Why El Clasico is the Greatest Rivalry

What makes sports worth watching? It can be determination, hard work, strategy, and fair play to achieve victory. Or it can be the competitiveness among teams to crush their opponents. It hardly matters for some to play fair, while others show sportsmanship at the highest level.


In addition, competitiveness gives birth to rivalries. Rivalries in return, deliver masterpieces. Talking about rivalries, nothing can get past the El Clasico. Sharing a long history, Barcelona and Real Madrid have been rivals of the highest order. For many teams, their rivalry only exists on the pitch. However, this rivalry is different. They are considered enemies from political to economic fronts and from football to trophies.


This rivalry has a lot of history than just football. This article will focus on exploring the history between Barcelona and Real Madrid. We’ll investigate the reasons why and how both clubs became archnemesis. So, without any delay, let’s start the match:


1. The Political Differences


The clubs met for the first time in 1902. Barca, who was three years old at that time defeated two months old club – Madrid. However, the rivalry started to take shape in the next meeting. Madrid thumped Barcelona 11-1 in the next meeting. With such a humiliating defeat, the Catalonian club sensed something fishy. Soon, Madrid became the “establishment club” while Barca became a symbol against Catalan suppression.


After the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, things went south for Barcelona. General Franco suppressed every resistance pocket in Catalan. Barca, having the badge of Catalan colors, suffered the most. While their arch-rivals progressed under the dictatorship. Madrid became the symbol of a united Spain. 


Whereas Barcelona kept on supporting the cause of Catalan freedom. With each passing day, their troubles increased until General Franco died in 1975. However, the Catalan resistance didn’t pass away with his death. To this day, you can see the Catalan colors in Barca’s jersey and badge. Also, some ex-players and fans are still vocal about gaining freedom from Spain.


2. Figo’s Transfer Saga


Both the clubs are pinnacles of football. With great success in the past, every player wants to play for these clubs. However, both clubs have always tried to hijack each other’s deals. Real Madrid got better of Barcelona when, Florentino Perez, President of Real Madrid signed Luis Figo from Barcelona. Being idolized by the fans, Figo quickly became a leader in Barca’s dressing room. However, he was quickly labeled as a “traitor” and “money grabber” when he joined Madrid in 2000. Later, he went on to win the Ballon d’Or as well.


This marked the “Galacticos era” of Real Madrid and they went on to sign multiple superstars. But, Figo’s transfer left a deep wound among the Catalans. On his return to Camp Nou, Figo was welcomed by a pig head thrown at him from the stands. You can watch a detailed Netflix documentary on Figo’s transfer saga. You’ll understand the nature of enmity between the clubs and people. However, you’ll require a swift internet connection. A connection that won’t waste time on buffering, just like Spectrum internet.


With their top-notch service, you can also stream El Clasico live. Without a worry about disconnecting or buffering, you can experience the greatest rivalry that has ever existed. Connect to Spectrum internet website today to avail of their exceptional services. Spanish customers can connect to Spectrum servicio al cliente for customer support in Spanish.


3. The Trophy Cabinet


The neck-to-neck record of Madrid and Barca indicates the height of rivalry. Excluding friendlies, Real Madrid has only won three more matches than Barca. Facing each other 255 times, Barca has won 100 matches. With 52 draws, Madrid has won 103 matches.


Thanks to Copa Del Rey, Barca’s trophy cabinet is much flattering. Overall, they have won 6 more trophies than their arch-rivals, reaching a total of 97. However, Real Madrid has been more influential when it comes to La Liga and UEFA Champions League.


With a Spanish record of 34 trophies, Real Madrid is 8 trophies ahead of Blaugrana in La Liga. In the UEFA Champions League, Madrid holds the record for most wins – 14. While Barca has only managed to get their hands on the trophy five times.


4. Players and Managers


The rivalry reached new heights when Cristiano Ronaldo joined Real Madrid in 2009. With Lionel Messi already playing for Barca, the next 10 years were nothing short of a fairytale for football fans. The two Goats – Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi shared the Ballon d’Or, winning 4 and 5 awards respectively. In 2018, Luka Modric, another Madrid player clinched the award from them. Till now Messi has won a record 8 Ballon d’Or’s while Cristiano could only grab 5.


Nevertheless, with their exceptional and breathtaking skills, El Clasico reached new heights. Furthermore, the managers have not been left behind in the agonizing rivalry. The world has witnessed the bitter relationship between Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho. With Pep, Barca won two Champions League in 2009 and 2011, leaving Madrid behind. But Jose ensured the payback in the 2011-12 La Liga season. Moreover, he crushed Pep’s team in Copa Del Ray in a 1-0 victory.


Winding Up


Most rivalries start as the match starts, and ends with the match. However, El Clasico has roots that are not only related to the game. From Franco’s brutalities to Messi’s shirt celebration at Bernabeu, El Clasico offers more than just rivalry.