Barcelona v Real Madrid needs no introduction around here. It is undoubtedly the biggest rivalry in global soccer attracting television audiences of more than 400 million viewers. yes, that’s right, 400 million people watch these games! These games are always testy and full of emotions both on and off the field.
I think it’s hard in many ways to quantify what this game really means to people. Soccer has often times been referred to as more than just a game, and the history that surrounds not only the rivalry of the Barcelona and Real Madrid clubs but the history between the cities does in fact go well and beyond the game itself.
Check out a little bit of back story on the rivalry and see the highlights from the match just a week ago….
Over the past six months or so, isps and I have been digging into some of the great rivalries in global soccer to try to deepen our understanding of the history and depth that is endemic to these rivalries. And while I am far from an expert on the matter and I don’t claim to fully understand the depth and extent of the rivalry, I am fascinated by the history that is at the forefront here.
As I have thought more about this, I can’t help but wonder if soccer is the only sport that really has rivalries that exist like this. Sure, there are some incredible rivalries here in the US in different sports. Rivalries between cities that go back countless years. Collegiate rivalries that have their own incredible histories and stories. Lots of great rivalries in sports exist. But I can’t help but wonder if soccer really does provide the best backdrop for the greatest sporting rivalries. If we look at the Barcelona / Real Madrid rivalry then we are faced with such topics as nationalism, politics, dictators, language, bribery, and an overall ideological divide. And that barely scratches the surface. Even if you think you know this rivalry, take a little time, dig deeper and take in the depth of history that this rivalry is centered around.
Ahead of their Copa del Rey clash I happened to stumble across this video that was released last year. It may not have been created for today’s game, but if anything is glaringly obvious, today’s game is just one more piece in the ongoing story that is Barcelona v Real Madrid.
Now that you have some history, take a look at the highlights from the last match!