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Why Barcelona vs Real Madrid Is The Biggest Rivalry In Football Today? History To Blame?



Football match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid is popularly known as El Clásico which means “The Classic”. 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. This rivalry is regarded as one of the biggest rivalry in world of sports.


This rivalry took birth “between” early-mid twentieth century.

First Game Day

First match was played on 13th May 1902 and FC Barcelona won this game by 3-1, owning to the “6 foreigners that they lined up”, according to official Real Madrid website. But the real rivalry started because of the traditional standings. Madrid, as the capital of Spain, representing Spanish Nationalism and for the throne of royal family. On the other hand, Barcelona, as the capital of Catalonia, was the province where modern era in everything like fashion, republicanism etc started. Hence the rivalry always existed between these two regions.

How Rivalry Really Started


Spanish Civil War Factor (1936-1939) – Most of the people aren’t aware of this fact that “The Spanish Civil War” played very a crucial role in this rivalry. But how? Here’s the reason- General Francisco Franco successfully staged a coup and captured Madrid in 1939 to end the war. Since then Barcelona bitterly fought Franco’s policies, he held a particular anger against that region, often resorting to murder or torture to get his point across – that a different culture and society under his rule would not be tolerated.

Now, football was growing as an outlet of the people’s views and sentiments. Hence, the people of Catalonia started supporting FC Barcelona in hordes, just to show that they are united in their hatred of General Franco, and to celebrate their unique culture and languages. In fact, FC Barcelona became “mes que un club,” more than a club, to Catalans as well as to progressives and left-leaning Spaniards across the country.


The Di Stefano signing: As if the War wasn’t enough, the battle between Barcelona and Real Madrid for the signature Alfredo Di, took the rivalry to new heights. In 1953, Di Stefano had been plying his trade in Colombia for Millionarios when he was spotted by both Spanish clubs. He actually belonged to the Argentine club River Plate, but was on loan to the Colombians due to a player’s strike in Argentina.

Both clubs sent emissaries to sign him, and after long and protracted negotiations, FIFA ruled that FC Barcelona would sign Di Stefano. Here is where the government in the form of the Spanish Football Federation stepped in – they banned the signing of any foreign player in Spain, allowing Real to swoop in and agree a deal with Di Stefano. This led to an impasse, which was resolved when the Spanish Federation ruled that Di Stefano would be allowed to play four years in Spain, two for Barcelona and two for Real.


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 Luis 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”

Results (as of 23 March 2014)


Player Switching


Now It’s Messi VS C. Ronaldo

Even now, the fans have found a new reason to hate each other – the debate over who is the best player in the world. Is it Cristiano Ronaldo of Real or Lionel Messi of Barcelona? The fact that the two best players in the world ply their trade for these two teams is indicator enough that this rivalry isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Now let’s study this case by stats so we can make conclusion (totally fair and unbiased).

messivsronaldostatsMessi seems to be dominating here.

El Clasico Stats


Messi strikes again 2-0!

Club statistics


Oh Messi! we can clearly see that Ronaldo is having more goals, but if we compare goal-appearance ratio Messi makes it 3-0!

International Statistics


Here Goal Appearance ratio difference is almost same, Ronaldo making it 0.45 whereas Messi making it 0.44

So here we have 3-1

Messi is simply outclassing Ronaldo.

So Verdict is out- Messi has shown constant performance throughout his career beating C. Ronaldo from Stats to number of awards/trophies in his career.




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