Politically charged, with a pitch full of the best players around. At the 21st of November Spain (and to some extent the rest of the sport interested world) stands still for two hours.
So what is it that makes El Clasico one of the most anticipated and watched games in the world?
Here is the short explanation:
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The rivalry between the teams are based on distance and independence rather than proximity. While other great rivalries throughout the football world usually are between teams from the same city, loaded with social factors like catholics vs protestants, or working class vs upper class, El clasico is the football reenactment of the eternal beef between Catalonia and the central oppressing authority in Madrid. A victory is always seen as a ritual exorcism of the Madridian influence. While players from Real Madrid and Barcelona the last decade have come together and created one of th
e most successful national teams in history, for 90 minutes two times a season, there is no such thing as a unified Spain.
The all star factor
Real Madrid have always been a star filled team, but in the beginning of this century they started looking more like a drunk football nerd´s wet dream than an actual football team, cramming players like Zidane, Figo, Ronaldo, Beckham, etc, into the same formation. They are still doing their “galacticos”-thing, now with players like Gareth Bale, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Barcelona also have a proud lineage of superstars like Johan Cruyff, Ronaldinho, Laudrup and their current golden generation with players like
arez. The lineups gives the game an aura of allstar game, the best of the best. No game on the planet can touch El clasico in terms of star quality.
The decisive battle
The two titans dominance over La Liga is unmatched in the bigger leagues in Europe. That means that the six points in total that they are battling for over the two El Clasicos will most likely have a decisive effect on who is going to be league winners in the end of the season. Neither of the teams are likely to lose too many points outside of the “Clash of the titans”-esque evenings referred to as El Clasico.
Related article: FC Barcelona: The new sheriff in town