Real Madrid and Barcelona’s rivalry is one of the most pungent representations of competitive soccer, not only for the battles they endure on the field, but for reasons that delve deeper beneath the surface of what we see on our screens too. It has been that way since the very beginning, a time when politics forged the soccer warfare that we see today.
Political UpheavalThe forming of the two clubs coincided with one of the most turbulent periods of history that Spain has experienced. General Franco’s revolt against the Second Spanish Republic saw FC Barcelona put to the top of the list of organizations to be purged by the National Faction, whilst Madrid’s ‘centralizing tendencies’ were opposed vigorously by their rivals. It is a history that still resides through the streets of Spain’s two largest cities.
The Battle For Di StefanoBut whilst behind-the-scenes activities were well-documented, so were those of a sporting nature. The rivalry between the sides intensified in the 1950’s when Barcelona and Real Madrid contested the signing of Alfredo Di Stefano. The Argentinean legend was a target for both sides after impressing for Los Millonarios in Colombia, and after attempting to sign him, it was agreed between the clubs and soccer’s governing body that they would have to share the striker. After a couple of appearances for Barcelona, they backed out of the deal and Di Stefano became a Real Madrid player for definite.
Luis Figo's controversial Transfer from Barcelona to Real Madrid