|Other names||Real Madrid vs. Barcelona|
|Teams||Real Madrid Club de Fútbol
Futbol Club Barcelona
|Most recent meeting||Barcelona 2–1 Real Madrid
(Round 30: 22 March 2015)
|Number of meetings||Competitive Matches: 229
Exhibition Matches: 33
Total Matches: 262
|Most wins||Competitive Matches: Real Madrid (92)
Exhibition Matches: Barcelona (19)
Total Matches: Barcelona (108)
|Most player appearances||Manuel Sanchís (43)|
|Top scorer||Lionel Messi (21)|
El Clásico (Spanish pronunciation: [el ˈklasiko]; Catalan: El Clàssic, pronounced: [əɫ ˈkɫasik]; "The Classic"), is the name given in football to any match between fierce rivals Real Madrid C.F. and FC Barcelona. Originally it referred only to those competitions held in the Spanish championship, but nowadays 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 biggest football club game in the world, and is among the most viewed annual sports events.
The rivalry comes about as Madrid and Barcelona are the two largest cities in Spain, and they are sometimes identified with opposing political positions, with Real Madrid viewed as representing Spanish nationalism and Barcelona viewed as representing Catalan nationalism. The rivalry is regarded as one of the biggest in world sport. The two clubs are among the richest and most successful football clubs in the world; in 2014 they were ranked the world's two most valuable sports teams.
Real Madrid leads the head to head results in competitive matches with 92 wins to Barcelona's 89, while Barcelona leads in total matches with 108 wins to Real Madrid's 96. Along with Athletic Bilbao, they are the only clubs in La Liga to have never been relegated.
- 1 Rivalry
- 2 Results
- 3 Records
- 3.1 Biggest wins (5+ goals)
- 3.2 Longest runs
- 3.3 Goalscorers
- 3.4 Most appearances
- 4 Players who played for both clubs
- 5 Honours
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
As early as the 1930s, Barcelona "had developed a reputation as a symbol of Catalan identity, opposed to the centralising tendencies of Madrid". 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 (Sunyol was exercising his political activities, visiting Republican troops north of Madrid).
Barcelona was on top of the list of organizations to be purged by the National faction, just after communists, anarchists, and independentists. 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; "they hate each other with an intensity that can truly shock the outsider".
During the dictatorships of Miguel Primo de Rivera and of Francisco Franco, all regional languages and identities in Spain 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 Catalan nationalist beliefs and its representative role for that land. During Franco's regime, however, Barcelona was granted profit due to its good relationship with the dictator at management level, even giving two awards to him. The links between senior Real Madrid representatives and the Francoist regime were undeniable; 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.
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 far-right, Barcelona ultras group Boixos Nois. Both groups became known for their violent acts, and one of the most conflictive factions of Barcelona supporters, the Casuals, became a full-fledged criminal organisation. For many people, Barcelona is still considered as "the rebellious club", or the alternative pole to "Real Madrid's conservatism". 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, except in Catalonia, where right-wing Catalan nationalists and non-nationalists overwhelmingly support Barcelona. However, among the voters of the biggest center-left party of Spain, PSOE, Real Madrid fan base is bigger than Barcelona's.
1943 Copa del Generalísimo semi-finals
On 13 June 1943, Real Madrid beat Barcelona 11–1 in the second leg of a semi-final of the Copa del Generalísimo, the Copa del Rey having been renamed in honour of General Franco. It has been suggested that Barcelona players were intimidated by police, including by the director of state security who "allegedly told the team that some of them were only playing because of the regime's generosity in permitting them to remain in the country." The Barcelona chairman, Enric Piñeyro, was assaulted by Madrid fans. However, none of these allegations have been proven and FIFA and UEFA still consider the result as legitimate. According to Spanish journalist and writer, Juan Carlos Pasamontes, Barcelona player Josep Valle denied that the Spanish security forces came before the match. Instead, at the end of the first half, Barcelona coach Juan José Nogués and all of his players were angry with the hard-style of play Real Madrid was using and with the aggressiveness of the home crowd. When they refused to take the field, the Superior Chief of Police of Madrid appeared, identified himself, and ordered the team to take the field.
