El Clasico rivalry". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 August 2010. 
  3. ^ "Castilian Oppression v Catalan Nationalism – "El Gran Classico"". Footballblog.co.uk. 2 September 2009. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "AFP: Barcelona vs Real Madrid rivalry comes to the fore". Google.com. 14 April 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Rookwood, Dan (28 August 2002). "The bitterest rivalry in world football". The Guardian (London). 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ Palomares, Cristina The quest for survival after Franco: moderate Francoism and the slow journey, p.231
  8. ^ Cambio 16, 6–12, Enero 1975 p.18
  9. ^ a b c d e McNeill, Donald (1999) Urban change and the European left: tales from the new Barcelona p.61
  10. ^ a b c Burns, Jimmy, 'Don Patricio O’Connell: An Irishman and the Politics of Spanish Football' in "Irish Migration Studies in Latin America" 6:1 (March 2008), p. 44. Available online pg. 3,pg. 4. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  11. ^ Ham, Anthony p. 221
  12. ^ Vázquez Montalbán (1992) Barcelonas, ch.4 'La Ben Plantada' p. 109
  13. ^ a b Ball, Phil (21 April 2002). "Mucho morbo". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  14. ^ "El Partido Socialista se fundó en 1879 – PSOE" (in Spanish). PSOE. Retrieved 28 August 2010. 
  15. ^ Ball, Phil p. 88
  16. ^ "Franco recibió dos medallas del Barça" (in Spanish). Diario AS. Retrieved 28 August 2010. 
  17. ^ "El deporte en la guerra civil" (in Spanish). EL CULTURAL. Retrieved 29 August 2010. 
  18. ^ "Rafael Sánchez Guerra" (in Spanish). elpueblodeceuta.es. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2010. [dead link]
  19. ^ "The Ultra Sur | El Centrocampista - Spanish Football and La Liga News in English". El Centrocampista. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  20. ^ Dos Manzanas (14 June 2011). "Tres Boixos Nois detenidos por agredir a una mujer transexual en Barcelona". Dos manzanas. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "La mafia de boixos nois se especializó en atracar a narcos - Sociedad - El Periódico". Elperiodico.com. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  22. ^ "Great similarities between Barcelona and Celtic". vavel.com. 21 April 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  23. ^ "La izquierda es culé y la derecha, merengue, según el CIS" (in Spanish). LaVanguardia.com. 20 July 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  24. ^ a b "BBC SPORT | Football | Di Stefano deal intensifies rivalry". BBC News. 11 December 2008. Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  25. ^ Deportes. "(Spanish)". 20minutos.es. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  26. ^ "Real Madrid v. Barcelona: A Glance Back at Past Pasillos | Futfanatico: Breaking Soccer News". Futfanatico. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  27. ^ "Real win Champions League showdown". BBC News. 11 December 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2010. 
  28. ^ "Rampant Ronaldinho receives standing ovation". BBC News. 11 December 2008. Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  29. ^ "Schuster leads the defectors". BBC News. 11 December 2008. Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  30. ^ "CIS Mayo 2007" (PDF) (in Spanish). Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas. May 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  31. ^ "España se pasa del Madrid al Barcelona" (in Spanish). www.as.com. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  32. ^ ""Football Top 20" 2010" (text). Sport+Markt. September 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2010. (subscription required)
  33. ^ SPORT. "Barça". Sport.es. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  34. ^ Sapa-DPA (29 April 2011). "Del Bosque concerned over Real-Barca conflict - SuperSport - Football". SuperSport. Retrieved 20 October 2013.