Football Rivalries : El Classico

Tensions run high

This is one of the most high profile derbies worldwide. It is often watched by hundreds of millions of people and it makes sense given the amount of professional players who dream of ending up at Barca or Real.

The rivalry is fairly unique in that it is not built on geography but is based on bitterness between the two biggest cities, richest and most successful clubs.

The two teams have been fighting each other for decades at the top with Madrid leading the head-to-head with 86 wins to Barcelona’s 83.

However Barca have 75 trophies and Madrid have one less with 74.

Many of the best players to have ever played the game have stepped out for either of these two sides. They include Ronaldo, Maradona, Di Stefano, Johan Cruyff,Romario, Zidane and Kaka.

There have been two notable transfers that have caused controversy between the two clubs. Alfredo Di Stefano was spotted by both clubs playing in Argentina.

They both claimed to have owned his registration so Fifa decided they have to share him in alternative seasons. This only lasted a few games and Barca allowed him to move to Real permanently.

Luis Figo made a world record (at the time) move of 37 million pounds to arch rivals Real Madrid. In the following games Barca fans burned a Figo shirt in the stadium and threw a pigs head at him.

Alfredo Di Stefano holds the record for the most derby goals with 18.

This intensity between the sides was displayed in their recent Champions League Semi-Final with high levels of play acting and lots of allegations about opposition players.

The allegations were reported to FIFA who banned Jose Mourinhho for five European matches.

Real ended the first game with ten men and one of Barcelona’s subsitutes got sent off for fighting in the tunnel during half time.

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