A newspaper called the scoreline "as absurd as it was abnormal". According to football writer Sid Lowe; "There have been relatively few mentions of the game [since] and it is not a result that has been particularly celebrated in Madrid. Indeed, the 11-1 occupies a far more prominent place in Barcelona's history." Fernando Argila, Barcelona's reserve goalkeeper from the game, said: “There was no rivalry. Not, at least, until that game."
Di Stéfano transfer
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 while playing for Club Deportivo Los Millonarios in Bogotá, Colombia, during a players' strike in his native Argentina. 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 humiliated president was forced to resign by the Barcelona board, with the interim board cancelling Di Stéfano's contract. While the club's official website bitterly bemoans this incident as "a strange federative manoeuvre with Francoist backing", Real Madrid point to the president's resignation and subsequent cancelling of Di Stéfano's contract to argue it was voluntary. This ended the long struggle for Di Stéfano, as he moved definitively to Real Madrid.
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.
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. The last pasillo, and most recent, took place on 7 May 2008, and this time Real Madrid had won the championship.
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 was dubbed by Spanish media as the "Match of the Century".
While El Clásico is regarded as one of the fiercest rivalries in world football, there have been rare moments when fans have shown praise for a player on the opposing team. In 1980, Laurie Cunningham was the first Real Madrid player to receive applause from Barcelona fans at Camp Nou; after excelling during the match and with Madrid winning 2-0, Cunningham left the field to a standing ovation from the locals. On 26 June 1983, during the second leg of the Copa de la Liga final at the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid, having dribbled past the Real Madrid goalkeeper, Barcelona star Diego Maradona ran towards an empty goal before stopping just as the Madrid defender came sliding in an attempt to block the shot and crashed into the post, before Maradona slotted the ball into the net; Madrid fans were stunned at the manner of the goal and began applauding. In November 2005, Ronaldinho became the second Barcelona player to receive a standing ovation from Madrid fans at the Santiago Bernabéu; after dribbling through the Madrid defence twice to score two goals in a 3-0 win, Madrid fans paid homage to his performance with applause.
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 Barcelona vice-captain Luís Figo's switch to Madrid in 2000. On his return to Barcelona in a Real Madrid shirt, Figo was mercilessly taunted throughout; banners with Judas. Scum. Mercenary were hung around the stadium, and aside from the vociferous abuse, a barrage of missiles reigned down onto the field; the game in 2002 produced one of the defining images of the rivalry when a pig's head was in among the debris where Figo had been taking a corner. 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, and became the manager of Barcelona in 2014.
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%. 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, Valencia and Athletic Bilbao complete the top five. 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.
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.
- 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|
|Copa del Rey||33||12||14||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|
Biggest wins (5+ goals)
|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|
|Real Madrid 5–0 Barcelona||5 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|
Most consecutive wins
|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
|3||11 September 1991 – 7 March 1992|
|3||1 May 2002 – 20 April 2003|
Most consecutive matches without a draw
|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
|13||Barcelona||1 November 1917 – 3 June 1928|
|10||Real Madrid||31 January 1931 – 3 February 1935|
Longest undefeated runs in the league
|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
|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
|22||Real Madrid||15 February 1959 – 19 September 1969|
|17||Barcelona||27 November 1982 – 31 January 1987|
|17||Barcelona||27 April 2011 – current|
|16||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.
|Rank||Nationality||Player||Club||La Liga||Cup||Super Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|2||Argentina/ Spain||Alfredo Di Stéfano||Real Madrid||14||2||2||18|
|3||Spain||Raúl González||Real Madrid||11||3||1||15|
|Portugal||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||7||5||3||15|
|Spain||Francisco Gento||Real Madrid||10||2||2||14|
|Hungary/ Spain||Ferenc Puskás||Real Madrid||9||2||3||14|
|9||Mexico||Hugo Sánchez||Real Madrid||8||2||10|
|Spain||Josep Samitier||Barca / Real||4||6||10|
|13||Spain||Jaime Lazcano||Real Madrid||8||8|
|Chile||Iván Zamorano||Real Madrid||4||2||2||8|
|Spain||Santiago Bernabéu||Real Madrid||8||8|
|Rank||Player||Club||Consecutive Matches||Total Goals in the run||Start||End|
|1||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||6||7||2011–12 Copa del Rey (1st leg)||2012–13 La Liga (7th round)|
|2||Iván Zamorano||Real Madrid||5||5||1992–93 La Liga (20th Round)||1993 Supercopa de España (2nd leg)|
|3||Simón Lecue||Real Madrid||4||5||1935–36 La Liga (7th Round)||1939–40 La Liga (9th Round)|
|Ronaldinho||Barcelona||4||5||2004–05 La Liga (12th Round)||2005–06 La Liga (31st Round)|
|Giovanni||Barcelona||4||4||1997 Supercopa de España (1st leg)||1997–98 La Liga (28th Round)|
|42||Manuel Sanchís||Real Madrid|
|42||Francisco Gento||Real Madrid|
|37||Fernando Hierro||Real Madrid|
|37||Raúl González||Real Madrid|
|36||Iker Casillas||Real Madrid|
Players who played for both clubs
- Alfonso Albéniz (Barça to Madrid) (1902)
- Luciano Lizarraga (Madrid to Barça) (1905)
- Charles Wallace (Barça to Madrid) (1906)
- José Quirante (Barça to Madrid) (1906)
- Alfonso Albéniz (Barça to Madrid) (1911)
- Arsenio Comamala (Barça to Madrid) (1911)
- Walter Rozitsky (Barça to Madrid) (1913)
- Ricardo Zamora (Barça to Espanyol to Madrid) (1930)
- Josep Samitier (Barça to Madrid) (1932)
- Hilario (Madrid to Valencia to Barça) (1939)
- Alfonso Navarro (Barça to Madrid) (1950)
- Justo Tejada (Barça to Madrid) (1961)
- Jesús María Pereda (Madrid to Real Valladolid to Sevilla to Barça) (1961)
- Evaristo de Macedo (Barça to Madrid) (1962)
- Fernand Goyvaerts (Barça to Madrid) (1965)
- Lucien Muller (Madrid to Barça) (1965)
- Lorenzo Amador (Madrid to Hércules to Barça) (1980)
- Bernd Schuster (Barça to Madrid) (1988)
- Luis Milla (Barça to Madrid) (1990)
- Gheorghe Hagi (Madrid to Brescia to Barça) (1994)
- Fernando ”Nando” Muñoz (Barça to Madrid) (1992)
- Julen Lopetegui (Madrid to Logroñés to Barça) (1994)
- Michael Laudrup (Barça to Madrid) (1994)
- Robert Prosinečki (Madrid to Real Oviedo to Barça) (1995)
- Miquel Soler (Barça to Sevilla to Madrid) (1995)
- Luis Enrique (Madrid to Barça) (1996)
- Daniel García Lara (Madrid to Real Mallorca to Barça) (1999)
- Luís Figo (Barça to Madrid) (2000)
- Albert Celades (Barça to Celta Vigo to Madrid) (2000)
- Alfonso Pérez (Madrid to Real Betis to Barça) (2000)
- Ronaldo (Barça to Internazionale to Madrid) (2002)
- Samuel Eto'o (Madrid to Real Mallorca to Barça) (2004)
- Javier Saviola (Barça to Madrid) (2007)
|From Barça to Madrid||17|
|From Barça to another club before Madrid||4|
|From Madrid to Barça||3|
|From Madrid to another club before Barça||9|
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, Real Madrid leads Barcelona 79-78 in terms of overall trophies. This includes the three ICFC titles for Barcelona which are not officially recognized by UEFA, but are recognised by FIFA as a "major" honour. Both teams have won other titles as well, although they are not included in the official count since they are either regional or unofficial.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Real Madrid-FC Barcelona rivalry.|
- 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.